Those señors of shrewd comment, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics, have compiled a selection of cardboard signs from Flickr and ponder the secret to a sign’s success. See below for appeals to a sense of family responsibility, sobriety, revenge, romance and more.
This reminds me of the story in Deepak Chopra’s book, Why is God Laughing?, where the mystery mentor guarantees to improve the effectiveness of a beggar’s plea while standing outside a restaurant. He changes his sign to include the word ‘you’, thereby adding a direct motivational factor to the pitch. Advertising 101.