In my first Chicago ad agency job, I created a menu for restaurant in Water Tower Place that had lots of clever (okay, they were at the time) names for sandwiches and other items. And the advertising columnist in the Sun-Times wrote a column about it, saying “Sometimes creativity must be recognized, even when the vehicle is only a restaurant menu.” I think it’s time to pay that kindness forward.
This weekend, traveling along I-80 in west central Pennsylvania, I noticed a couple of signs encouraging seat-belt use. We’ve all encountered them ad naseum, of course, and most are so trite and bland, we don’t really “SEE” them at all any more. They tell us “it’s the law” or “it saves lives” – but nothing new and certainly nothing interesting.
But ONE sign really stood out:
Okay, it’s not much, and it’s not likely to win a CLIO or anything. But somebody, somewhere decided to infuse the project with a couple of ounces of wisdom, intelligence or whatever it takes to realize “if we put a little twist on it somehow, it might resonate a little more.”
I’m sure you get it, and know what I mean – it’s just a different way of saying “ALWAYS buckle up.” But it’s a better way. And the proof, to me at least, is in the fact that I noticed it and thought about it.
It uses the same principle as the one employed by Anna, my former dental hygenist also in the Chicago area. At each appointment, she promoted more diligent flossing before the next appointment by saying, in her thick German accent, “remember, only floss da vuns you vant to keep.”
Anwyay, a hearty “way-to-go” to whomever thought up this highway sign, and keep up the good work –it makes a difference. (The next one just said “Save a life.” It was kind of a let-down. Let’s take another shot at that one.)