What do you think of this image? Get it? Does it make you smile? Laugh? Or are you just totally confused?
One of the best bits about good design is the “I get it” moment. The consumer can relate to and interact with a bit of design. When our brains understand things which are not simply pointed out for us we feel a sense of achievement, be it a joke/puzzle/riddle. There is an enormous sense of satisfaction in finding a solution. The “I get it” feeling is when the consumer can see, process and understand an idea. When the viewer “gets” the idea they feel connected with it. Part of their mind has been used to interact with it, and so therefore their connection with the idea is more solid than just a passing image from their day.
The image above is totally meaningless. The feeling of not getting a joke is one of confusion, and can alienate the viewer. Presenting the lack of understanding is a good way of demonstrating the point above. Sorry about that, you’re not really stupid.
I have not understood some of the adverts I have seen here in Chicago, or at least I have not engaged with them on the level which was intended. This isn’t a complaint, these are local adverts targeted at local people. So I assume this is because of a cultural difference, rather than me being a thicko. It’s important for us to identify the markets we are dealing with and understand how they think and behave so that we understand how to interact with them. Working in a global company highlights these issues more than normal, and design for large marketing campaigns needs to be clever without alienating audiences.
(I read about this in a book, but I can't remember the name of it!)