Political Signs Compete For Attention

They compete for our attention from busy intersections: political campaign signs.

The political sign game features an array of colors and candidates. Those who've experienced success marketing a candidate, say the familiar cluster of signs is trumped by the simple yard sign.

"Because when a sign's in somebody's yard, it's a confession of faith. It's a public confession. I'm for this person. And it means a lot when you see a sign in someone's yard," said longtime coast ad man, Reed Guice.

Guice has consulted dozens of campaigns. He says signs are critical for boosting name recognition. And it's not just size that matters.

"The number one factor with signage is visibility. If you don't see it, you can't read it, it's not doing any good," he says.

The corner of Popp's Ferry and Cedar Lake Roads is a mecca for political sign posturing. It's also where our very informal survey found little regard for these signs among voters.

"No, it doesn't make any difference at all," said one voter, "I watch all the candidates on TV and everything and listen to what they had to say. They can throw up signs left and right."

"No, not at all," said an elderly woman, when asked if the signs influence her voting choices.

Another man agreed that the signs are of little significance when it comes to choosing a candidate.

"No, I look and see if it's a familiar name, and I might catch a little on television. I guess the television probably sways me more," he said.

For most political candidates, it's more than just slapping up a few signs for name recognition. Their campaigns seriously consider things like color scheme, design and location.

"When the signs go up is very important too. Some people put up their signs, in my opinion, too quickly. And you run the risk then of them becoming invisible. You see them so much that you don't notice them any more," says Guice.

Reed Guice says signs are especially important to newcomers in politics, since they need name recognition.

And no matter how fancy the sign, if the voter can't remember the candidate's name on election day, it was a wasted effort.