Every day, we’re bombarded by thousands of adverts, most of which are boring, thoroughly irritating or both. Every now and again, however, an advert comes along that’s so powerful, due to the originality of its content or the way that it conveys its message, that it inspires us to change our behavior: it might make us find out some more information about a product, donate money to charity or even cut down on drinking alcohol!
With in excess of $385 billion spent annually on ads, it’s unsurprising that admen give life to veritable masterpieces of visual communication from time to time. These truly brilliant ads can be found on TV, on the internet and on billboards too. But the most engaging ads of all appear in traditional print media, as people reading newspapers and magazines have time to absorb lots of information as well as creative subtleties.
Below, you’ll find 30 examples representing recent print advertisements.
Since the dawn of mass production, in the early 19th century, major brands have used advertising to promote their goods and services. The amount of money spent on advertising worldwide grows considerably year on year. By 2010, it’s predicted that investment in advertising will top $450 billion annually.
1. Fun Up Your Home [Microsoft]
2. Goodbye Bush [Veet]
3. 360° Wide Angle CCTV [Samsung]
4. More Volume [Schwartzkopf}
5. Optical Zoom [Olympus]
6. French Kiss [Pepsi]
7. The New Expression of Fun [Miragica Theme Park]
8. No Drowsiness Gum
9. Arcor Bubblegum
10. Whatever The Delay We’ll Text You Straight Away [Connex]
11. Hands Are Everywhere [Dettol]
12. Shirt Straw [Perrier]
There was a time when charities relied solely on shock tactics to raise money. Most charity ads seemed to feature a starving child or otherwise ailing individual. These ads worked for a time, but people started to find them so upsetting that they simply switched off to the ad altogether. Things have changed. Charities now recognise that, like major brands, they can inspire their audience most successfully by taking an original and creative approach.
13. Verbal Abuse Can Be Just As Horrific [Aware Helpline]
14. Guantanamo Bay [Amnesty International]
15. Animals Are Not Clowns [LPDA]
16. Bad Water Kills More Children Than War [UNICEF]
17. Stop Gout Patients’ Suffering [EULAR]
18. Nature Can’t Be Recycled [WWF]
19. Second Hand Smoke In The Home [The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation]
20. Cigarettes Smoke People [Cancer Patients Aid Association]
21. Don’t Buy Exotic Animal Souvenirs [WWF]
22. Stop the World Record of Executions [Amnesty International]
For obvious reasons, TV channels tend to advertise on TV, but when they do opt for print media ads instead, the results can be rather stunning. The BBC have run many inspirational televised advertising campaigns in the past, but none of them have connected with viewers in such a subtle way as the World News ads below. These ads were designed for commuters, who have plenty of time, en route to and from work, to absorb the hidden images.
23. Dirty Jobs [Discovery Channel]
24. Authentic Wildlife Documentaries [Animal Planet]
25. Olympic Games [ESPN Brasil]
26. Formula 1 GP – The Fight Begins [Sky]
27. News Beyond Your Borders [BBC World]PharmaceuticalsIn the immortal words of Peter Parker: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Pharmaceutical companies often walk a fine line when it comes to the morality of their ads and must ensure that they don’t prey on the “weak” or the desperate. The ads below use comedic rather than shock tactics to pedal their wares.
28. Fight Your Sore Throat [Mebucaine]
29. Blocked Nose? [Otrivin]
30. Root Out Disgusting Fungi [Tolnaftate]