in Design

The Best 30 Advertisements We’ve Seen in a While

It’s more than common knowledge that a picture is worth a thousand words. To be quite frank, it’s been said so often that I frequently stop listening two words into the sentence to anyone who utters it. Yet there is no denying the truth of it.

The main reason people react better to images than to written text is that a picture is right there in your face, you have to exert a minimum amount of effort in order to perceive its meaning and be affected by its message. The same cannot be said about written text. When faced with a short story, or any length of text really, you first have to focus on the words and then appeal to your own imagination in order to visualize their meaning. This takes both time and energy out of the person who is confronted with the message, therefore, most people skip over any written part of a presentation or even when browsing through social websites like Facebook. Unfortunately, we’ve evolved into a society that focuses on swiftness rather than depth. Something that is right in your face supersedes anything more subtle.

Studies have showed that humans are able to react to an emotional event without full awareness. Psychologists Kristen Ruys and Diedrick Stapel of the Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research at Tillburg University in The Netherlands have hypothesized that “You are likely to live longer if you immediately stop moving at the sight of a growling grizzly bear and do not need full awareness for such a response to be instigated.” Their research was based on the theory that natural selection has enabled humans to detect specific information meant to evoke emotion automatically.

Based on the same principle, powerful images used in clever advertisements incite an instinctive reaction in the onlooker. Think of campaigns to raise awareness about physical violence like the one launched by Grey Group España for a telephone line set up to help children suffering from abuse, only children could see the true message of the campaign and the number they had to dial in order to get help. That campaign and many like them were so effective because they employed visual incentive in order to get their point across. Because humans are wired to react in a certain way when confronted with images loaded with emotional meaning, well thought-out campaigns to raise awareness can really do wonders. Similarly, clever ads are more likely to get customers to remember the brand than your plain, run of the mill advertisement that is only good for bombarding you with information as opposed to giving you reason to pause and think about it for a moment.

Therefore, to conclude with what I’ve said earlier about images being better received by most people rather than words that require you to think, the perfect balance for an ad would be to give your customers both an eye-catching image and a twist to get their minds working and make sure they remember your product. We’ve rounded up 30 of the best and brightest advertisements out there for you to see exactly what we mean.

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