Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
SmashingConf London Avatar

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.

10 Clever and Effective Series of Advertisements

Companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars every year in advertisement. Some companies even spend millions of dollars. Print advertisements take up a large portion of those advertising dollars.

There are different types of advertising techniques that these companies use in their campaigns. One such technique is to use a series of advertisements to promote a particular product or brand. Today, we will look at 10 clever and effective series of advertisements as well as the reason why I chose to include each of them.

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

A Closer Look at the Details Link

When I compiled these advertisements, I thoroughly observed them and looked for similarities in styles and presentation. I ran across a few common techniques that these ads employ in their designs. I would like to point them out to you.

  1. The majority of these ads are minimalistic. They are not overly busy or distracting.
  2. Most of the ads include one witty and smart tag-line.
  3. These ads are well thought out and use one clever image or photo-manipulation that will draw your attention.
  4. Most of the ads don’t throw their company logo in your face. Instead, they put it subtly in a corner where it doesn’t draw too much attention.
  5. These ads are all effective by themselves and they work even better when viewed along with the other ads that’s part of the series.

BMW Link

Caption: That’s why we don’t have front-wheel drives. Link

These series of ads are very clever. The caption fits the images perfectly. By the way, the photo-manipulation is precise. This is just a unique way of conveying the tag-line.

BMW Frog4

BMW Rabbit5

BMW Horse6

Coca Cola Link

Caption: Take the good side. Link

These ads all play off of the tagline, “Take the good side.” Witty copy-writing is the main focus of these ads. These ads are simple but very effective in grabbing the reader’s attention.




John Deere Link

These eye-catching ads are sure to grab your attention. The illustrations along with the bold statements go together perfectly. These are solid ads that are very appropriate for John Deere’s target audience.

John Deere7

John Deere8

John Deere9

Red Cross Link

There’s something about these simple and minimalistic ads that just attracts attention. Red Cross hits the jackpot with this advertising campaign. I really like the way they labeled their message by using labels. :)

Red Cross - Awareness10

Red Cross - Compassion11

Skinny Water Link

Caption: Incredibly light. Link

Another minimalistic ad that conveys its message with a simple tag-line and clever photo-manipulation. It seems like minimalistic is the style that most companies are going for in their advertisements.

Skinny Water12

Skinny Water13

Drugs Link

These ads are very powerful. They draw attention even without using a slogan or phrase. The picture speaks for itself. Remember the old saying, “A Picture is worth a thousand words.”



Greenpeace Link

Caption: Do you know what you eat? Link

I really like the way they portray danger by just using vegetables. This is yet another very minimalistic advertising campaign. The vignette background really ads a dramatic effect to these ads.



Red Wing Shoes Link

Caption: Make history. Link

Smart captions mixed with vintage pictures make these ads a real treat. By the way, the old, worn out images are perfect to use, since their tag-line is about making history.

Red Wing Shoes18

Red Wing Shoes19

Cheese Leadenhall Link

Caption: The place for cheese you can’t ignore. Link

Very well-thought out ads. The cheese with the mold on it combined with the gas masks make for some unforgettable series of advertisements.

Cheese Leadenhall20

Cheese Leadenhall21

Adidas Link

All Day I Dream About Sneakers was a global branding project created for Adidas Originals. The project brought to life the world’s most “original” range of sneakers, which we conceived, designed and directed into sculpted models. The full campaign extended into in-store posters, visual merchandising displays and a limited edition book.

These shoe ads are just two out of the many different variations22 that Adidas created. These unusual shoes definitely grab your attention the moment that you look at these posters. These unique shoe variations completely depicts their tag-lines, ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ and ‘Celebrate Originality’.



Which of these advertisements caught your attention? Which one is your favorite? What did you like about these ads? Do you think that using a series of advertisements works better than just one ad? Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and criticisms so feel free to give us your two cents.

Thank you for reading the article. You can follow the Design Informer on Twitter here25.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

  1. 1

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing!
    I also recommand this article:


    • 2

      I’m glad you liked it Dany. Thanks for leaving your first comment on Design Informer. Hopefully, you will be a regular here at DI. :)

  2. 3

    Very nice post!
    Thanks for that!

  3. 5

    Really really amazing collection. Inspiring stuff. Appreciate your efforts on putting this together. Thanks for sharing.


    • 6

      I’m always glad when I put out an effort to showcase amazing content that people like you are willing to be appreciative and leave a comment. Thanks Deepu. :D

  4. 7

    Thanks Senthil!

  5. 8

    Haha, I actually thought of using their ads, but like you mentioned, they are too common and I have seen them in a lot of different posts already, so I decided to go with something different. Also, I could have added more, but I decided on 10 ads so I can add my commentary on each of them and so that each ad would get more focus rather than having a big list of 100.

    Photoshop Jedi’s? I like that statement. :)

    You’re absolutely right. “Less” is very powerful, especially when it comes to advertising.

  6. 9

    Love this post offers insight and inspiration!

    • 10

      Thanks JoAnn. Haven’t seen you around Design Informer before?

      I’m glad you received insight and inspiration from this post. Please visit Design Informer frequently for more insight and inspiration. Thanks again!

  7. 11

    “Most small businesses don’t get it and still hit us with cheesy fireworks-like badges and loud ads…”

    Excellent thought Brandon. I can’t count how many times I have seen these types of ads that you mentioned everywhere? They should definitely pay attention to what the successful companies are doing and model their ads after them. Obviously, the ads of these popular brands work. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  8. 12

    They are awesome indeed! I’m really glad you liked the collection.

  9. 13

    I appreciate your comments Mary.

    Yes, the BMW ads are very clever. They are actually my favorite ads in the entire collection.

    As far as the Adidas ads, what they were trying to convey was uniqueness. Their slogan for the campaign is “Celebrate Originality” and I think these shoes definitely fit that. I should have mentioned that these shoes are part of a collection of ads in a book.

  10. 14

    Thanks Jeff. Simple=Effective when it comes to these ads.

  11. 15

    It’s my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  12. 16

    That ad about drugs is definitely one that will grab your attention. Very powerful message!

    Thank you Kawsar. :)

  13. 17

    love the BMW ads, very ingenious way to tight the headline with the image and the message, I did one similar for a billboard but it wasn’t as crafty as these. Exceptional collection Jad.

  14. 19

    This is a magnificent post. I particularly like the advert on drugs. It is poignant and effective in conveying its message.

    It is interesting how many of these adverts seem to impart the notion of “anticipation”. There is an underlying expectation on part of viewers, to read beneath the superficial exterior for the embedded “narrative” or message. The adverts seem to almost promise the viewer that apart from its sleek and minimal aesthetic look, there is something more significant at stake. Such advertisements are memorable because they are immersive – they draw the viewer’s attention right from the start.

    • 20

      That’s exactly right Josh! The reason why I chose these ads is because they instantly drew my attention. After seeing them, I wanted to see what it’s about so I took a closer look and read the tagline and looked at the company logo.

      These ads definitely have that “curiosity” factor that makes us look a second time.

  15. 21

    You’re welcome Lam. Indeed, those Greenpeace ads are very creative. I love how they conveyed their message with those vegetables. :)

  16. 22

    Hey Jake, nice to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment.

    I’m glad you like our blog. Keep up the great work with Inside the Webb as well. :)

  17. 23

    Great concept. Got it right away! Beautifully executed.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. 25

    Great collection, greenpeace looks nice ;)

  19. 27

    As these ad prove, often times clever imagery can say a lot more than words. The Photoshop work on many of these ads is top notch. The perceived realism that some of the ads are able to portray really draw in your attention because our eyes tell us it looks real but our brains know that what we are viewing is not possible. When you are able to draw peoples attention in this manner it is easier to get you message across. A great example of this is the drug ads. With one word ‘drug’ you get the point of the ad. Yet you don’t look away right away. you are drawn into illusion allowing the message to sink in.

    The hardest part of all this is simply coming up with the ideas.

    • 28

      I stand with you on that Ryan.

      The Photoshop manipulation on these ads are superb.

      The hardest part of all this is simply coming up with the ideas.

      I agree. I can probably do the Photoshop work seen in these ads but never in a million years would I have been able to come up with these amazing ideas. :)

  20. 29

    Great post and great ads.

    My favorite perhaps is the one of the cheese. I love cheese (even when it stinks). But I love the contrast of the ad.


    • 30

      I love cheese as well. I like string cheese! :)

      Definitely, contrast is another factor that should be considered when designing an ad.

  21. 31

    I like the Ads, especially the drug ads, great graphics. I do believe less is best using the image in conjunction with the right line in the right font. These were mostly spot on, but didn’t like the Skinny water as much, maybe the bottle should have been floating. My reason I liked the post was your narration between the different series, don’t see enough of that, well done.

    • 32

      Thanks Don!

      I try to include a narration on each ad to give my opinion and insight to why I chose that certain ad.

      By the way, I thought the skinny water was very clever but subtle way to convey light and skinny! But thanks for sharing your opinion.

  22. 33

    WOW!!! Really awesome collection…
    Specially loved the Red Cross and Drugs ad…

  23. 34

    Amazing collection….inspirational..many thanks

  24. 36

    Excellent colletion!! Great ideas…Thanks you for sharing!

    • 37

      I agree, these all are great ideas. I wish I would have thought of them first. :)

  25. 38

    All of these works are great. Thanks for the list. Copywriter of BMW and Drugs campaigns is a close friend of mine. I’m very proud of him again :)

  26. 39

    Some great and simple examples here. Alot of it is in the photography as well as the design, great work.

    • 40

      Thanks for stopping by Gareth. I am with you on the photography, most of these ads wouldn’t be all that great without the right photography and photo-manipulation.

  27. 41
  28. 43

    Love these Ads, I can remember many times where a client has requested to “Make their Logo Bigger” and I am so happy that you had it on your list

    “4. Most of the ads don’t throw their company logo in your face”

    really kills a design, when that request comes in, sometimes I feel like sending them the “Make My Logo Bigger Cream” Advert..

    • 44

      So true Mark! I just had a request on a project today to make the logo bigger. :D

      By the way, I absolutely love that infomercial/parody of the “Make My Logo Bigger Cream.”

      It’s hilarious! The sad thing is that if there were such a cream, people would have bought it already.

  29. 45

    I appreciate it Scott. It’s definitely a good learning point for start-up businesses that are delving into advertising. Learn from the pros!

    Glad to have you here on Design Informer. Hope to see you here in the future. :)

  30. 46

    Yes, it’s hard to believe that they are real, but Adidas did use those ads. :)

  31. 47

    You’re very welcome Ajay.

  32. 48

    They are from the same copywriter? Wow! Thanks for leaving a comment here on Design Informer.

  33. 49

    Yes it does. Good thing I included it because everyone seems to really like it. BTW, keep up the good work with Roxor.

  34. 50

    Thanks for sharing your opinion of the drug ad, Francois! It’s always good to see the reader leave comments after viewing the post.

    I appreciate it! :)

  35. 51

    This post is great !

    My favourite ads are the drugs ads. The images are stronger than the words.

    “A Picture is worth a thousand words.” as you quotes in the article.

    Creative and inspirational.

  36. 52

    Thanks Mel. Those vintage ads are definitely something different. :)

  37. 53

    Glad I was able to show you some unique ads. I appreciate the compliments.

  38. 54

    hi there.
    thanks for putting 2 of my works in the same post.
    it was a great new year present :)


    • 55

      WOW! I didn’t even realize that the same artist made two of the ads. You are very talented.

      BTW, the two ads that you made are actually my favorites, the BMW ad and the Drugs ad. Great job and I’m definitely looking forward to your future work.

      Keep designing awesome stuff. :D

  39. 56

    The BMW ads are clever indeed. /me <3 rear-wheel drive cars!

  40. 58

    I like the John Deere ads – they’ve managed to be entertaining about a really un-entertaining product.

    • 59

      That’s true. Nobody in their right mind likes to mow lawns but John Deere makes it cool. :mrgreen:

      • 60

        I just love this trend in minimalism where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. There is a motto adopted by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “Less is More” while designer Buckminster Fuller adopted the motto “Doing more with less.”

        I feel that Minimalist ads were created without much effort. They are usually quick and easy to get. They minimize visual clutter. The signature of a minimal advertisement is the use of few elements, single color and handful of words to deliver a simple yet witty idea….such as “Greenpeace.”

        Thanks Jad for sharing with us this brilliant ads. I really enjoyed them.

      • 61

        Brilliant commentary on minimalism Zanzu.

        “I feel that Minimalist ads were created without much effort. “

        While it does seem that way, I don’t think that is true. Minimalism does convey design that looks like it was done very easily, it is actually quite the contrary. It is very difficult to pull of a successful minimalistic design.

        Thanks Zanzu! ;)

  41. 62

    Red Cross, Drugs, Greenpeace and of course Adidas!!
    Awesome collection!!!

  42. 64

    Loved the coke ones, thanks Jad :)

  43. 66

    Fantastic collection di. We sometimes have to fight the urge to “overdesign” everything and it’s even harder to get clients to sign-off on simple but effective concepts! Thanks for sharing – I’m going to share this with my next class.

    • 67

      That’s so true. The problem is most clients don’t have a clue about what good design is and what works, that’s why they want cluttered, visually distracting ads. What we can do is point them to some successful advertisements and explain to our clients why they were so successful. :)

      Thanks for the comment!

  44. 68

    That’s true James. I think there’s something about funny advertisements that we can remember.

    I know for a fact that I can still remember clever and funny TV advertisements form 5 years ago.

  45. 69

    That’s great, my quote made it to your laptop’s corner. :)

  46. 70

    I love minimalism, but I really don’t care for the BMW concept at all. It does nothing to me for some reason. The rest of the campaigns however, I love. I will quote Zanzu’s comment from above, who said “Less is more”. Minimalism is a powerful art, but it is not as easy as people may think. You must have a great idea and solid concept to pull it off.

    • 71

      I think that the BMW ads appeal more to men. :)

      Anyway, I agree with you that it is really hard to pull of a minimalist design but once you do, then it’s a thing of beauty.

  47. 72

    Wonderful Collection :)


↑ Back to top