Madam - this could be your next updateNow I saw this billboard near Time Square in New York back in December.

I realise it’s not a humorous sign per se, but it did stop me in my tracks.

Literally stopped me, I cause a small pedestrian traffic obstruction and the crowd had to break round me (and NYC is not a forgiving crowd, let me tell you…)

But it’s so very clever. That’s what impressed me.

As my company, Rethink Retreats, expands, I obviously spend a lot of time thinking about marketing and how to get my message clearly across to people.

In the advertising industry there’s a lot of talk of ‘pain points’ and how to make sure there’s an emotional resonance with the audience. And this sign really does that. By suggesting that you could be showing off with this in your facebook status, it sits right on the pleasure/pain barrier. It not only gives you the pain of not being there right now, but it also gives you the projected pleasure of inflicting that pain on the loving folks back home when you are there.

Frankly, I think it’s a genius bit of writing and a classic concept. If I could’ve, I’d have found the copy-writing team right then and there and shaken their hands. Or bought them a martini, or whatever one does to celebrate with Madison Avenue ad people (it’s possible that TV is influencing me a little here…)

Mind you, I did spend over 10 years working in post production for commercials in the UK, so perhaps I have an overly active interest in these things.

What do you think? Is this a good ad – does it make you want to book a holiday? Do tell.


This sign is part of our regular series, Signage Sundays, where I indulge my obsession for all things sign related (and, I confess, occasionally, a few things that aren’t sign related as well – but it is mostly signs, and mostly Indian signs at that).

If you’d like to read more check out these vaguely related posts

Beware falling tiles

No bullocks on the highway

Signage Sunday out and about – Bent in NYC

Or look at the complete list of Signage Sundays.

Do please comment below, sign up for the newsletter, so you don’t miss anything sign related, or tell your friends all about it till they feel compelled to sign up themselves…