Follow the Black Bars

Spending time at home recuperating from my health issues, I have had the chance to watch a LOT of TV. And over the last few months, I’ve noticed a new technique for ads. It first started appearing in movie trailers for Twilight and other films, and then I started seeing it done on ads for products as well.

It’s a black (or other color) bar flanking the main picture above and below. So essentially the ad itself is running ina the middles of the screen but not touching the top or bottom. That space is being used to, in the case of movie trailers, show the movie title and premiere date; in the case of products, it shows the website URL and phone number.

I’m thinking this is just a new technique to cut through the clutter (worked for me) or a way to have the info constantly up on screen to combat Tivo-itus (forwarding through the commercials) or as a way to get the message across in a loud bar with the sound turned off (sort of like closed captioning). In any event, it’s been interesting to see it being used infrequently enough to get noticed.

It’s the simple things that can get you noticed – just think creatively about what can make your print ad, TV ad or billboard stand our from the crowd.

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