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5 of the Most Inspirational Ad Campaign Posters from Around the World

Recently updated on October 3rd, 2017 at 12:17 am

A strong concept makes the viewer happy, intrigued, outraged, or even a little bit sad. Unfortunately, in advertising this emotion is transient and fleeting and can be forgotten quickly.  But every now and again a really strong and inspirational ad campaign is created that gets into a viewers head and imprints this idea forevermore into the viewer’s brain vault.

As shown in recent ad campaigns, the most effective ideas are deceptively simple but instantly memorable.  Find the right concept for your product and organization and you can base your whole customer conversation and marketing vision around it.

Use the five ad campaigns from around the world below to inspire your own campaign ideas and marketing concepts and start creating the most memorable posters and print promotions!

1. SAMU Social

Worldwide agency, Publicis, is famous for creating cutting-edge ad campaigns.  One of their highest points of the last few years was this campaign for SAMU Social, a French humanitarian agency that provides food and emergency care for homeless people around the world.

The idea that people on the streets are literally “drowning in despair” and looking for a lifeline is gut-wrenching and poignant.  This point is particularly driven home by the strength and execution of the images that are used in these posters – this genius art direction conveys a need for funds in a deeply dramatic, artistic, and heartbreaking manner.  When you can create a concept that’s so strong that the image needs no explanation, then you have created something truly exceptional.

These ads deal with this sensitive subject in a very creative but respectful manner.  They are posters that can’t help but to strike a nerve with the viewer and illustrate how sometimes a really effective advertisement is one that is difficult to look at but completely memorable.

SAMU_Social_PublicisOriginal source:

2. Oreo

DraftFCB is one of the largest global advertising agencies. They’ve become a globally successful agency by creating consistently brilliant and original campaigns.

For one of their major US clients, Oreo, they have created multiple campaigns based on recognized events and pieces of pop culture with images of the Oreo cookie illustrating these events in instantly recognizable ways. Beautifully simple, witty, and clever, these are the kind of ads that make people grin!

Due to the strength of the ideas and art direction, the Oreo campaign has evolved into highly topical cross-platform advertisements. Their ads are the ultimate example of responsive promotion that reacts quickly to news events and points of interest. In many of the posters, banners, tweets, etc., the creative team has used recognizable pieces of social discussion as an advertising springboard – turning the humble Oreo into something that is shared, tweeted, and instantly representative of our fast-reactive culture.

oreo_draftFCBExamples of Oreo posters that celebrate well-known events

oreo_draftFCB_2A topical Oreo poster that is reactive to cultural news events

oreo_draftFCB_3Example of a reactive tweet that was posted during the 45 minute blackout between San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. It was retweeted 10,000 times in one hour!

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3. Volkswagen

Volkswagen has had a long and illustrious history of ad campaigns. Starting with Ogilvy’s groundbreaking Beetle campaign in the 60s, they have created some of the most memorable ads of all time – to the extent that people actually expect a VW advertisement to be original and inspiring.

One of their greatest campaigns of recent years was created by the Argentinean wing of agency giant, DDB. Their “Drive Carefully” campaign was not only visually shocking but also incredibly thought-provoking.  The images they use of kids at the moment of accident impact in non-car environments are distressing to every parent and every person that has felt the impact and pain of one of these typical childhood accidents. It almost doesn’t bear thinking about how fast a car goes in comparison, and how much a child could be injured as a result!

This is a truly elegant and unforgettable idea that works on a primal level – appealing to people’s instinctual need to protect their children.  I couldn’t imagine a more perfect concept to illustrate safety and to brand VW as a safety-conscious company.  It’s particularly interesting how little copy is needed for this ad to speak volumes.  The insanely brilliant art direction says it all!

VW_DDBThe unnerving but utterly brilliant VW poster campaign with a simple plea to drivers to “Drive Carefully.”

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4. Corona Extra

J. Walter Thompson (JWT) is one of the original ad agencies. Founded in 1864, they are known for creating advertisements with particular wit and charm. The following ads by JWT Spain are no exception and represent perfect examples of how copy and image can work in perfect unison to present a brilliantly effective idea.

This is one of those rare advertisements that plays off of people’s embarrassing experiences and uses that universal “cringe-worthy” moment to make the viewer laugh, regret, and pledge to never do that again! Sublimely written and art directed, these ads are personally relatable and very successful at highlighting the problems excessive drinking can create and the literal “weight of embarrassment and regret”  that people feel after a heavy drinking session. They are also funny and visually intriguing, and create the association of Corona being “one of the guys.”

For distribution reasons, most alcohol brands create “drink responsibly” ads as a branding exercise. These are particularly memorable and inspirational ones.

Corona_Extra_JWTThe exceptionally crafted concept that illustrates how drinking regret is a heavy burden to carry

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5. Office Depot (Bubble Wrap)

This is a campaign created by Creative Juice Agency, Thailand. This poster campaign is a stunning example of graphically exciting artwork that illustrates a super strong concept.

When it comes to poster advertising, photo-intrigue is incredibly appealing. An effective poster presents a graphical jigsaw that the viewer makes instant connections with – offering the viewer a problem and solution to figure out in the 3-second attention window that an advertisement presents. Creating these complex connections in such a short time and space is never easy.

This particular campaign is the epitome of a visual campaign that is instantly appealing and immediately understood.  The human concept of personally protecting something with your own hands is transferred in meaning to bubble wrap. The inspirational concept is made even more effective through the wonderful art direction, photography, and design.

Office_Depot_Creative_juiceAlmost “surreal” in its imagery, this campaign crosses a fine line between advertising and fine art.

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  • If you’ve been inspired by this post to create your own campaign ideas and to get them into print, go to NextDayFlyers to print bulk posters and short run posters for all your inspirational ad campaigns!


One thought on “5 of the Most Inspirational Ad Campaign Posters from Around the World

  1. Great job! very interesting, loved the “Drive Carefully” campaign simply brilliant!. The Oreo’s one is very clever, great campaign choices.

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