Top 10 Best Print Ads of All Time — Genius Advertising Examples
In a world where digital advertising represents a predominant marketing model, it is hard to believe that traditional formats still play a significant role in brand awareness and lead generation.
However, the fact remains that advertising tactics such as print ads are not disappearing.
On the contrary, industry reports prove the evergreen potential of print advertising:
70% of Americans prefer to read on paper, and 67% prefer printed materials over digital
Over 55% of all consumers trust print marketing more than any other advertising method
However, it takes a great piece of print content to evoke emotions and inspire customer interest.
If you want to exploit this type of marketing strategy, you better make sure to display a fair share of inspiration and creativity.
The quality of print ads depends mostly on these traits, but we also want to show you a few examples to help you brainstorm different ideas.
Here are the top ten best print ads of all time!
1 – Keloptic: Van Gogh
Keloptic is an online optician selling eyeglasses and sunglasses.
It doesn't sound too impressive at first, but this print ad might as well change your opinion about the company.
They used Van Gogh's post-impressionist self-portrait as the perfect means of brand promotion.
Namely, the portrait is well-known for its blurry colour scheme which makes no clear distinctions between different hues and tones.
However, here is the plot twist: Keloptic put eyeglasses in front of the painting to reveal Van Gogh's face and show the power of their products.
So simple, but so clever!
2 – SANCCOB: Save the Penguins
SANCCOB is a non-profit organisation that helps seabirds to avoid extinction.
One of their campaigns was aimed at protecting the African penguin, so they made a series of print ads to raise awareness about this issue.
However, SANCCOB made it different by adding a small dose of optical illusions to come up with a more intriguing solution.
This ad takes the inverted pyramid form to show viewers how the number of African penguins keeps declining over time.
The technique is complicated, but the message is unambiguous.
3 – French Ministry of Health: Children Obesity
Another incredible illustration comes from the French Ministry of Health.
They wanted to spread the word about the growing problem of childhood obesity, warning parents that “obesity starts at a young age.”
The print ad is plain but effective: it shows an ice cream with a fat belly on top of it.
What thrills us the most about this piece of content is that it uses bright and cheerful colours, but still manages to send a not-so-shiny message to the kids and their parents.
4 – Ecovia: Stop the Violence
Many organisations are fighting against car accidents, but not too many have achieved such a massive awareness like Ecovia with its “Stop the Violence” campaign.
According to Jake Hudson, a graphic designer at BestEssayTips, the campaign owes much of its success to print ads:
“They used body art illustrations to send powerful messages, trying to convince people not to drink and drive, write SMS messages while on the road, or practice reckless driving.”
5 – Kentucky Fried Chicken: FCK
KFC, one of the most popular fast food chains worldwide, ran out of chicken earlier this year.
It was a colossal disaster for the brand that built the whole empire on chicken, so they had to close almost a thousand US-based outlets temporarily.
However, their marketing team used the opportunity to play with the famous KFC acronym and create a print ad that says FCK.
It was a cool way to apologise but also a great marketing trick that made the world talk about KFC from a different point of view.
6 – Chupa Chups: Sugar-Free Lollipops
Chupa Chups is a famous brand, while lollipops remain their most important product.
However, when Chupa Chups decided to follow the growing market trend and create a sugar-free lollipop, they needed an excellent print ad to spread the word about it.
Creating this ad, they passed the exam and let the whole world know about the new product.
Ants taking the long path to avoid the lollipop are not something you'd expect to see from Chupa Chups, but they knew it would make an impression on viewers in this case.
7 – Jeep: See What You Want to See
Jeep is well-known for its terrain vehicles.
The company vision is to manufacture cars that can take you anywhere and enable you to see what you want to see.
The Jeep marketing team used this motto to design a two-faced print ad that shows a different animal based on your viewpoint.
While their point might be a little too clever for the average customer, the copy makes things clear.
8 – Opel: SMS Mistype
A surprisingly large number of quality print ads are coming from road safety campaigns.
This time, Opel launched a campaign to warn about the consequences of texting while driving.
What makes this ad different from similar illustrations is that it uses nothing more than the black background and a short line of text to display an utterly understandable statement.
The moment you see this print ad, you know you will never again type an SMS while driving.
9 – PNET: A Better Job Is Waiting
The ninth example on our list comes from the Republic of South Africa.
A recruiting platform PNET made this print ad to tell people they don't have to stay covered in mould, playing boring desktop computer games forever.
It's a timely message for everyone who feels stuck at his/her workplace and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, this print ad is not only a funny illustration – it inspires people to take the desired action and apply for a new job when they see an excellent opportunity.
10 – Pedigree: A Dog Makes Your Life Happier. Adopt
People say that an image is worth a thousand words.
Nothing proves this statement as much as Pedigree's print ads where you can see how people look like with and without a dog.
Influenced by the simple comparison between the two images, viewers can quickly decide to adopt a dog.
Digital advertising might be the most dominant marketing force of our era, but print ads remain highly effective and accessible among the global audiences.
This happens primarily because such ads are very creative and hence get stuck in our minds for a long time.
In this post, we presented you the top ten best print ads of all time.
These examples should give you enough materials to start thinking about your own print ads, and we hope you will soon come up with fresh solutions that will be as successful as the ones we described above.
If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, email us: [email protected]
Inkbot Design is a Creative Branding Agency that is passionate about effective Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Logos and Web Design.