Thanks to the numerous technological advances we have witnessed over the years, it is now getting harder and harder for businesses to stand out. The world has become more interconnected than ever before and organizations around the globe are constantly needing to rethink their advertising strategies to try and stay relevant.
Some companies are certainly much better at doing this than others and, over the past decade, we have been provided with many examples of this. Certain companies really have their advertising strategies nailed down to a tee, and in this article, we’ll take a look at successful marketing stories of recent years.
We’ll highlight seven key examples that demonstrate how businesses can use unique designs that showcase their products and services—whether that be through an emotion ad, a thought-provoking charity ad, or a humorous magazine advert.
Let’s get started…
An image is said to be worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly true when looking at Pedigree’s print advertising campaign.
With the aim of encouraging people to adopt a dog, the pet food producer launched a campaign demonstrating the difference that dogs can make in people’s lives.
In the left-sided image, a sad-looking man stands alone on a beach, giving a bleak overall look to the picture. But then, in the right-sided image, a dog is added, lifting the image up and making the man appear a lot happier as a result.
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
~ Zig Ziglar, Iconic Salesman and Motivational Speaker
In one of the decade’s most shocking moments, the fast-food giant KFC ran out of chicken in 2018, leaving its customers less than impressed. Following the news, many of the fast-food giant’s restaurants had to be temporarily closed and the restaurant was seen to receive a lot of criticism in the press.
However, rather than bury their head in the sand, the fried chicken giant worked alongside a London-based advertising agency to print an apology that instantly became a viral sensation.
Rearranging ‘KFC’ to look like a certain swear word (I’ll leave you to work out which), the brand accepted responsibility for their mistake, using humour to quickly win over their customers again.
Love it or hate it, the team at Guinness certainly knows how to use print advertising. While there have been many examples of this over the years, one of the best comes from their advert which subtly pokes fun at how much time people spend playing with their phone.
Piling up a collection of phones on top of a bar, the advert uses clever imagery to create a pint of the Irish drink manufacturer’s famous Guinness. This, in turn, encourages people to put down their phones and actually talk to one another, rather than staring at their screen all afternoon.
Jeep is known globally for its range of tough all-terrain cars—vehicles capable of transporting people across many surfaces, whether it be sand, mud or ice.
In a series of adverts designed by Leo Burnett France, this idea was cleverly utilized, featuring optical illusions of animals underneath a strapline ‘see what you want to see’.
When initially viewing their adverts, you will likely see a deer. But, when you then look at the advert upside down, it suddenly transforms itself into a penguin, subtly highlighting the different climates that Jeeps can deal with (i.e. penguins = ice, deer = forests).
While we all know it’s not a good idea to text and drive, many of us still do it anyway. With this in mind, the automobile manufacturer Opel launched a simplistic print ad campaign ultimately discouraging drivers from using their phone while on the move.
Featuring a black background, the reader’s eye is immediately drawn to the ad’s main message. Upon first reading, this comes across as non-sensical but, once you realize what the message is actually telling you, the emotion of the advert starts to hit home.
It’s safe to say there are many differences between a typical household cat and a large tiger. However, from a nature point of view, their basic instincts are more or less the same.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s advert plays on this principle, using Photoshop to place the famous Whiskas cat ‘Mitten’ in particular Africa-based scenarios.
From hunting down gazelles, preparing to pounce on zebras and chasing after elephants, each of the adverts mimic the characteristics of bigger cats in highly thought-provoking ways.
Normally, when someone decides to wee on your advert, it tends to mean they don’t really like it. However, the Swedish flat-pack giant IKEA actually encouraged people to do exactly that in one of their infamous advertising campaigns.
While promoting the launch of their newly designed crib, the retailer worked alongside a specialist print company to add a pregnancy test to their dedicated advert. If, after being used, the result proved to be positive, a message would appear offering the future mum-to-be a crib at half the price.
This novel print advertising idea not only saved customers hundreds of dollars, it also provided an innovative way of staying in the customer’s mind for days and years to come.
There’s a lot of marketing noice these days—both online and off—making it difficult for brands to get noticed among an endless sea of competitors.
That means adverts must stand out in a split second to attract attention. Like the ads above demonstrate, emotion is a powerful tool in marketing, often driving people to take action—whether it’s making a purchase or donating to charity.
Marketers should therefor aim to create advertisements that effectively tap into the emotions of consumers (through humor, uniqueness, empathy, fear, nostalgia, etc.) in order to generate more sales.
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