The best and most effective posters are all about a simple message told in the biggest way possible.
This can involve dramatic pictures, strong messaging, effective placement or play with the visual medium, but ultimately the messaging is very simple.
When using online printing services UK, it is important to ensure there are no details too small for someone a great distance away to see. However, what if your poster was larger than typically seen on the side of a bus or at a bus stop.
What if your poster spanned five acres and was visible from space? What message would you put on it?
For the owner of the world record for the largest poster ever, only four words were needed, but how they got there involved creating the smallest poster ever, and finding a place to host it which was in the smallest town in the United States.
A Contrast Of Scale
Arby’s are a fast-food sandwich restaurant chain that is second only to Subway in terms of revenue and reach in the United States.
In 2018, they had completed a deal with Coca-Cola, the biggest soft drink manufacturer in the world, which would enable the restaurant to sell the beverage for the first time in its history.
Arby’s intended to market the accomplishment by taking advantage of size and scale in its advertising, and it began with an advertisement etched onto a sesame seed, claiming that “A big announcement is coming. This isn’t it.”
The rendered advert was 735.36 square microns and was at the time the smallest advert ever made. However, this has since been beaten by photolithography company ASML.
A week after the microscopic advert was unveiled, Arby’s went to the smallest town in America: Monowi, Nebraska. It was a town with a population of just one person, Mayor/Bartender/Librarian Elsie Eiler.
She happened to be a huge fan of Arby’s and Coca-Cola, and so granted permission for a 28,922.10 square metre poster to be laid out. The poster spanned almost five acres and despite this had only four words on it: “Arby’s now has Coke.”
This demolished the previous record, which stood at 8,115.53 square metres and was made in 2016 by political activist group Generation Grundeinkommen, a group that advocates for a universal basic income in Switzerland, a campaign which was ultimately unsuccessful.
A fascinating part of many gigantic poster campaigns is that whilst it is considerably more expensive than a standard poster printing campaign, it provides marketing potential beyond a typical campaign.
An attempt at a world record is a newsworthy event, and much like other times when brands have either courted controversy or undertaken some kind of headline-worthy task, the cost of production pays for itself through the level of free advertising.
The 2016 basic income referendum was an international news story, and whilst it was defeated, the conversation had changed significantly on the subject, which has led to more trials of UBI in other countries.
Arby’s are a giant company, but this marketing tactic helped generate significant amounts of attention and allowed them to sell themselves to an audience that may not have even known about them previously.