Original article found and credit to Creative Bloq

To be successful, print adverts have to be multi-layered. These days, social media plays a central role for the more traditional medium. But sometimes, a perfect print ad that mixes the right words with a spot-on picture, can be just as impactful as the shiniest, most high-tech digital onslaught – as these examples prove.

We’ve found the most impressive, funniest, controversial, hard hitting and simply brilliant print adverts out there. Keep reading if you’d like a free masterclass in promoting your brand through print. 

For more inspiration, take a look at these eye-catching window displays or our pick of the best billboard advertising

01. Happy Moving Day 

Love or hate the fast food giant, you can’t deny McDonald’s has a talent for creating standout marketing campaign. This particular print ad was created to celebrate Moving Day, a tradition in Quebec, Canada that on 1 July (also Canada Day), fixed terms of leases of rental properties are mandated. 

The McDonald’s Moving Day print ads cleverly places Pantone swatches to depict a sausage and egg McMuffin, fries and a Big Mac. Because why wouldn’t you want to paint your new crib with shades of fast food? Burger brown, anyone?

02. Sharper than you think

There’s nothing worse than trying to cut, well, anything with a blunt knife. And so Hamburg-based design agency KNSK have nailed this print ad for the WMF Grand Gourmet knife. We’re not sure why you’d ever need a knife that sharp, but this eye-catching ad leaves us in no doubt that this is one kitchen utensil you shouldn’t mess about with. 

03. Lime

In 1960, VW sold its trustworthy design to the world by labelling a car a lemon, the word commonly used to describe production defects – it had a minor default, not noticeable to the eye but even so it was taken off the market. 

04. Happy Diwali

Ad agency Yellow use a series of wide-eyed animals to highlight the very real problem animals face during Diwali celebrations. With super-bold imagery and bright colours, the campaign keeps the festival spirit. Juxtaposed against this, however, are the terrified eyes and shocking face masks of beloved pets and animals. 

The images show how the animals could protect themselves against the different types of pollution were they able to, highlighting how it is down to the humans around them to protect them. 

Or as the ad presents it: it’s down to ‘U’: hence why the key letters are missing.

05. Children can be scary

The importance of safe sex can be a tricky topic to address,  but DDB Mozambique took a humorous route with this print ad for Lirandzo condoms. The designs feature famously terrifying youngsters from well-known horror stories, including the creepy twins from The Shining, and The Ring’s goosebump-inducing Samara. Would you want one of these guys living in your house? 

06. IKEA iDealisk

The previous model may have been likened to a trash can, but the when Apple unveiled its new Mac Pro in June 2019, the design drew unkind comparisons of its own: there was something decidedly cheese grater-ish about it. IKEA Bulgaria jumped on the discussion immediately, and within a few days it had released this killer ad. Created by advertising studio The Smarts, the design takes a bite out of Apple with its cheeky tagline and clever lower-case ‘i’ on the product name.

07. Breakfast means breakfast

Popular yeasty spreadable, Marmite, has carved out an admirable little niche for itself as shorthand for anything that polarises opinion. And over the last couple of years there’s been nothing quite so Marmitey in the UK as the result of a certain referendum, so this recent ad, created by Oliver‘s in-house team at Unilever, feels kind of inevitable. Well played, Marmite. Too soon, but well played.

08. Copywriter needed

There’s nothing particularly new about using pictograms to spell out a message in an advert, but we love the twist behind this one. It’s a recruitment ad for a copywriter put out by RBH, and the illustrated pictograms spell out ‘Copywriter needed’, with the ad going on to state that, ‘The pictures people have taken over. We need a words person.’

09. You eat what they eat

The amount of plastic being dumped in the ocean is so far beyond what we can comprehend that it doesn’t bear thinking about. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, as the team at German advertising company Ogilvy highlight with this campaign for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation. The print ad campaign depicts a number of different fish, misshapen by various plastic objects, with the tagline ‘You eat what they eat’. The ad goes on to encourage viewers to help clean up our oceans by donating to Sea Shepherd. 

10. Open all night

Another great offering from McDonald’s, this time from the team at Leo Burnett, who followed the modern and minimal aesthetics of McDonald’s communication with this striking visual. In a clever use of illustration, the iconic ‘M’ becomes lights in the night, sending viewers the message that no matter what time they want to visit, even in the middle of the night, McDonald’s is open for business.

11. Where there is one, there are more

Boeker Public Health is a major pest management and food safety company based in the Middle East. JWT Dubai created these beautiful-but-gross print ads based on the idea that when it comes to pests, if there’s one, there will be more. The agency focused on replicated an authentic Russian Matryoshka doll aesthetic, first painting each design onto a wooden surface, then mapping these designs onto a 3D rendering of a doll. The project picked up multiple awards.

12. Piknic Électronik

This long-running print ad campaign can be found on the streets and subway stations of Montreal, promoting an all-day electronic music festival that is held every Sunday in a park throughout the summer. The adverts feature bright, poppy photography combining fruits with musical equipment; a simple concept that effectively captures the idea of ‘fresh sounds’. Ethos, the studio behind the campaign, created the images by photographing real objects that had been hand-painted in different colours. 

13. A Better Job is Waiting

Created by Joe Public United, this print campaign for a job portal aims to motivate people to stop slogging it out in a job they don’t like. Deftly retouched photos show bored workers at their desks, sat still for so long mould has started to grow on their bodies, or spiders have set up their webs on them.

14. Lickin’ chicken

If there’s one thing we all know about KFC, it’s that it’s finger-lickin’ good, and it’s this irrefutable fact that’s inspired this series of frankly unsettling print ads. In them, everyday objects suddenly sprout mouths wherever your fingers might touch them, in the hope of licking off a little of the Colonel’s chickeny goodness. It’s the work of Zane Zhou, along with LamanoStudio in Chile. Thanks for tonight’s nightmares, guys.

15. Kiss with Pride

It’s been over 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales, but today it’s still illegal in 72 countries around the world – and punishable by death in eight. To highlight this, Absolut, in collaboration with LGBTQ charity Stonewall and BBH London, created this series featuring close-up shots of same-sex kisses, with many of the subjects coming from the countries where these kisses could land them in prison, or worse.

16. Pass the Heinz

If these clever adverts for Heinz look kind of familiar, it’s with good reason. They originally featured in an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper tried to pitch a series of ads showing food that goes great with ketchup, but without the ketchup itself visible. Draper argued that people would fill in the gaps for themselves and create a stronger association in their mind, but Heinz wasn’t going for it. In real life, however, the company’s on board with the idea, with DAVID Miami, rolling out these near-exact reproductions of Draper’s pitch.

17. Flame grilled

Burger King prides itself on flame-grilling its burgers rather than frying them, but we all know how fire can misbehave if you don’t keep a close eye on it, right? Burger King holds the record for the most restaurants that have burned down since 1954, and that’s the brilliant angle seized by DAVID Miami in one of its many innovative campaigns for the company, using genuine photos of blazing BKs to emphasise how it cooks its burgers.

Credit to and more from original article here.

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