Today I saw a bus advertising Sprint as “The Slow Network.”
It actually read “The Now Network,” but part of the N was hidden by a mirror or other part of the bus, and my mind saw the “low” and filled in the rest, resulting in the message that Sprint was a Slow Network. The mind does that; you can read about how what the eye really sees is not necessarily what our brains interpret it as here.
After I spotted this bus and processed the information, I did a double take, and realized what the ad was supposed to say. But if I had processed this information on a more subconscious level, would I have thought of Sprint as a slow network, not realizing why? The answer to this question isn’t quite clear, and would most likely vary from person to person. But this question should affect how we shape our advertising messages.
What does this mean for you?
I’m not saying that the word “Now” should not be used because it has two letters in common with “Slow,” a word no cellular network wants to be associated with. But similarity between the two words should be acknowledged and considered slightly when designing ads, especially for outdoor ads such as buses, when more factors may be out of your control. Could have the word “Now” been more centered in the design?
When considering wording for your advertising and marketing messages, recognize rhyming and similarly spelled words that could alter the meaning of your message if seen or heard incorrectly. Unfortunate placement of ads could significantly influence the success of a campaign, so take small factors such as this into consideration.