When I saw this advertisement I thought “how clever”, then I wondered how many people understand it. Being a chemical engineering nerd I know that Au is the atomic symbol for gold, but how many other people know it.
This led me to think about advertising in general. If you are going to be advertising anything you need three things: to understand your customer, decide what emotion you want them to feel, and the action you want them to take. Considering this billboard, I am willing to bet that some people were a bit confused.
You can pretty easily study advertising.
Next time you are watching a TV show consider the types of advertisements that are shown. They will tend to a specific audience. Guys are really keen to this when there are a lot of feminine product commercials during a show. This typically means that women are a strong part of the population that watch that show.
When watching commercials you can ask yourself “how did that make me feel?” It could be hungry, excited, happy. You can especially identify this with restaurant commercials. The people are all having fun and loving their food.
Finally, ask yourself “what action do they want me to take?” I think advertisers are forgetting this lately. Consider many of the Superbowl commercials. They are fun, but they do not lead the potential customer to do anything. They are just another source of entertainment.
If you are advertising consider these three things to improve your return on investment.