Thursday, December 9, 2010

Melissa Parkard’s Post

Imagine that you are a tourist walking down the streets of Amsterdam.  You are overwhelmed with the flyers and bulletins that saturate the sides of buildings.  Suddenly, there is an image of a woman crawling out of a wall towards you.  You give this particular ad a second look because of its unique presence among the many other posters. 

Every year, at the end of June, there is a unique festival in Amsterdam that presents a wide range of theater performances from students, both local and international.  Actors, dancers, singers, mime artists, (film) directors and other performing artists will make their debut at one of the many professional theaters in Amsterdam.
The International Theatre School (ITs) Festival Amsterdam is the biggest European festival to scout more than 200 talents in over 70 productions.  ITs workers are “dedicated to actively connecting young theatre makers and dancers from all over the world.”  ITs Festival Amsterdam is the catalyst for young artists that hope to increase their chances of employment.

The story described above is exactly what happened to me as I toured Amsterdam’s streets last summer on the European Art Tour.  Amsterdam is a charming city filled with visual stimulation but I this poster I encountered certainly stood out as something special. 

In 2009 ITs employed advertising agency, Arc-Leo Burnett, of Amsterdam to create a unique, eye-catching ad series to promote the annual festival.  The ITs theme for the year was “Where actors/actresses emerge” and the ads were meant to communicate, quite literally, this message.

I think that the ads are very dramatic and eye catching which is what they were meant to do.  It catches your interest enough to draw you in so that you will read the sign.  Visually this campaign works fantastically.  From a more critical standpoint it can be confusing.  The bloc format of the text can be confusing to read and often leaves a single letter of a word hanging. Its good for a poster to draw you with something dramatic but when there is nothing there when they look it is not so effective.  On a different note, since ITs is so popular it may be more of just a reminder of the event.  The ITs logo is highly recognizable and the event is highly anticipated, so that may be all that is needed is just to get the image of Its out in the public as a reminder.  Overall, I think the campaign is genius.  I just wish the type was more readable.  


  1. I've seen a few of these type of posters. The kind where crazy things appear to be happening in real life. I love them. They catch your eye, and you can't take your eyes off.
    I do agree though, a lot of these posters are hard to figure out what the message is. But, for me at least, I stare at the mind-boggling ad long enough and eventually get the message.

  2. I love that they turned the word "festival" around to get the ITs from their name. Im not such a fan of the people crawling out, but it fits well with their emerging talents idea.