Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Confusing Signage

Have you ever watched a commercial on T.V. or listened to an ad on the radio, and after all was said and done, you had no idea what product or service they were trying to sell? Perhaps the ad distracted you with a good-looking spokesperson (like the voluptuous woman perched on top of the sports car). I have viewed commercials that purposefully did not mention what they were trying to hawk. It could be that they were being coy based on some artistic sensibility, aiming at once to be both jejune and condescending. Sometimes the people behind the scenes are trying to be funny or clever. I have found that sometimes they can be too funny or too clever for their own good. I even remember one ad where they completely avoided saying what they were trying to sell and instead told us all to visit their web site. That, it seems to me, takes a bit of cheek. I never visited their site. I'm quite sure very few others did either.

The other day I was driving along the highway and came across a sign that also confused me (see the above "photograph"). The sign was an ad in the form of an arrow nailed to a stake that was stuck into the ground on the middle island of a very busy roadway. On the arrow in bright red letters were the words "for sale". The confusing aspect of this was that the arrow was pointing to a road sign. Actually the arrow pointed to the metal pole holding the road sign. The whole scene gave me pause. Someone had gone to some degree of trouble to make up the fancy sign and probably risked life and limb to put it into position. The road sign itself wasn't even something all that exciting like a stop sign, a yield sign, or even a "slow children at play" sign. While I'm sure that folks have a clear image in their own minds what they are trying to tell others in their advertisements, perhaps they should get a second opinion every once in a while.