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Four clever print ads we won’t forget in a hurry

Without computer graphics and special effects, print adverts have to be smart, informative and eye-catching in order to gain our attention. They don’t necessarily need to be obvious, although some of the best ones are – they simply need to draw us in and keep us hooked long enough to explain what they’re all about. Some people might believe that they are creatively restricted when it comes to print advertising, but with the right creative minds and expert print management team behind you, you’d be surprised at what can be produced. Take a look at these four extremely clever print ads we won’t forget in a hurry and learn from their approach to print marketing.


#1: Frontline – take advantage of space

In 2009 Saatchi & Saatchi created a fantastic advertisement for Frontline’s flea and tick spray by covering the majority of the floor in a Japanese shopping centre with a sticker of a dog scratching. It might not have looked like much from ground level, but when looking down on the picture from above it appears as though the dog is scratching away fleas in the form of shoppers walking over the image. The copy reads: ‘get them off your dog.’ Rather than confine their print to one page in a magazine or newspaper, Frontline have taken full advantage of the space available to them to create an advert that is not only visually arresting but also conceptually clever and pertinent, too.


#2: Berrge Tattoo – incorporate technology

You might have thought that it was impossible to turn a print advert into a smart piece of technology, but the advertising team behind Berrge Tattoo will prove you wrong. When looking to recruit new tattoo artists, the tattoo parlour decided to create a job advert that required potential candidates to use their skills in order to access the application form. With Berrge only providing a faint outline of a QR code, candidates had to carefully fill in the code with black ink before using their smartphones to scan it and open the link to the application form. The advert was effective enough in that it encouraged people to spend time deciphering it in order to find out more information, but also worked as part of the application process – only individuals with the requisite skills would have filled in the QR code accurately enough to complete the application.


#3: VW – relate to the audience

VW’s advert to discourage drivers from using their phones whilst driving was both effective and thought provoking, managing to attract the viewer with an easily relatable concept. The advert consists of an almost blank page with what looks to be an incomplete text message in the centre. The sentence reads: ‘I’ll be there in a…’ with the smartphone menu offering a selection of autocorrect options – the word ‘while’ or ‘wheelchair.’ With the manufacturer’s logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the page and the slogan ‘please don’t text and drive’, nothing more needs to be show in the image as the point is perfectly clear. Mobile phone users understand the image and can relate, as they are likely to have experienced the nuisance of having to put up with predictive text function before, but are also reminded of the potentially serious consequences of texting while at the wheel.


#4: Dallas Farmers Market – consider colours

Dallas Farmers Market pride themselves on offering healthy food at affordable prices, but understood that certain colours were more likely to attract hungry customers than others. The classic red and yellow colours of McDonald’s were chosen for a reason and are now always associated with the fast food chain, which is why Dallas Farmers Market chose to subvert them in their own print ad. They created an image that looked like a box of McDonald’s fries, but on closer inspection was actually a box of various vegetables, making their point that healthy food can also be fast, delicious and affordable.


Here at PMG Print Management we love helping our clients create arresting print ads of their own. We love a challenge and experimenting with print, so if you have an advert you’d like help bringing to life, we’d love to get involved. We’ve a wealth of expert knowledge and experience between us and can offer you print management services from the design stage right through to production. Get in touch with a member of the team today to discuss what we can do for you!


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