I have been traveling down the brilliant (and expensive) masterpiece that is the Eastlink freeway back since it opened in ’08.
I owe a lot to this freeway; numerous hours not spent sitting on Springvale road, the joy of using cruise control and the fact that I probably would have dropped out from uni because of the 90-minute plus commute from Frankston to Bundoora. But like every relationship there has been give and take. This freeway has cost me more than my car is worth (bless Minxy) in toll fees.
But all is not lost; it is evident where my money had gone; the amazing (cough!) creations that line the side of the road including a giant bird, hotel and what looks like a Telstra pole which has fallen down.
If that wasn’t enough, in the past year the Eastlink crew have stepped it up! Look out! There are now at least six giant billboards staring you down as you bypass the Eastern suburbs.
I decided to look into these billboards as I drove past and see whether I thought the brand information got through to me.
The first I drove past involved an image of a kid hitting a cricket bat in the rain. The bottle on the right hand corner seemed to be clothes washing detergent but I wasn’t 100% sure. I squinted to read the text (with glasses on) but couldn’t read what it said in the time I passed. Epic fail by company x.
The next one was an ad for Chisholm Tafe. I thought people who are studying surely couldn’t afford to drive on this road!
But the third one I saw had me stumped. Considering I studied the way media influence people for three years, and have been working in advertising for six months I consider myself better than the average person at dissecting messages aimed at appealing to me.
The ad was for carsales.com.au and pictured a man with a car behind him and the text ‘I ended up buying a brand new one.’ Heh? The impression I had of the website was that it was a place for people to buy or sell second hand cars. Why would he have bought a brand new one? Isn’t this going against what they try to promote? Perhaps it meant he got such good money for his last car that he was able to purchase a brand new one. On further investigation I discovered carsales.com.au actually do sell some new cars. Perhaps I am reading into it too much.
So it turned out three of the billboards I looked at didn’t deliver the message clearly to me. Considering their size you can’t ignore billboards, but they also need to be specific to get the message across.
As drivers we need a clear message, minimal text and the product to be made obvious to us. I guess you could drive past again if you really wanted to understand, but I think at 53 cents per toll gate I would prefer it to remain a mystery.
Posted by Bridge.