Creative Content: Lessons from Burma Shave

Digital Signage Series

Today we’re talking about episodic advertising – using a digital signage series to tell your story.

Do you remember the Burma Shave billboards? (You may be too young to have seen them, but they’re a great piece of pop culture history.) These were a huge hit from 1925 to 1963 in the US. Six consecutive signs would be placed along busy roads at equal intervals – each one with one piece of a verse that rhymed. After seeing the first sign, drivers would be rapt with attention waiting for the next one.

If you have several messages that are related, or something that’s just too crowded on one slide, why not have some fun and break it up like these old ads?

Digital signage is a short message medium. We’ve given advice on how to write text for messages, but we still see some folks (you know who you are) posting entire PDFs, or crowding their screens with so much text that it’s impossible to read. We’re a 140 character society now, so edit your copy to just the essentials, or break it up into several messages to make it easier on the viewer.

Instead of just putting up a poster for an event, why not craft a digital signage campaign to tease the audience and pique their interest?

A video series is a great way to draw attention. People get hooked on TV shows because they want to know what will happen next. You can inspire the same curiosity with video trailers for an upcoming event that only reveal a little at a time, culminating in the most important information (what, where, when, how to get tickets, etc.).

If you don’t have the time or resources to create videos, no problem. You can still have fun and be creative by making still messages in a digital signage series. And you don’t have to limit yourself to events, either. You can use this idea with most communications – a product launch, new benefits package, charity drive, employee news, health tips – anything that can be broken up to make it more interesting and memorable.

Why not use Burma Shave as an example?

When you post
Your text
And pics
In episodes
Their eye
You’ll fix