Friday, March 30, 2012


By Roger Pe

In the deep, inner sanctum of the metropolis, one cannot escape three things: wide and narrow streets flooded with people, smog that competes with the blaring noise of maddening traffic, mirage of colors exploding from billboards of varying sizes.

Much had been said about congested cities and traffic bedlam, let’s talk about the last one.

Welcome to Tarpaulin City, or so it seems. Stop, look and listen to the products they are selling. Notice the way they’re mounted from one block to the other. Is anyone minding the zoning plan?

Not only are they slowly strangling every block of the city, they’re beginning to cause some people migraine.

When advertisers mistake billboards as leaflets or flyers, the headache intensifies, you’ll probably need acupuncture or a dose of ibuprofen.

Some billboards could really fall down from the weight of elements in their advertising. It’s common to see stuff that look so obese with a hodgepodge of fonts, buffet of photos, vignettes, bunch of copy thrown in between, sandwiched with subheads, blurbs, a whole cacophony of violators, taglines, all flying all over you could get crushed down to pieces.

Some billboards don’t know the definition of tact. Some simply haven’t learned to moderate their messages to single-mindedness.

Some have turned the medium into a smorgasbord of words and orgy of pictures. A firing line of logos is daily fare. In instances, boom, accident on the road.

As a medium, billboard has been with us since time immemorial. As years went by and technology improved, varying degrees of sophistication developed - from handpainted to digital to 3D to creative, witty, funny, compelling (or otherwise) executions.

Effective out-of-home medium and maximized to the hilt by many marketers, billboards have made many brands’ cash registers continuously ringing.

But when the contents defy the senses of propriety, we are, indeed, being choked.