How to write posters that get results: commercial

On a commercial level, posters – despite being very low-tech – have a useful role to play in tying marketing efforts down to, or within, a specific geographical area.

For example, on the way out to airports from city centres you’ll often see posters advertising airlines, car rental, duty-free stores, hotels, entertainment and so-on geared entirely towards people on their way to and from an airport by car, taxi, train or bus.

All over the world you’ll see posters by roadsides advertising something of potential interest to drivers. The words “last petrol before MXX motorway” or “last gas station for XXX miles” or similar, are common in many countries. This facility of poster advertising is of special interest to local advertisers, either to encourage local business or to catch passing trade.

Say you’re running a Spanish restaurant in the UK. First, how could you encourage local trade with a general poster, but aimed primarily at the more sophisticated commuters who can afford to eat out regularly? Here’s a poster idea (which would need to be accompanied by an appropriate illustration)…

Tonight, drive home to dinner in sunny Spain … right here in XXXtown

El Salmonella’s … a delicious Taste Of Spain in John Street

You might decide to spread that notion across to the daytime traffic as well, including people going shopping in the town or going elsewhere for an evening out…

Why drive to the city when you can enjoy the bright lights of XXXtown?

El Salmonella’s … a delicious evening out at John Street’s Taste Of Spain

Naturally you can’t put in opening days and times and other information , but with luck you’ll have bought a memorable website domain name which uses the same  name and in which you can include necessary information and/or failing that, you can place ads in the local press giving your location and details. The poster’s job is to kickstart people’s thoughts and reinforce the fact that the restaurant is local by giving the name of the street.

You could use a similar poster at the local railway and/or bus station to catch commuters returning from work. The structure there should be the same although you can add a bit more detail as they, in theory, have more time to absorb information than drivers do. However many people will decide to go out for a meal on impulse, especially if they’re tired after a day’s work and can’t  be bothered to cook. In this case they won’t hang around to read the small print, so you need to make sure they get the idea at a glance…and provide a phone number so they can make a table reservation right away on their cellphones:

Take someone special to dinner in sunny Spain tonight

…right here in XXXtown

El Salmonella’s, John Street

Book your table now on 01XXX XXX XXX

Or, if it’s during your vacation season, you might like to try…

Could you do with a little Spanish holiday tonight?

Delicious dining in XXXtown’s own corner of Spain

El Salmonella’s, John Street – book now on 01XXX XXX XXX

Finally, let’s put something together for passing trade. We assume that XXXtown is on a main road which carries a lot of vacationers on their way to and from their destinations, along with business people commuting by car.

For a delicious meal, drive straight on to Spain…

…right here in XXXtown

El Salmonella’s, John Street

Or alternatively:

 Drop into sunny Spain for a delicious meal…

…right here in XXXtown

El Salmonella’s, John Street

Turn left at next lights

Hasta la vista!

Make sure all your writing gets results:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English




  1. […] How to write commercial posters […]