Kick back, rewind (and learn!) with these ads from the pre-Covid days
Summer’s almost gone and we haven’t left home! We’ve had to bypass a lot of fun in the sun.
As we ease our way back to our workplaces and take the new order in our stride, don’t you think we’ve earned the right to chase the blues away with some fun?
What comes to mind is a song from the 1965 musical, The Sound of Music,
….When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad…
So, here I am sharing some of my favourite things – works of art, mystery novels, roller coaster rides, and tragic movies – all in the form of ads.
Works of Art I tend to fall for these ads that showcase sheer ingenuity. You just have to take a break and admire them.
This campaign created by The Martin Agency, debuted on the tops of public buses in New York and San Francisco.
The concept of looking down from the top of a building in despair and seeing this ad is sheer marketing brilliance.
It’s all about where you place your ad and what it says.
Here’s a picture that’s indeed worth a thousand words (and lives).
This “buckle up, stay alive” campaign by SAAQ (a Canadian provincial agency) needs no explanation.
The clever use of an everyday image to convey such a powerful message is brilliant.
Sometimes saying less is definitely more.
I love morphing into my favourite character and walking in their shoes. Don’t you?
Mint Vinetu, a used book store in Vilnius, Lithuania tapped into this desire of the average reader with this ad.
A person reading a book is an everyday sight. Telling a story with the right positioning of the book and the right book cover, is sheer genius!
The Mystery Novel
These are ads that earn my appreciation for the creative use of wordplay and intrigue. It’s sort of like a mystery novel – you are drawn to read the fine print because the ad sounds so bizarre. Take a look at this ad from SAP. Don’t they want to hire people?! Well, it reads as if they don’t.
The fine print tells another tale!
Ever heard of a company that advertised the loss of a client? That’s exactly what McCann World Group did!
The fine print reads-
After four years dedicated to delivering a successful London 2012, our work here is done. It’s an exciting moment, because we now have an Olympic sized roster. We’re hoping to fill it with brands that want to perform faster, higher, stronger. And with clients that don’t wear so much Lycra.
This was just after the close of the 2012 London Olympics for which McCann handled promotions and advertising.
Loreal’s lipstick ad shouted out that “this is for men”, turning quite a few heads!
The fine print reads, “Hire more women in leadership roles. We are all worth it.” An ad that proves that you don’t need to get all ‘manly’ to become a leader. Women can do just fine as they are!
The Roller Coaster Ride
Ever been tricked by a clever play of words on a billboard? The split second from, “They can’t really be saying that publicly!” to “0h, that’s what they meant?” is the ad equivalent of a roller coaster ride. The switch from hinting at a social taboo or illicit pleasure to something quite mundane makes you feel as if you are sharing a private joke with the brand.
The Japanese car manufacturer, Diahatsu came up with this ad that rides on a brilliant “pick up” (pun intended!) line for men. Which red blooded male wouldn’t fall for that?
The comparison of an ordinary minivan with a Lamborghini is so ridiculous that it ends up being hilarious. Of course, the copy is sexist and characteristic of the age where women were objectified.
Not something Diahatsu would want to go for today.
Now if you rush into this pub without reading the “fine print” hidden within the sign board, all I can say is … too bad, my boy!
Read it again – it says, “The naked truth about our waitresses is that they only flirt with you to get a better tip”. Didn’t your Mama tell you to ALWAYS read the fine print? Well, it applies to Irish pubs too!
Subtlety was thrown out the window when they were designing this one. Well, it works, so who’s complaining!
A little too preachy for your tastes? No, this ad from Indigo is not about marriage counselling or moral advice. Read the next line, my friend. I have to admit that this is one of the classier ones in the genre.
Video ads need to reel you in within the first 5 crucial seconds. Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” ad does this so well with its simple yet cheeky wordplay. The 21+ million views tell its own story.
I know you’ve seen a deluge of ads on the COVID 19 theme. Samantha Geloso mimics the mix of uplifting and tragic montages that have been pouring in from brands all over the world. This film is sure to trigger some soul searching in all of us. Do we need to rush in to take advantage of every human tragedy?
Funny, somber, ridiculous, thought-provoking. Ads come in all shapes and sizes.
Brands have been projecting their chosen persona through ads for decades now. It’s their way of connecting with us. Ads that truly embody the brand’s persona while relating to the audience are the ones that stand out and catch our collective attention.
Why look at ads and puns and one-liners in banners at all? We’re well and firmly in the digital era now and many print media including hoardings are going the way of the dodo. But these ads I crushed on showcase the glorious art of communication – that, all it needs is a play on known cliches, a tongue-in-cheek take on goings-on, a sly aside or an earnest appeal to the reader’s better sense – to make an impact or underscore your brand positioning.
This is the essence of brand communication in any era. Crisp copy that makes an impact. Especially in the digital era. Beyond the tech and the numbers, look to build great copy.
I sure had a lot of fun putting this together – and learned a lot in the process! I hope you take away some ideas and directions for your own brand communication.