10 smart and creative ads and their (not so hidden) meaning

In the modern era, advertising is the most efficient way to sell products. Advertisements in the media refer to specific social groups that have common needs. 

Media use the trend of consumers towards the product, to make them buy even more. Not only do ads suit social groups, but social groups are also affected and reshaped by ads. This starts from the collapse and reshaping of certain social norms, giving way to marketing ideas that use humor and understand the needs of people more deeply.

Advertisements push us towards the products we might need. They also entertain using humor, warming people’s emotions, and encouraging them to buy. In our digitalized world, advertising and media have managed to undo or transform many cultural norms, delving deeper than the norms into people’s psychology. Each ad refers to a specific social group that consumes the product the most. 

Advertisements speak to the subconscious of buyers as together with the product they also sell a human value that a certain social group needs.

#1 Billboard ad for Silberman’s Fitness Center

In this advertisement, an overweight man appears and the billboard leans at his side, giving the idea of scales. This ad is aimed at males who want to keep their bodies in shape, especially to those who are overweight. 

Many people aged 35-50 don’t live an active life and eat unhealthily, so their body ends up being similar to the body that appears on the billboard and this ad makes them feel uncomfortable. This advertising supports physical activity and it does not contradict cultural culture. 

This ad is selling health.

#2 Anti – smoking digital ad

This ad shows the face of a beautiful girl who starts to lose her beauty after her teeth fall out with every cigarette she consumes. Here the psychology of fear is used, as it suggests that smoking harms appearance and health.

 The ad is aimed at young women who smoke, as well as to those who might start. This advertisement promotes a healthy lifestyle but contradicts cultural norms as smoking is more related to men, while the advertisement uses the image of a woman.

Also, this ad overturns the cultural norm that the image of the female is used to display beauty, as the beauty of the girl in the picture is distorted. 

This ad is selling beauty and fear

#3 Billboard ad for Calgary International Film Festival

The ad shows a poster where a man is crying, suggesting he is crying because his film was weak and was not accepted at the respective festival that has high standards. 

This ad is aimed at people who watch and like cinematography, but also to adults who want to get entertained with movies. This ad shows the image of a man crying and thus violating the traditional cultural norm that men are not so sentimental as to cry in front of others. 

This ad is selling confidence and quality.

#4 Billboard ad for Peta Animal Rights Organization

This ad shows an overweight woman on the beach, wearing a beach suit. Humor is used to say that we should not eat animals but protect them and at the same time promotes vegetarianism.

 It refers to the entire population which abuses animals by killing them to consume their meat, but mostly të woman about 30 – 45 years old who do not control their diet. This ad violates cultural norms as it has offensive content, linking the image of an overweight woman to whales, which means that overweight women like the woman in question resemble whales. 

ad is selling vegetarianism and elegance.

#5 Print ad for Horst Salons (Beauty salon)

The power of this ad lies in the headline that encourages women to fix their hair through the use of competition. This ad is aimed at women, mainly those around 25-40 years old who take care of their appearance.

 This advertisement violates the cultural norm related to ethical behavior in society, where for the sake of etiquette some truths are not told. The truth, in this case is that women have strong competition and animosity with each other.

 This ad is selling competition and self-confidence

#6 Bus stop ad for American broadcasting company

The power of this ad lies in the headline, which suggests that the TV is not harmful to humans as it is located in every hospital room. 

This ad is aimed at all social groups, especially those who have time to watch TV around the age of 40-65. The argument used to say that TV is not harmful is not valid, but neither does it contradict the context. This ad violates the cultural norm that television can be harmful to health. 

This ad is selling health and comfort.

#7 Print ad for Rolex watches

This ad with just two sentences encourages people to buy a product related to something we all need, time. Watches measure time, so instead of using the word watch, the word time is used, which in itself has more value. 

This ad refers to adults, especially to high-class men who are about 30-45 years. This advertisement contradicts the cultural norm that money can’t buy time. 

This ad is selling confidence and time.

#8 Print ad for “A diamond is forever” diamond company

The ad is aimed at married men around the age of 35-55, suggesting that women should be given diamond jewelry. The headline suggests that if a woman is not given a gift, then she will seek a divorce, but divorce costs more than the gift, which also costs.

 In terms of cultural norms, this ad has a masculine connotation as it implies that a woman needs to feel fulfilled by her husband, otherwise she will retaliate. 

This ad is selling happiness and love.

#9 Digital ad for Schneider beer

This ad shows a masculine hand trying to grab a sip of beer that resembles a sexual part of a woman's body. This ad is aimed at men aged 20-40, whose sexuality is stimulated through the intertwined image of beer resembling female breasts. 

This ad violates cultural norms as the image of beer introduces the image of a female sexual body part, making the female body appear as an object and dehumanized.

 This ad is selling sexuality.

#10 Print ad for Mount Sinai Hospital

In this ad, a small, happy girl appears on the beach, but the focus is on the headline, where through humor and ambiguity it is said that a deaf child can be healed. 

This advertisement is addressed to parents who have small children, giving them through humor the assurance that in the respective hospital the healing of hearing is sure. This advertisement violates cultural norms because a serious topic related to health is treated with humor, while according to the norms the advertisements of hospital services always have serious content. 

This ad is selling family and health.

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