A picture is worth a thousand words.
I’m in marketing, and I can’t believe I just typed those ridiculously cliché words. But it’s a golden rule, especially when it comes to advertising campaigns.
Here’s another one: Less is more.
Minimalist advertising—told through simple but brilliant imagery—more effectively tells a story than any crummy cliché, catchy tag line or crazy logo ever could.
Here are some particularly smart minimalist advertising campaigns that have caught my attention lately:
McDonalds touts its newest offering—free WiFi—by shaping its famous skinny fries in a very familiar design.
SanDisk plays on shapes, too, by turning its USB drive on its side, and mimicking its shape in a bottle—a bottle that can clearly hold a lot of data.
Coca-Cola always has powerful ad campaigns, but this one is so beautiful it doesn’t even need words—and you have to look twice to see its logo. Is this about international unity? Soda? Who cares? It leaves a good feeling.
FedEx brands the world’s most well recognized statues in its signature colors. This says FedEx has got you covered from New York to Rio—without actually saying anything at all.
Play-Doh goes for scare tactics to tell moms that it’s a safe toy.
Durex makes a simple point.
The “Imagine” campaign for Lego is one of my favorites. It invites you to stare for a minute, and then use your imagination—which is the whole point, right? What do you see when you look at those colorful blocks? What would you see if you were 10 years old? What about an airplane or a tank? How about The Simpsons, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?