10 Examples of Advertisements to Emulate

2016 Colgate Print Advertisement Featured Image

Share this Post

Notable brands’ work can provide inspiration for your own ideas. Here are ten examples of advertisements that you can emulate to develop effective magazine advertising.


I like to collect ads. Most marketers would say that advertising is one of the fun parts of marketing. But beyond the fun, I like to have an ongoing bank of inspiration to learn from and draw upon.

When it comes to marketing strategy, there are skills, tools and techniques to learn and master. But experience matters, too. Often, having a collection of historical and contextual examples (case studies) is useful even if you’ve never worked directly on those brands.

Whether you are starting your own collection, or just want a few of the latest examples, I’ve pulled together ten examples of advertisements that have been recently published in magazines. All of these print ads ran during the late summer/early fall of 2016.

You’ll notice that all ten of the ads meet the following four criteria for great advertising.

  1. Single-minded benefit/message: Communicates a clear benefit to the reader and is focused. The less you say, the more the reader will actually take away and remember.
  2. Visualization/dramatization of the benefit: Reinforces the desired mental takeaway with a compelling visual. This is also how the brand often grabs attention and gets readers to pause before turning the page.
  3. Strategic insight: Takes advantage of a meaningful customer/consumer insight, competitive point of difference, or both. This increases the brand’s relevance and helps elicit a behavior change among the target audience.
  4. Brand equity: Emphasizes and reinforces the specific equities (names, benefits, attributes, design characteristics, etc.) the brand wants to own in the minds of consumers.

The following ads appear in alphabetical order.

1) ADVIL

2016 Advil Print Advertisement Example

Advil (Pfizer) dramatizes the benefit with a torture test approach. The woman’s demonstration of strength despite her age is memorable and gets you to stop on the page. The use of Advil’s signature yellow type reinforces the brand’s equity.

2) AIRBNB

2016 Airbnb Print Advertisement Example

Airbnb pulls at your heartstrings with a picture-perfect experience. The ad is part of a larger campaign that urges you to not just visit your dream destination, but live there instead. Elements from the booking site are used to create a Polaroid-like frame… Nice touch.

3) BLUE APRON

2016 Blue Apron Print Advertisement Example

Blue Apron has chosen to feature their incredible ingredients—clearly what they believe is a point of difference. It seems they are targeting a consumer that wants to cook from scratch, but doesn’t have the time or knowledge to do it on their own. The image highlights the delight of opening the box, and the ad has a clear call to action.

4) COLGATE

2016 Colgate Print Advertisement Example

Colgate also uses a torture test approach in this ad by visualizing the woman’s enamel strength. The ad is simplified down to visual, product shot, and power claim. Notice that the background, woman’s clothing, and brand ribbon all reinforce the brand and package design equities.

5) DEPEND

2016 Depend Print Advertisement Example

Depend (Kimberly-Clark) chose to go beyond functional and instead dramatize the emotional benefit—freedom to reconnect with those you love. What man doesn’t want to be their family’s hero? The free sample is a nice call to action, helping to induce product trial.

6) HEAD & SHOULDERS

2016 Head & Shoulders Print Advertisement Example

Head & Shoulders (P&G) features a great visual and headline combination, and communicates both the functional and emotional benefits. Odell’s hair looks great, and what better way to communicate greatness than with an NFL star? Notice that the coloring and framing of the ad reinforces the brand’s visual equities.

7) PANDORA

2016 Pandora Print Advertisement Example

If you’ve conducted any research with American Millennial consumers, you’ll recognize the insight behind this ad—Millennials often believe they are (or want to feel) unique. Pandora has intentionally combined a seemingly Millennial woman with not-so-obvious ethnicity, curly hair, and a number of unique accessories to exemplify the unique look that it promises.

8) SARGENTO

2016 Sargento Print Advertisement Example

Sargento effectively focuses on the functional benefit in this ad. The chart visualizes Sargento’s point of different versus the competitive substitutes. And, the strategic intent is clear—get consumers to switch from alternative protein sources to Sargento string cheese.

9) TEMPTATIONS

2016 Whiskas Temptations Print Advertisement Example

Whiskas Temptations (Mars) does a very good job of dramatizing the benefit. There’s a clear and powerful takeaway of irresistibility using imagery that gets you to pause before turning the page. Many cat owners will recognize the clawed-through package and likely relate. And, there’s just enough packaging left intact to make the branding evident.

10) TYLENOL

2016 Tylenol PM Print Advertisement Example

Last but not least, Tylenol (Johnson & Johnson/McNeil) visualizes the emotional benefit. The idea is similar to Depend. However, Tylenol’s approach uses tighter and cleaner copy, opting for a succinct capture of functional and emotional in the two-line headline. Notice the use of Tylenol’s signature red within the headline, image and border at the bottom of the ad.

Enter your information below to download a PDF of all ten examples of advertisements to emulate.

 

You might also like:

If you found this article helpful, use the buttons at the top of the page to share this post. You can also subscribe to receive blog and article updates.

”About

Kevin Namaky

Facebook Twitter Google+

Kevin Namaky founded Gurulocity, a marketing education company, to help small business owners develop clear, custom marketing strategies that work for them. As a brand marketing leader and former Head of Strategy at a global consulting firm, he created billions in new value for companies big and small. He now brings those marketing secrets to small businesses everywhere. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and join the private community exclusively for small business owners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.