The attention span of the average human is very short, and this makes the job of an advertiser very difficult. Therefore they must do their best to catch the attention of viewers at first glance and keep it long enough to sell a product. This is a list of advertising masterpieces that are brilliant and catch your attention instantly.
Life Buoy – You Eat What You Touch
In a bid to improve personal hygiene, the soap-producing brand Life Buoy came up with the You Eat What You Touch campaign. The image here is one of a loaf of bread that becomes a pug after it was touched with unwashed hands.
It depicts a pet owner who fails to wash his hands after tending to his dog and therefore consumes germs. This advertisement is enough to make anyone wash their hands always.
Ricola – Make Sure Good News Sounds Like Good News
This is one of the most hilarious ads on the list. An ad for Ricola cough drops, it exploded a scenario where a guy coughs in between introducing a lady as his friend.
“She’s (cough) just a friend”, the cough here might pass the wrong message that there is something the guy is hiding when in actuality, it is a harmless cough. Take Ricola cough drops to avoid such a situation.
Barilla – Happy New Year
This ad is minimalist in nature, but it is a masterpiece nonetheless. It is unique because the product was used in producing the ad. The New Year is characterized by fireworks and gleeful celebrations.
The Barella spaghetti is therefore used to create an image of a firework, quite genius if you ask. Nothing better than wishing your consumers a happy new year, with the product they love.
Tabasco Pepper Sauce – Volcano
Another hot and spicy sauce on the list, Tabasco depicts the spiciness of their sauce with a brilliant ad. This image should be a volcano, but instead of a volcanic rock with fire atop, a human face is used. The human face forms the rock, with fire and smoke coming from the lips.
This is the face of someone who ate Tabasco sauce, and a fire started from the spice. Quite an amazing ad.
San Francisco Department for Disability and Aging Services – End Ageism
In an advertisement to end ageism, San Francisco Department for Disability and Aging Services put old eyes on five younger faces.
The five attributes that never grow old were highlighted on each one of these faces. These attributes include courage, intelligence, creativity, leadership, and passion.
McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It
The famous food company McDonald’s put out one of the best advertising masterpieces in the food industry with I’m Lovin’ It. The campaign, which went along with a song performed by Justin Timberlake, was centered around the theme of love.
Kissing is a thing that lovers do, and so the advertisement had a burger-shaped in the form of human lips, with a consumer leaning in with absolute relish.
Chupa Chups – The Love Pop
For Valentine’s Day, Chupa Chups created the Love Pop, a short-stemmed two-sided lollipop. Love Pop allows lovers to share a lollipop as well as a kiss.
Coming at the time it did, and taking the color of love, the Love Pop advertisement by Chupa Chups surely counts as an advertising masterpiece.
McDonald’s – Extra Large Coffee
One of the most innovative pieces of advertising on this list is McDonald’s Extra Large Coffee. Extra Large Coffee was a magazine ad that took two pages of the magazine.
In the big twist of the ad, the two pages were empty, aside from the McDonald’s brand logo and coffee stains on the corners of the pages. This was done to depict the sheer size of the coffee.
Apple – MacBook 2007
The Apple MacBook 2007 is one of the thinnest laptops that has ever been produced. In a magazine ad, the MacBook was depicted being as thin as the page of the magazine.
On the screen of the MacBook in the ad, were the words “Ultra Thin”, highlighting the essence of the ad. Although the MacBook in reality was not as thin as depicted, it was quite close.
Lazer Bike Helmet
The oldest sports helmets producing brand in the world, Lazer Bike Helmets ran this ad to show just how safe their helmets are. In the picture, a biker who had been involved can be seen bandaged all over, with his head the only part of his body that is bandage-free.
This indicates that your head is safe no matter what, whenever you use a Lazer bike helmet.
A German tableware producing company, WMF masterfully depicted how sharp their knives are in this magazine ad. Using a fish, the sharpness of the knife is shown, as the fish is cut into two equal parts, with each one placed side by side on the pages of the magazine.
WMF thoughtfully tried to convince prospective consumers that their knife could cut clean with no jagged sides.
Coca-Cola – Taste The Feeling
Beverage brand Coca-Cola had one of the most successful advertising campaigns in recent years with Taste The Feeling. Taste The Feeling focused on millennials, portraying different scenarios of love, friendship, and fun with a bottle of Coca-Cola in the mix of course.
The message of the advertisement was that a bottle of Coca-Cola made happiness more wholesome. It remains a masterpiece to this day.
Continental – Weather Forecast
German company Continental, which has a tire-producing brand, put out an advertising masterpiece with Weather Forecast. With images that used tires to depict rain as well as sunshine, Continental advertised the quality of their tires in any condition.
This advertisement, in essence, says that come rain or sunshine, you will stay safe with your Continental tires.
Sedex – Trust Us, We Deliver It Fast
Another advertising masterpiece, this advertisement was put out by Sedex, a supply chain company. A company that prides itself on speed of delivery, the picture shows a woman looking to fry eggs.
The woman has turned her gas on, broken the egg, and is making to pour it; with only one thing missing, a pan. Sedex illustrates here that they can deliver a pan in time for the woman to use it in frying that egg.
Volkswagen – Touareg; The Luxury Off-Road
German carmakers, Volkswagen ran this masterpiece of an advertisement for their car brand Touareg. Titled “Touareg – The Luxury Off-Road”, the ad sees the combination of a mountain goat which is an off-road animal, and a poodle which is a city animal.
This advertisement simply shows that the Touareg is good for the great roads of the city, as well as the rough terrains in the off-road areas.
Heinz Hot Ketchup – Sizzling
Heinz Hot Ketchup ran this advertisement just to show how hot and spicy their sizzling sauce is. The picture shows a french fry that had part of it burnt.
The interpretation of this picture is that the sizzling sauce is hot enough to burn a potato. Not burn it literally, but spicy enough for you to enjoy it.
Faber Castell – True Colors
Faber Castell ran a campaign for their colored pencils, and it is a masterpiece. In the picture, one can see the lower body of a fish which is completed with a pencil.
The color of the fish and pencil blend so well, that one might not notice it at first glance. This ad showed how the Faber Castell pencils make drawings look like real-life images.
Chupa Chups – Ants
Another advertising masterpiece from Chupa Chups is the one titled Ants. This advertisement was used to promote their sugar-free lollipops, and they used well-known sugar lovers, ants, to depict the authenticity of their product.
In the picture, the Chupa Chups sugarless lollipop is laying on the ground, and the ants can be seen avoiding it as they do not find it palatable (due to the lack of sugar of course).
ASICS – 2015 Los Angeles Marathon
Shoemakers ASICS were the sponsors of the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon. The ad that was created for this event is simply breathtaking. The ad combined the shoe and the city in what is still regarded as a masterpiece today.
On the back of an ASICS shoe, major landmarks were represented. The landmarks include the Capitol Records building, the HOLLYWOOD sign, the Santa Monica Pier, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Dodger’s Stadium, Chinatown, as well as the Downtown LA skyline.
Dettol – Hand Sanitizer
In this advertisement for their sanitizer, disinfectant-producing brand Dettol uses a brilliant picture to depict the daily activities of a working-class man.
In the picture, the hands of different people he touched, objects that he held as well as food he touched are shown on his hands to represent germaphobes. Seeing it this vividly will convince everyone to sanitize.
Volkswagen – Don’t Text And Drive
Another ad by the German carmaker is not a product but a campaign to curb texting and driving. This is a picture of a text which is not completed saying “I’ll be there in a wh”.
The text is presumably not completed due to an accident, and “wheelchair” comes up as the suggested word. This is scary enough to discourage people from texting and driving.
Nivea – Because Life Makes Wrinkles
An ad for the Nivea Men Active Age Moisturizers, this one is a masterpiece. The image shows a girl tugging at the forehead of a man thereby causing wrinkles. This image is of a father and his troublesome daughter.
Worry and stress are among the reasons why people look old, but with Nivea Men Active Age Moisturizers, you will still look fresh and young; this is the message of this brilliant ad.
WWF – Extinction Can’t Be Fixed
Another advertisement by World Wildlife Fund for Nature. The message of the ad is the irreversibility of extinction. The picture shows the aerial view of an auto-mechanic garage, with the mechanic working on an extinct animal and trying to bring it to life, just like he does with cars.
This obviously can not work and is the message that WWF tried to pass across with this beautiful ad.
FedEx – Neighbors
FedEx’s Neighbors ad campaign is another thoughtful piece that ranks highly among advertising masterpieces. The ad shows continental maps on two buildings, with two individuals passing a package through the windows.
This depicts that delivering goods across different continents, is as easy and swift as getting something from your next-door neighbor.
Mint Vinetu Bookstore – Become Someone Else
In this ad campaign by the Lithuanian bookstore, readers become part of the book they read.
A campaign set up to make people read more blends the faces of readers with book covers as they become one with the characters in a story while reading.
Ariel – Bright White
The Ariel Bright White ad belongs on the list as it put exaggeration to very good use. Ariel Bright White is a detergent that leaves white clothes sparkling clean, so clean that it is almost blinding.
The picture shows the shadow of a lady, but only her hands, legs, and head are reflected. The shadow of the upper body is blocked out because the shirt is so bright that it blocks its reflection.
Zoo Safari – Blend In
One of the coolest campaigns on this list, the Blend In an ad by Zoo Safari is a timeless masterpiece. The ad sees the face of humans who visit the zoo, blending with that of the animals there.
In this picture is a woman sitting in a car who was morphed into a lion. Her face from the nose down takes the form of a lion. This ad is a message for visitors to the zoo to “blend in”, and have fun.
IKEA – Need Space?
Another brilliant ad campaign on this list is IKEA’s Need Space? The ad which was made for a shoe cabinet highlighted the problem of the user passing the message across.
In the picture are two shoes fitted together, a pair of sneakers and a high-heeled shoe. The sneakers are squeezed into the heeled shoe to save space, and this is the problem that IKEA plans to solve with the cabinet.
Ford – The City Is In Your Hands
Talk about a brand that knows its target audience and what they need. The City Is In Your Hands ad for Ford Fusion depicted the demographic which the automobile was created for.
The ad has the picture of a key, with the edges jagged to form the outline of a city. This was Ford’s way of telling customers that Ford Fusion was created for city dwellers.
BMW – New BMW M3
Another reference to a pop culture figure, this time from DC Comics. The BMW M3 was marketed as a car for speedsters with the caption “A vehicle for real speed experts”. So who is better placed to know all about speed than DC Comics Superhero, The Flash?
The ad shows The Flash behind the wheels of the car, and he appeared to be having a great time driving.
Apple iPod Shuffle – iRun
A digital audio player from Apple, the Apple iPod Shuffle came with a very brilliant ad. The ad which was designed to depict the use of the audio player was tagged iRun.
In the picture of the ad, the wire of the audio forms a running path around Central Park. This ad tells potential buyers that the Apple iPod Shuffle is great for runners.
WW International put out a very eye-catching ad as depicted by this picture. The ad shows two doors with different scales. One is quite wide while the other is a very narrow door. On the wide door is the label “entrance” while the narrow door has “exit” on it.
The simple, yet clear message from the ad is that Weight Watchers will help you lose all the excess weight in no time, and you will leave looking trim and fit.
WWF – Small Present for a Big Cause
World Wildlife Fund for Nature, an organization committed to the preservation of wildlife, put out one of the best ads in recent times to raise awareness on the survival of gazelles.
A species that went extinct in Georgia in the 1960s, the 5th generation of these animals were born, and WWF put out an ad to this effect. The advertisement showed a single endangered gazelle, as it was surrounded by hunters of wildlife.
Sofia International Literary Festival – Revolution on 5 Continents
The 2019 edition of the Sofia International Literary Festival was on sensitive topics including racism, violence as well as corruption. The idea of the edition was Revolution on 5 Continents, and what better language to spark the fire of revolution than French.
The ideals of the French revolution of 1789 played a big role in this event, and the powerful imagery made a strong impression.
Ford – Camouflage
Ford’s Camouflage was an advertising campaign for their pre-collision assist feature. This feature made use of camera technology to help avoid accidents by detecting pedestrian activities in front of the user’s vehicle.
The feature works perfectly during the daytime as well as at night. It was represented in the ad with a Ford bus and a pedestrian moving on the road freely, with an accompanying caption “When you see it, it’s not too late”.
Pepsi – Scary Halloween
Don’t you just love it when a big brand gets poked fun at by its biggest competitor? This is exactly what happened when Pepsi put together this ad, with a can appearing to dress up like a can of Coca-Cola for Halloween.
“We wish you a scary Halloween” was the slogan of the ad. We seriously hope that Pepsi paid Coca-Cola a little something in order to use their logo in their advertisement. With that said though – would Coke really need the money?
WWF – Horrifying
The world’s ecosystem is a delicate thing that, if abused even a little, can have devastating ramifications for all living things.
This ad provided by the World Wildlife Fund makes the point that yes, sharks are dangerous and can pose a threat to human life. However, if they are extinct, that can also have a negative impact on humans in the long run. It will completely disrupt the food chain, which we are obviously a part of. A very powerful ad.
Colgate – Flossing Ad
While fruit is, for the most part, delicious, it can be extremely annoying getting all of those pips and seeds stuck in your teeth.
Colgate is definitely aware of this, and with no words required, the dental hygiene company put together this simple yet effective ad. Imagine a world where all fruit was devoid of pips and seeds! Well, according to this ad, that is kind of possible, if you have this pack of Colgate dental floss by your side at all times.
Ecovia – Stop the Violence
Mexican bus rapid transit company Ecovia came up with the following ad, which aims to raise awareness about not texting while driving.
Instead of what many companies do, which is try to reenact the scene of a car crash, this ad creates the metaphor that texting and driving is the equivalent of domestic violence. It clearly makes the point that we all have a choice and if we keep our eye on the road, free from distractions, the roads will be much safer.
McDonald’s – Love Free Wi-Fi
Seriously, has there ever been a more brilliant invention in human history than the McDonald’s french fry? This fried strip of potato is arguably the thing that McDonald’s customers keep coming back for.
While burgers might be the main event of any McDonald’s meal, most people will agree that the Golden Arches produces the very best french fries. So it made sense to make a wi-fi symbol out of fries when advertising free wi-fi at all of the branches.
Pedigree – Adopt
One of the leading dog food brands is certainly Pedigree. However, it doesn’t just make sure to promote its dog food and tasty treats for man’s best friend.
It also uses its advertisements to promote good values when it comes to helping out our canine friends. While many people buy dogs, it is generally accepted that adoption is a much more ethically preferable way to bring a dog into your home. This ad does a good job of suggesting that dogs and humans are better off together.
Fedex – From China to Australia
When you are the leading delivery service in the world, you know you are doing something right. It seems like you could be virtually anywhere in the world and if you want something transported quickly and safely, you can usually depend on FedEx.
The following ad completely typifies what FedEx is all about. It’s almost suggesting that those who exchange things through FedEx can do it with a smile on their face. Trade has never been so easy.
We didn’t even know that telescope companies make adverts for their products. Guess we learn something new every day. Anyway, let’s take a look at the ad in question.
Apparently, the following telescope can capture closeups of the moon, as well as any American flags that have been placed on it. We find it difficult to believe that the telescope being advertised can zoom in that much on something. But hey, no one ever said that hyperbole in advertising is illegal, it’s just annoying.
Keloptic – See More Clearly for Less
We’ll forgive any optical retail company for exaggerating the effects of their glasses on potential customers. However, the following ad is really going over the top.
Are we really supposed to believe that if we wear the following glasses while looking at the famous self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh, then we’ll actually see what he really looked like because it is so clear? The piece of text at the bottom of the ad is French for, “see more clearly for less,” which makes a lot of sense.
Nivea – Night Night
Some ads are just way too simple for their own good. Take this one, for example, provided by Nivea. Apparently, the personal care brand provides its very own skin cream that should only be applied at night.
We assume its something to do with the properties it contains that help rejuvenates one’s skin while asleep. It must be something along those lines. Of course, we aren’t going to ignore the crescent moon shape created by the way the lid is positioned. Smooth.
Timotei Hair Products – Lion Mane
A hair product company, Timotei shows the potency of their product with the picture of this lion, with its mane tame and relaxed.
Surely, any product that can tame the hair of an animal as fierce as a lion should be able to leave the human hair looking sleek and fashionable.
Harley Davidson – Build Yours
This ad by Harley Davidson is simply astonishing. “Build Yours” is an ad in which parts of deconstructed Harley Davidson bikes were used to form portraits of people.
This ad qualifies as a masterpiece considering the fact that only parts of a bike were used to make these faces. The idea behind this ad was to pass the message that every Harley Davidson bike is unique to the rider.
Pampaverde – Extra Big
This ad for Pampaverde’s Extra Big Burger is on the list for the sheer brilliance of making something iconic from the ordinary. The ad is an image of a man with an unbelievably large mouth, intended to represent how big the burger really is.
The image shows that the burger is so large, that it isn’t possible to finish it in one. Unless your mouth is as big as this of course, which is impossible.
Volkswagen – Precision Packing
German automobile maker, Volkswagen, put out this ad with a lot of positive reactions. This is a result of the masterful representation of their product. The “Precision Parking” ad was created to promote the Park Assist feature that came with their new models to help prevent mishaps that come with haphazard parking.
To show just how precise and secure your parking will be, they represented cars with a porcupine and goldfish in plastic bags. The animals have placed a good distance from each other, with the porcupine’s quill not disturbing the goldfish in any way. This demonstrates how secure your car is with Park Assist.
Schick – Free Your Skin
Schick put out this clever ad to market their razors and it has been identified as a stroke of sheer brilliance. Titled “Free Your Skin,” the ad aimed to convince men to shave by replacing beards with furry animals in the images.
These animals are known to carry a lot of dirt in their hair, thereby passing the message that one is better off with no beard as it carries a lot of germs.
Mini Cooper – Designed to Fit in Any Environment
This ad is one of the absolute best on the list. It was designed to convey the importance and convenience that comes with owning a Mini Cooper. Due to their small sizes, Mini Coopers fit into every environment.
To demonstrate this, Mini Cooper created an ad of one of their cars driving up a leaf along with ladybugs. While Mini Coppers are not that small, the ad passed on the intended message perfectly.
Crusoe’s Men Underwear – Wake Up To The Adventure Inside You!
This ad by Crusoe’s Men Underwear used humor beautifully to drive home their point. The ad featured sleeping men with sketches around them showing different activities they are engaging in while they sleep.
In this image, we have a man snorkeling as the sketch on him shows him fully geared in his dream. The message of the ad is that Crusoe’s Men Underwear brings you great comfort, so you can fully enjoy your sleep and live your wildest dreams!
Australia Post – Letter
In a world where social media has taken over, and posting letters is not so popular anymore, Australia Post managed to create this advertising masterpiece. The message of the ad says “If you really want to touch someone, send them a letter.”
This suggests that letters are more personal and heartfelt than modern means of communication. The image of a letter hugging a human is a brilliant use of an inanimate object to pass a message.
FPA Australia – Save Lives, Stub It Out
In this brilliant ad by the Fire Protection Association of Australia, a public awareness message is passed using the real threat as the medium. Fire outbreaks often occur from used cigarettes that are not stubbed out and this ad is intended to curb this.
A cigarette butt is made to look like a burning building, a detailing that passes the message across perfectly.
Bahia Government – When You Driving, Be Driving
Another ad was created to pass a public awareness message, this ad was put in place to curb bad driving habits and a clever tactic was deployed. The ad saw the use of social media network symbols in place of driving signs to get the attention of drivers.
This masterpiece of an ad specifically addressed the use of smartphones while behind the wheel, challenging those on the road to devote their full attention to driving.
Bayer Aspirin – Aspirina
A minimal ad that delivers the message without any problem, Aspirina by Bayer Aspirin is a masterpiece. Drawing on a comparison between football helmets and an aspirin capsule, the ad represents how Aspirina protects your head.
A helmet protects your head from danger and so does aspirin, which prevents headaches. The capsule is shaped in form of a helmet, showing the extent to which it protects your head.
New York Film Academy – Want To Write Something Good For The Cinemas?
Ads do not get more creative than this. This New York Film Academy’s advertisement to get new students is both eye-catching and highly effective. The image here is of a popcorn bowl filled to the brim, but instead of popcorn, it is full of balled-up drafts.
This ad is a brilliant representation of what screenwriters go through during the creative process, using a regular fixture in a cinema to demonstrate it.
The Economist – Light Bulb Advertisement
Nothing is more refreshing to see that an advertisement that is interactive. This billboard advertisement features a light bulb that is configured to sense when an individual is approaching, after which it will come on when the person is directly under it.
The idea behind the ad is to pass the message that reading The Economist gives you bright ideas. Maybe we’ll pick up a copy!
Tide – Removes Stains In One Go
Another exceptional ad for a stain-removing detergent, Tide raised the bar a notch higher. This ad used animals in order to showcase just how many stains their detergents can remove. In this picture, we can see a Dalmatian with the spots around its midsection totally white and void of its black spots due to a wash from the Tide detergent.
The point of the ad? To demonstrate that anything that can take away natural spots can surely clean even the toughest stains!
Heinz – No One Grows Ketchup Like Heinz
It is clear that Heinz knows how to put out great ads, and this one also qualifies as a masterpiece. The title of the ad “No one grows ketchup like Heinz” tells you all you need to know about it.
The accompanying picture backs it up—literally—as on the back of the bottle is a tomato flower, referencing the ketchup as a plant that was grown with great care.
Bench Fix Hairstyling Products
This ad is about the most extreme on the list, and to good effect. Targeting a market made up of young people, it is clear to see why this approach was quite effective. The ad aimed to show just how creative you can get with Bench Fix Hairstyling Products.
Here, we see a young man’s hair styled to form a spider. Your imagination cannot run wilder than this!
Focus Optics Store – Focus On Feeling
It is not every day we see an advertisement from an optics store focusing on anything other than improving the eyesight of their customers. Focus Optics Store, however, did something different. Using a pair of glasses to make different shapes, the advertisement highlighted other things that should be focused on.
Focus on feeling was depicted with the shape of a heart, Focus on travel was depicted with the shape of a bicycle, and Focus on rest with the shape of a chair, amongst others.
Band-aid – Flexible Bandages
This is one of the most brilliant advertisements on this list. The flexible bandage ad saw Band-aid turning to pop culture. The picture shows the hand of a fictional character, The Hulk, with a bandage on it. Anyone that follows Marvel Comics would have known that The Hulk is not always that big, Bruce Banner always changes form.
The ad thereby suggests that Banner had the bandage on before turning to The Hulk, with the bandage stretching enough to accommodate his big finger.
Tele2 – We Empower Small Businesses
Telecommunication company Tele2 created this advert and it is truly a masterpiece. The advertisement title reads “We Empower Small Businesses”, and to do this, the company offers a wide variety of telecommunication services to these businesses.
These services help small businesses grow, and it is depicted by the picture of the cat with a lion’s mane. This picture symbolizes the potential of small businesses to get bigger when they do business with Tele2.
MTV Europe – Switch Off Illegal Downloads, Switch On MTV
MTV Europe’s campaign to stop illegal downloads was certainly a brilliant one, which belongs on this list. Made with the online download bar, the ad depicts how users hurt the musicians with their illegal downloads.
Little human figures that represent the musicians can be seen in the download bar. They writhe in pain as the download nears completion.<!