Digital signage has become the leading platform for in-store advertising. However, the presence of digital signage alone isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference if you don’t input effective and engaging content into the system. Remember that the messages you display will be read by your targeted demographic, so it’s worth taking the time to come up with an effective message or slogan that elicits consumer action.
Rule 1: Keep it Short
Think about some of these popular slogans by these famous corporations:
• Nike: Just Do It
• Sprite: Quench Your Thirst
• Capital One: What’s in Your Wallet?
• Burger King: Have it Your Way
What do all of these slogans have in common? For one thing, they are all five words or less. Less is better because shorter slogans are easier to remember; they can also more easily fit into a digital signage screen and appear alongside a logo, other pictures and text without getting in the way or becoming too cumbersome for a consumer trying to distinguish the ad’s message.
Rule 2: No More than Two Messages per Screen
Don’t overwhelm the reader by cramming multiple messages into a single screenshot. If you have multiple messages to convey, then divide them into separate slides. Keep in mind, however, that if a slogan is used, then that constitutes as one message. Ideally, the other message should be the call-to-action. Like your slogan, the call-to-action should also be brief and to the point. Good generic examples include:
• Grab your copy today
• Pre-order before it’s all gone
• Book your appointment today at 1-800-XXX-XXXX
• Subscribe for exclusive VIP access
Rule 3: Break the Rules of Spelling
A good copywriter knows to break the rules of spelling and grammar when appropriate. Take the following slogan by Campbell’s Soup, for example:
M’m! M’m! Good!
This slogan is wrought with grammatical errors and will make an English teacher cringe. First of all, “m’m” is not a word, and second, using multiple exclamation marks is just considered an overuse of punctuation marks. However, it is pure and utter genius from a marketer’s standpoint. The fact that it is so left field from a grammatical point of view also makes it easily stand out.
Feel free to intentionally misspell a few words or deviate from the rules of grammar to get your point across. Just be careful not to overdo it.
Rule 4: Feel Free to Use Metaphors, Humor and Puns
If you want to stand out, then it helps to get a little poetic and metaphorical. An organic juice manufacturer, for example, might use the following metaphor in its ad copy:
Every drop is like a ray of sunshine for the soul
Aside from metaphors, also feel free to explore puns, sarcasm, and humor. These all help make a message stick and not so easily forgotten or confused with the hundreds of other ad slogans out there.
Rule 5: Use Parallelism and Repetition
Consider these two slogans:
• WINS Radio: You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world
• Orange: The future’s bright. The future’s Orange
Even though these two slogans are longer than five words, they offer a repetitious and parallel structure. They have words that are used more than once, which sort of gives them a rhyme and helps make them easier to memorize. This is a good structure to consider especially if you would like to incorporate a slightly lengthier message.
Rule 6: Do not Mention Your Brand’s Name
This one is a bit of a surprise to most, but it’s actually beneficial not to mention your brand in your slogan or message. Don’t worry; most people can put two and two together and associate your company with the message on their own. Since fewer words are better, consumers will see the message as a whole and form an impression based on the effectiveness of its delivery and not whether a specific brand was mentioned.
Remember that digital signage is just a tool; it is up to you to create a compelling message that sticks in the minds of your demographic consumers.