Some things are just a bad idea.

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 Some things are just a bad idea.

These two pictures are from a series of Metro Posters in Madrid promoting the use of the Metro Rail system. The picture has been defiled at almost every station I traveled from 18 Sept to 24 Sept 2010. The idea behind the poster is clear, make the Metro Rail look easy, fun, and hip. The face of an attractive happy young female professional must have seemed like a good idea at the time. It’s obvious that those who conceived the ill‐founded campaign are young and new to advertising. As one old veteran told me many years ago, “Never, I mean never, put a face on a poster that is within the reach of a marker.”

There are really only three things one can hope for in marketing, develop good brand identity and communicate it clearly, get people to come in or call (couponing), and last (used when your client does not like either of the first two), put the CEO the telly. In concept, this campaign is correct. The error was in the execution.

This is yet another example of why we, as owners and senior managers, need to work harder at paring youth and exuberance with age and guile to get the best of both. The raw and creative energy of youth paired with the age and guile of those who remember all of the mistakes they made when they were full of youth and exuberance is a recipe for success. BTW, age and guile requests that some of the youth and exuberance remove the earring from their tongue. It creeps us out.

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