The posters are finished!
Really pleased with the result. It took a lot of editing and a lot of cropping/tweaking but they finally work together as a series.
As I explained in this blog post, the idea behind the posters is that one set (the minimalist looking ones) will be released first as a teaser, the the second set (the full creature drawing ones) will be released next as the reveal for what the rather cryptic previous posters meant.
Below is a series of GIFs I made to show the two sets of posters for each animal.
Through my research I’ve found numerous examples of other advertising campaigns that have used this method of several waves of material to initially grab, and maintain, the attention of their audience.
Most closely related to my subject matter was a range of advertising (examples below) released by WWF (World Wildlife Fund). They are well known for their successful advertising and conservation campaigns and it’s clear that a lot of their material relies on minimal visuals communicating something strong.
Often, I’ve found, the campaigns take everyday scenarios or objects/elements of everyday life and twist them into something subtly surreal and sometimes a bit unnerving. The everyday aspects of the compositions are what grabs the audience’s attention to begin with; the fact that the viewer can immediately relate to the imagery pulls them in. Then, upon closer inspection (which could be anywhere from a split second to a few moments of close observation) the viewer will notice the discrepancies with the composition. For example, the last image in the set above initially appears to be a log; something rather menial and uninteresting, but its surface is that of a crocodile’s skin, bringing the object out of its natural context and into something a bit more hard hitting and strangely disconcerting.
This research into how the audience’s interpretations of visuals will help me hugely to achieve the main goal of the project; to wipe away negative connotations of animals with a ‘bad reputation’ or those which are less visually pleasing than others.
I’ve taken on board the sense of minimalism and audience interaction for my series of posters. By releasing the first wave as a very reduced version with little to no context for the audience to grasp or take in, I’ve got their attention. People are naturally drawn to solving problems and working out things they see, and when they can’t immediately do that I have a better chance of having their attention for longer than if the concept and idea was instantly visible. Its seen often on television, with adverts that last no more than two or three seconds and have little content at all, the audience viewing them will have a ‘what was that then…’ moment and will continue to look out for a reveal or clues later on during the viewing. This is similar to what this posters would hopefully achieve; I’d have their initial attention for longer than obvious posters, then once the second wave is revealed, hopefully the carefully chosen colour palette and the familiarity of the tiny parts of the image will jog the audience’s memory into ‘oh so that’s what its for’.
I find, personally, that these types of campaigns are particularly effective and their message, whatever it may be, stays with me for longer than other campaigns.