Advertising is a key part of marketing for any business and although many companies spend a huge chunk of their marketing budgets on online advertising these days, print ads are still key to any successful and diverse marketing plan.
In recent years, companies such as Apple have had a huge influence on the way companies choose to market, brand and advertise themselves and these days, a lot of companies (big and small) are taking a minimalistic approach when it comes to advertising and in particular, with their printed ads.
While some might argue that minimalism might not be the way to go, there’s no denying that there’s been some exceptionally creative (and minimalistic) print ads that have not only earned their place in the minimalistic hall of fame, but also generated a huge amount of brand awareness and revenue for the companies that commissioned them.
Here are some of the best:
#1 – Sensodyne
If you’ve ever seen a toothpaste ad on TV, then you’ll know that it’s an industry in which products tend to be marketed in quite a boring way. The TV ads usually depict a happy customer in a cheesy testimonial with over-the-top animations showing the effects of the product.
The reason for this is simple, it’s quite a boring product to advertise but in this minimalistic print ad from Sensodyne, they’ve really used their USP to their advantage. Sensodyne is a toothpaste brand marketed at those with sensitive teeth. The only text on the ad is the slogan “Sensodyne Protects” yet the image speaks for itself.
#2 – Cafe Venezia
Source: Cafe Venezia
A hugely minimalistic print ad from Cafe Venezia now in an effort to market their free Wi-Fi hotspots. Cafe Venezia commissioned a few variations of this ad, each with a similar slogan such as “Add some Wi-Fi to your evening” or “Add some Wi-Fi to your morning”.
Sure, the ad might be mostly made up of a white background and all of the most underused keyboard characters but it portrays the message perfectly. In case you can’t see it, the ad depicts a glass of wine created from brackets and underscores.
#3 – Listerine
Again, Listerine isn’t the most interesting of products as essentially, it’s a hygiene related product similar to toothpaste but these colourful, eye-catching ads manage to portray what the product is all about without a single word.
To market the various flavours of Listerine PocketPaks, Listerine commissioned a number of these creative ads depicting a common problem that Listerine may help with. The one shown above depicts a fish (a food that is certainly going to lead to bad breath) with the Listerine product in the corner.
They are eye-catching and anyone that see’s them is bound to instantly understand the product.
#4 – Colgate
Here’s a similar ad from Colgate for a very similar product, dental floss. Once again, the ad features absolutely no text and it doesn’t need to either, the message is simple and clear and the use of bold images (the kiwi fruit) helps attract the reader’s attention to the ad.
Essentially, the ad depicts a problem that I’m sure many of us are familiar with; the problem of certain foods getting stuck between our teeth. The ad above clearly shows a kiwi fruit, but Colgate also created a similar ad featuring a strawberry. The genius of the ad is the illustration of the seeds that have clearly fallen from the kiwi and are going to be the cause of the problem. A problem that Colgate’s product will solve.
#5 – FedEx
FedEx is one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world and they’re responsible for shipping millions of mail items around the world every year. But how do you portray exactly what the company does on a sheet of paper? This ad is how!
Once again, there’s absolutely no text on the ad (apart from the FedEx logo of course) and as per the last few ads, there doesn’t need to be. The ad says everything it needs by merging two of the world’s most famous landmarks and combining them with the colours of the FedEx logo.
Again, this minimalistic ad would have easily stood out in any magazine, newspaper or billboard.
As you can see, you can say a lot with just a few words (or none in some cases) and if you’re creative enough, you can not only market your product/service but also increase brand awareness.
Truthfully, the actual design of many of the ads featured above could probably have been completed in an hour or two, but it’s the creativity of the ads that made them so successful.
Author Bio: Josh currently works for DBP as a social media strategist. He is also passionate about marketing/advertising and in particular, minimalistic design.