The best of Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising

After yesterday’s “taster” hopefully you’ll have been eagerly anticipating this post looking at my favourite ambient advertisements. There seems to be some discussion as to the difference between guerilla and ambient advertising so I’m sorry if I’m using the wrong terminology but basically I’ll be looking at adverts that make use of their environment. This is probably my favourite subsection of advertising and graphic design and hopefully the examples I’ve chosen will show why.

Guerilla advertising started as a very low cost way of selling products making use of stickers and their surroundings to convey a message. Because these ads have to be “in situ” it generally meant they had to be repeated quite a few times in order for enough people to see them to make it worth doing. With a rise in social media and viral marketing I think generally companies are spending more on just one guerilla advert and letting the power of the internet spread the word, as opposed to doing a lot of low cost adverts in different places. This is just my own personal theory so I could well be wrong.

I generally think that these adverts are much more effective when experienced in person and I think the skill involved in them should be to find a way of catching people’s attention as they go about their day to day business. I tried to avoid ones that seemed to be one off high cost affairs or simply ones that I doubted people would notice as they went about their business – although a lot of them were very clever and hard to resist, I kind of think they miss the point.

Ogilvy & Mather, Malaysia for Duracell. There are some great uses of escalators in ambient adverts but I think the simplicity of this one makes it stand out for me. They just have to hope the escalator doesn’t stop!

Ogilvy, South Africa for Golf GTI. What is your car thinking?

Agence V, Paris again for Golf GTI to be used during the Paris Motor Show. A nice use of event and placement to advertise. Continue reading


Ambient Adverts (Taster)

This is a bit of a taster for a blog I’m compiling at the minute looking at my favourite uses of guerilla advertising. I did intend to post them all today but I’m gradually running out of time so thought it would be better not to rush and to wait until tomorrow.

This is a lovely use of environment for Nike Basketball found via jaymug. Sadly I can’t find credit for it anywhere but I love how simply they turn a dull everyday action (throwing something away) into a game.

I realise this will have left a lot of you on the edge of your seats for tomorrow’s post but hopefully you can contain your excitement until then!

A Collection of Clever Logos

Logo design is a difficult thing to get right. Many logos bear very little resemblance to the product they are selling or, even more confusingly, the brand name.

Take Nike for example, the swoosh has to be one of the most recognisable, and therefore effective, logos of all time (so recognisable that I’m not even showing an image of it.) Yes, it symbolises speed which represents the brand as a whole but if you were just shown a picture of the logo as a floating signifier (with none of the connotations it has gained) I think you’d be hard pushed to guess what it was for.

So this post isn’t really about the effectiveness of logos, it’s just a collection of logos that I like and think are clever. In an ideal graphic design world these would be the ones that also stick in your mind but sadly the two things don’t always come together.

Some of these are quite well circulated so I’m sorry if they’re getting old now, but hopefully there are a few in here you might not have seen before.

Guild of Food Writers – 300 Million

This is quite a nice use of negative space to start us off. The two things work so seamlessly together that it takes a second to realise there are two elements at play.

Fedex – Lindon Leader while at Landor

One of the most global logos around. But how many people have spotted the arrow  in between the E and x? A lovely touch that once seen, you can’t help but notice.

Mother & Child magazine- Herb Lubalin & Tom Carness

Lubalin has been responsible for some great logos but this one has to be my favourite. Despite the magazine never actually being published this logo is widely appreciated as up there with the best. Continue reading

Truth in Advertising from a Depressed Copywriter

I like funny people. I also like humour in design and advertising. So I really like it when funny people add humour to advertising.

A group of people (Chris SheldonMariana OliveiraWhitney Ruef, and Tedd Wood.) recently started a “project” called Depressed Copywriter where they edit copy on adverts to show “the reality of life.” Whether you agree with them all or not I think everyone can appreciate the humour and completely unashamed bitterness in their work.

Continue reading

FF Chartwell: A Chart-Topping Typeface.

This is possibly the cleverest thing I’ve seen in a long time. With our main project complete I’ve had a bit more time to catch up with what’s been going on in the design world. Whilst looking through the Creative Review Blog I came across the typeface below.

Now it might not seem all that exciting at first, but wait until you see what it can do.

Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a way of creating graphs using OpenType to visualise data. By using a typeface in this way it allows the graph to be easily amended or edited without remaking the entire graph. There are 7 different typefaces which each create unique graphs, as shown below – All for just 119 Euros. (How I wish I could afford these things!)

In its simplest form all you have to do is type in the data, separated by + signs, and let OpenType do the rest!  In more detail: Continue reading

Will we ever live in a “post-literate” world?

This was something I was reading about recently in a book called “Shapes for Sounds” by Timothy Donaldson. I fully understand the irony in this but actually the topic is one that’s been playing on my mind for a while.

Is is possible for our world to evolve to a point where reading and writing is no longer required? Will the shift we’re currently experiencing into a more imaged based world go so far as to render the alphabet superfluous?  I’m inclined to think not – as Donaldson cites, 95% of the internet is text based. But will we lose the beauty of long copy in advertising? This is something that is far more likely.

One of my favourite adverts ever done (by DDB for Avis) is almost all copy. And yet, if released now I can’t imagine it would even begin to have the impact it had when released in 1963.

Are we really too busy to read? Or just too lazy?  Continue reading

VW car parts and Youtube copies. What’s the link?

Sometimes you come across something and at first it seems like a nice idea and then you think about it more and actually see how great it is. How would you ever begin to think of linking badly made youtube copies and VW car parts? And yet when you see it in action the parallels seem so obvious:

When the banner is clicked you are automatically redirected to the original video. Great bit of thinking from BBDO to show the value of getting original car parts and not poor quality reproductions. Designers will also appreciate the use of comic sans at the end.

(found via Creative Review blog)