There's a billboard by the freeway on the way to work that has kind of freaked me out. It's been up for what seems like a long time, maybe two months or so. It's also in place that makes it kind of hard to see. It's on the curve on the freeway and it's kind of behind another sign. So when you are doing LA freeway speeds, the sign is not visible very long. Also, it's dark when I am going to work, and this particular sign is not lit, so I can only read the big print on it, not the smaller print. Basically the sign is hard to see.

On this sign, there's a picture of cop trying to be tough guy. He's got the dark glasses, the hat and the tough guy scowl. The text says "Observe and Report." The sign seemed very Big Brotherish. Or maybe even a bit Orwellian. I didn't know if it was telling me to watch for terrorist bombers or people who change lanes without signaling. It was just creepy. (Maybe it's just the fact that 5:30am is too early to be looking at that particular sign.)

About week or so ago, the movie trailers for a new movie hit the TV screen. The movie is called "Observe and Report." I started laughing when I saw the trailer. Not because the movie looked that funny. It didn't. What made me laugh was the goofy sign that had been freaking me out.

I drove by the sign and looked again. It still doesn't look like all the other movie signs. There's no start date or any of that other stuff. Maybe that's look they were going for.

It was a case of unclear communication - at least for me. I know that sometimes the advertising campaign tries to build an air of mystery by revealing only a small bit of the story. But this doesn't seem to be one of those types of ads. It just doesn't communicate the fact that they are advertising a movie. Seems like a waste, because their ad has not made me want to see the movie.

Is your communication as clear as you can make it? It's a never ending struggle to be clear and concise. Are you doing the hard work so you can get your message across clearly? That's worth pondering about....

PS - I just finished a great book about communication. It's called "Less Clutter. Less Noise." by Kem Meyer. It's really for church communications, but it would apply to any one who works in communication. If you lead a group or team, whether that's at work or a group of volunteers - this book is worth the read.

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