What Makes a Good Ad?

As I was reading through a magazine the other day, I thought to myself – what makes a good ad? I leafed through the pages and studied the ones that really grabbed my attention and then did a little research to see what others think as well. Here’s what I’ve concluded:

Be simple

You don’t need a photo gallery and an entire paragraph to describe what you’re trying to sell – a few simple words and a simple image will be much more captivating and easier to understand. Ikea furniture is known to be easy to assemble and to fit together, so the company created an ad with a play on Tetris:

Ikea ad

Shock the Eye

When you design an ad, take advantage of the fact that the our eyes tends to notice things that are “different,” whether it be something textured next to something smooth, something light next to something dark, or different font styles next to each other. One of the most notable ad campaigns that does this is Apple’s iPod:

ipod ad

Try Some Drama

Ads that are strange and dramatic are usually the most eye-catching, so if you’re feeling bold, go for something out of the box like this play on a “self portrait” by Samsung:

samsung ad

Ask a Question

Whenever you see a question, you have to answer it. Even if it’s a brief, second-long subconscious answer, you’ll still answer it. So why not ask a question in an ad? You’ll not only get the viewer thinking, you may even spark their interest in what you’re advertising. Take this ad from the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (which could also double as “dramatic”):

soda ad

Be Different

When you think of an ad, you think of someone trying to positively promote their product or service. But it may pay off to be so different that your viewer is immediately bewildered and needs to learn more to understand. Take this ad from Simple Shoes:

sneaker ad

What are some of your favorite ads, and why?

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