The agency lg2 teamed up with the Quebéc City Magic Festival to create a rather crafty way of promoting the event. A fair amount of posters were placed around cities, featuring only a white background, a black top hat and a small text below it asking the passerby to take a photo of the poster with flash, revealing a secret message – and of course, the secret message is the festival itself.
Advertising is the key to making anything known, whether it’s a product to sell or a person to flood your social media with. Can everything be sold? Under the right light, with the right thinking and the right approach, yes. As we go through life of course it gets much easier to see that anything can be sold with a good advertisement. Our life becomes very dependent from it as we become curious and it becomes a game: what is it that they try to advertise?
Is it soap?
No, he’s on a horse.
So, curiosity becomes key as advertisements flood our world. Celebrities will post their coffee cups, people will show their computer logos: it’s subtle, it’s straightforward, but it becomes a game of guessing and clues because even as simple as we may seem at times, our brain still tries to make logical connections and find patterns, because that’s how we’ve been taught and how we go through life.
For some time already, there’s been a trend to use confusion in advertising. Confusion may attract people, it makes the brain focus more to understand the message, and holds the attention longer than a straightforward logo, giving you enough time to look deeper and make more neuron connections regarding what is being advertised.
When it comes to the Quebéc City Magic Festival video, the hidden message coming out of the black top hat is a great way to get attention and has the bonus of the looker having to take the photo. In our current times, when you take a photo it is often – or dare I say always – posted on some sort of social media, giving a classic word-of-mouth touch to it, as it will be the people themselves who start sharing the product or event, something each campaign strives to achieve by the end of the day. But before we go on about the plus side of the Quebéc City Magic Festival campaign, which is great, a big question arises.
Is the poster attractive enough?
How often do you look at posters? The Quebéc City Magic Festival campaign is still classical marketing flirting with word-of-mouth online, so how effective actually is it? Also, the poster itself is not very striking to the general public, which of course can be arguable as from a designer’s perspective it is very appealing and to the point. But then, which audience are we trying to reach out to?
The benefits and at the same time problems of the Quebéc City Magic Festival poster is that it is still something a person in the same circle of interests would notice, so it falls under the classic question: do you want to advertise for everyone, or for an exclusive but more engaged niche? If you do something far more appealing to the general public, you will end up getting people who possibly won’t be interested at all in an event like the Quebéc City Magic Festival and frankly will be mislead. But if the product is for a specific niche, then the advertisement should be so too.
Overall, it is an effective and creative campaigned, well-aimed towards a specific circle of people interested in the artistic sphere.