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Advertisement Examples That Work

Explore powerful print and iconic TV commercials! Learn the secrets of creative guerrilla advertising examples that grab attention and help you craft your own marketing masterpiece!
by Chris Allmer | May 22 2024
Be Creative: The Top Advertisement Examples That Work

Ever get that sudden craving for a Snickers bar after watching Betty White turn into a football fanatic? Or maybe you still catch yourself saying “Wassup!” like in those iconic Budweiser ads?

These are just a few advertisement examples that prove ads can be seriously memorable. But beyond the laughs (and sometimes, the sheer weirdness – Squatty Potty Unicorn, anyone?), the best ones leave a lasting impression. 

They make you remember a brand, consider that new gadget, or maybe just crack a smile and share it with a buddy.

But what’s the magic formula behind these unforgettable campaigns? Let’s spill the tea on some of the most creative and impactful advertisement examples out there! Today, we’re diving headfirst into three awesome categories:

  • Classic Print Ads That Still Rule: We’ll revisit some legendary print advertisements, proving that a powerful message and a killer image can leave a bigger mark than a million social media followers.
  • The Famous TV and Super Bowl Ads: We’ll explore these million-dollar productions that become cultural touchstones, from laugh-out-loud skits to tear-jerking stories and A-list celebrity appearances.
  • Guerrilla Advertising: And then we’ll shift gears and explore the scrappier side of advertising. In this section, we’ll see how guerrilla ads disrupt the norm with minimal resources and high creativity.

So, let’s discover the tricks advertisers use, and maybe even have a good laugh along the way.
 

The Best Advertisement Examples in Print

 

What are Print Ads, and Why Do They Still Work in a Digital World?

Flashy online ads, overloaded social media feeds, it’s easy to wonder: do print ads even hold any power anymore? The answer is a resounding yes! While digital marketing has exploded, print advertisements continue to hold a unique and surprisingly effective place in the advertising landscape.

Here’s why print ads remain relevant:

  • They have direct impact: Unlike fleeting online content, a well-designed print ad can hold a physical presence for weeks or even months. This extended exposure allows the message to sink in and build brand recognition over time.
  • They target the right audience: Print publications often cater to specific demographics or interests. This allows advertisers to tailor their message to a well-defined audience, increasing the likelihood that the ad resonates with potential customers.
  • They are legit: There’s a certain level of trust associated with print media. Being featured in a reputable magazine or newspaper can lend credibility and legitimacy to a brand, especially for those targeting older demographics who may not rely solely on digital sources.

Let’s now take a look at the best examples of print advertisements that demonstrate the power of storytelling, simplicity, and visual impact. These iconic ads showcase why print advertising remains a valuable tool in any marketer’s arsenal.
 

The Top 3 Print Ads and What We Can Learn From Them

 

1. Apple’s “Think Different”

This advertisement example from 1997 is basically a history lesson for Marketers. Forget fancy pictures of iPhones – it features black and white portraits of history’s rule breakers like Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr. The tagline? Just one powerful word: “Think Different.”  

What can we learn from it? This ad proves you don’t need to show the actual product to connect with your audience. Focus on your brand story, what you stand for, and how it makes people feel. Think outside the box, just like Apple did with this ad.
 

2. Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign

Dove basically said “sayonara” to fake airbrushed perfection in this campaign. Their ads featured real women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. Simple design, one powerful image, and a clear message (“You are beautiful”) – that’s all it took to resonate with people.  

What we can learn from it? Simplicity is key! Don’t overcomplicate your message.  Challenge expectations, celebrate diversity, and remember, real people connect with real people.
 

3. Pepsi’s “We Wish You a Scary Halloween” Ad

If you think of rivalry between two brands, chances are Pepsi and Coca-Cola come to mind. They’ve both used clever marketing tactics throughout history, and this Halloween Pepsi advertisement is a prime example.

This ingenious ad features a can of Pepsi disguised in a red Coca-Cola coat. The  tagline? “We Wish You a Scary Halloween.”

What can we learn from it? This ad playfully uses a competitor’s iconic branding to grab attention. And by incorporating a Halloween theme, Pepsi injects humor and unexpectedness into the brand rivalry, making the ad memorable and relevant to the season.

So there you have it! Proof that print ads can still be total rock stars. Remember, clear messaging, strong visuals, and a sprinkle of creativity can go a long way, no matter what platform you’re using. 

If you want to know more about print ads and why they are still so powerful, check out our Blinkist book summary, “Ogilvy on Advertising,” where Advertising Genius David Ogilvy will teach you everything you need to know in just 15 minutes.

 

Lights, Camera, Action: The Top 3 TV Commercials

While print ads pack a punch, the world of television commercials offers a whole new dimension for advertisers. Here are three TV commercials that went beyond the limits of the small screen and became cultural phenomena.
 

1. The Master of Storytelling: Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” (1971)

This heartwarming advertisement example takes viewers on a journey around the world, showcasing people from various cultures coming together in harmony. 

Upbeat music and a catchy jingle (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”) create a sense of unity and optimism. 

And the takeaway: Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” reminds us that emotional storytelling can be a powerful tool to connect with audiences on a global scale.
 

2. The King of Humor:  Budweiser’s “Whassup!” (1999)

This series of commercials featuring a group of friends greeting each other with a drawn-out “Whassup!” became an instant catchphrase. The simple yet humorous premise resonated with viewers for its relatable portrayal of friendship and camaraderie.

And the Takeaway:  Budweiser’s “Whassup” campaign proves that humor can be a powerful tool for brand recall and social engagement
 

3. The Power of Surprise: Snickers’ “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” (2010)

Remember the Budweiser ad, where Betty White tackling a football player and screaming, “That’s not what your girlfriend said!”?  

Yeah, that’s a Snickers commercial for the win! This genius campaign features celebrities like Betty White going full-on “hangry” – cranky and out-of-character – all because their blood sugar’s dipping. A bite of a Snickers bar magically transforms them back into their loveable selves.

And the Takeaway: Snickers’ “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign proves that a little surprise and humor can go a long way. Plus, using everyone’s favorite grandma, Betty White, doesn’t hurt either!

These three iconic TV advertising examples are testaments to the power of storytelling, humor, and celebrity endorsements in crafting captivating advertisements. 
 

Guerrilla Advertisement: The Underdog Strategy with a Knockout Punch

After our traditional advertisement examples in print and TV, let’s now take a look at the scrappier fighter in the advertisement ring: guerrilla advertising. 

With a healthy dose of creativity and minimal resources, these underdog advertisers disrupt the norm, leaving audiences surprised, engaged, and talking.
 

Guerrilla Advertisement Examples in Action

Here are some legendary guerrilla marketing campaigns that show its effectiveness

1.  UNICEF’s Dirty Water Wake-Up Call: This campaign tackled the global water crisis with a shocking twist. Imagine vending machines dispensing “flavors” like cholera and malaria! 

Placed in developed countries, these machines highlighted the stark contrast to clean water access and spurred donations for UNICEF’s clean water initiatives.

2. GOLDTOE Bulls Up Business: Taking guerrilla marketing to Wall Street, GOLDTOE dressed the iconic NYC Stock Exchange bull in a giant pair of their underwear. 

This simple yet cheeky advertisement example grabbed media attention with humor and originality, proving you don’t need a huge budget for impact.

3. WeRoad’s “Missing” Animals: WeRoad launched a playful advertising campaign in London. Eye-catching posters displayed “missing” exotic animals like alpacas. But upon scanning the QR code, passersby discovered travel deals instead of alerts! 

This creative approach captured public interest and spread like wildfire on social media.

If you’re feeling inspired now to tap into your creative side, you might want to dive into some fascinating reads over on Blinkist. 

We have a whole category dedicated to creativity that’s stuffed with summaries of books about unleashing your creative potential in both your personal life and work. Take a look:

Creativity
 

The Secrets of Memorable Advertising

So, we’ve dived headfirst into the fascinating world of advertising, exploring the power of print, the magic of television, and the disruptive energy of guerrilla marketing.  

We’ve learned that the most unforgettable advertisement examples are those that tell a story, surprise us with humor, or make us think differently.

But the key to crafting a truly remarkable advertisement isn’t just about the medium you choose. It’s about understanding your audience, creating a clear and compelling message, and wrapping it all up in a visually stunning or emotionally resonant package. 

Remember:

  • Focus on the Why, Not Just the What: Connect with your audience on an emotional level and tell them why your product or service matters.
  • Think outside the box! The most memorable ads are the ones that break away from the norm and capture attention in unexpected ways.
  • Use the Power of Storytelling: Stories have the power to transport us, engage us, and make us remember. Use storytelling to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Make People Laugh (or Think): Humor and surprise can be powerful tools for grabbing attention and making your message memorable.

The next time you come across an advertisement example that makes you laugh, cry, or simply stop and take notice, take a moment to appreciate the creativity and strategy that went into its creation. 

If you are ready to learn more about the power of marketing, explore other articles in our Marketing series, like “Marketing Lingo for Beginners” and “How to get into Marketing when you have no idea”. 

And who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to craft your own unforgettable marketing masterpiece!

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