Creative typography forms an integral part of any design, be it print or digital. And when it comes to creative advertising, proper use of typography can go a long way in conveying the ad’s message to the masses. After all, the goal of an advertisement is to convey a particular statement to the people, and there can be no better way to get your point across than by employing awesome typography in the advertisements’ design.
Table of Contents:
- 40 Creative Advertising Examples With Awesome Typography
- Rise and Fall of Online Advertising
- Youtube and the Impact of Viral Marketing
40 Creative Advertising Examples With Awesome Typography
Today, we shall take a look at inspiring and innovative usage of typography in advertising. And without wasting any more time, here is the list:
10. Regaine: Thinner
16. Orange: SMS
17. Nike Italy
23. Khadims’ Shoes
36. Australia Post
40. ABSA Bank
With that, we come to the end of this round-up. Which of the above typography examples did you like the most? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
In the next section we will be talking a bit more about online marketing. Ready? Alright!
Rise and Fall of Online Advertising
Online Advertising is the fastest growing advertising medium in history. Now we cannot imagine life without online advertising. Of its 17 years of existence, it has reached success by leaps and bounds. It is an interesting story filled with money and irritated users. Up to now there are still people who hate seeing advertisements on websites, as much as people a decade ago hated them. Indeed colorful, it helps spread words of services and products. Now for the earliest form of advertising, read on.
Spamming – Earliest Form of Online Advertising
The internet was intentionally created as a military and educational tool, and never intended for what it is now: a huge networking, communications and money-making machine.
Thus, the first ‘spam’ was not commercial in nature. The word ‘spam’ comes from a 1970s comedy of a British comedy ‘Monty Python’. In the sketch, a man and his wife are in a restaurant, but everything they ordered has spam on it. While trying to get an order without spam, Vikings from the background sing: ‘Spam, spam, spam. Lovely, spam. Wonderful spam!’
You can view the episode.
The phenomenon later influenced early internet users to flood forums with the word ‘spam’. Soon online marketers got the idea to overpost and flood Usenet groups and emails with junk mail, recounting the repeating the useless presence of spam in the Monty Python sketch.
The first spam email was ‘Arpanet’ on 1978, coming from Gary Thuerk of the Digital Equipment Corporation. The first commercial spam was by lawyers Laurence Canter & Martha Siegel, where they used bulk Usenet posting to promote their immigration law practices. Within a few years, marketers changed their medium of spamming from Usenet forums to e-mail, where it remains until this day. Over 90 million spam emails are sent everyday. 85% of our emails are actually spam. But it’s level of effectiveness in promoting or selling a product is very low—it now barely exists as a nuisance to all.
The Era of Banner Ads
The first online advertisement appeared on the web in 1994, prompting the beginning of the online advertising world. The first part was the period of experimentation by the advertisers and publishers, pioneering on ad formats and technology. In 1995, DoubleClick was launched, one of the first ad-serving technologies.
Photo by Ad Week
Photo above is one of the oldest online banner ads, dated October 25, 1994 (so sorry for the bad resolution). The advertiser is A&T, and the ad appeared on Hotwired. Hotwired also launched many online ad campaigns for Club Med, Volvo and MCI, and was eventually acquired by Lycos. Soon after Hewlett-Packard created one of the first interactive online ad, embedding a video arcade game ‘Pong’ into the ad.
From the start advertisers already know that online advertising is very different from traditional advertising. Early on they already did target market research and measurements. However, the media was largely misunderstood. It wasn’t until many years later that the effectiveness and the mechanics of the medium was understood.
There are many forms of old school online ads apart from banner ads. This includes pop-up ads (photo shown above), pop-under ads, hover ads, takeover ads
Online advertising was at its peak in the late 1990s. Investors were dropping billions of dollars into dot com start-ups at an alarmingly fast rate. The internet was the new playing field, and investors fell in love with the novelty factor of it. They have high hopes for their investments–and it made some people very rich–on paper, at least.
Back then, ads were in the banner format. Advertisers were required by the clients to provide the standard 468 x 60 px banner ad for their online advertising campaign, like the banner ads on the photo above. Soon, so thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and advertisers are pouring in–nobody wanted to get left behind this brand new money-making machine. In its hey day, it was a lucrative business: Yahoo! could charge up to US $30 to even US $100 to run these banner ads. At its height, internet spending has reached US $8.2 billion. The figure wouldn’t be reached again until 4 years after the dot com bubble burst.
However, banner ads are not effective; it is very expensive but the returns are low. Advertisers were set against the low effectiveness of ads, high prices, and the complex process of online ad auctions. The advertisers realized that the online banner ads pale in comparison to the effectivity of 30-second TV commercial or a full-page print ad.
Dot Com Bubble Burst
Mid-2000, the huge influx of money that created the online advertising bubble started to dry up. Companies now have no interest with online advertising and the online banner bubble burst happened. The stock market collapsed, resulting into a recession. The ‘bubble’ covered for five years from 1995 to 2000. From within that time frame the stock value rose steadily and rapidly at an astronomical rate. And then suddenly in just one day, the bubble burst–everything is gone in a flash.
NASDAQ peaked at 5,049 in March of 2000, and declined on October 2002 at 1,100. One one dot com company after another went bankrupt. Soon online advertising dollars had a dramatic fall of 32%, from US $8.2 billion to US $6.2 billion. As the market went sour, advertisers and agencies lost interest in using this unproven and unstable new medium.
Enter Google: The Era of Google Ads
After the bubble burst, advertising on the internet was in rapid decline except for search, because search engine technology has shown efficiency. Because of its ROI, Search engine market grew to US $2.3 billion in 2003. The search engine technology was highly efficient and dependable.
Google was, once upon a time, just a search engine. Google worked mainly on its functionality, perfecting the algorithm to produce the most appropriate results. Google drove plenty of traffic, but didn’t sell anything. But on the start of the millennium, 2000, Google AdWords was born. Google revolutionized online advertising–instead of using the banner ad format; which is the dominant advertising format of that time, they decided to sell through text ads. These ads are based on search engines, kept separate and on top or on the side of the main search results.
Why did Google’s text ads succeed and the banner ads did not? First of all, Google knew the weight of relevance. They introduced the click-through rate, creating a ranking algorithm to measure the advertisement’s relevance. Google only requires payment when the people click on them. Another stroke of genius from google is Page Rank.
Google did not create search engine or pay-per-click advertising–instead they focused on perfecting it. Google AdWords marked the New Growth Period of Online Advertising. Google has changed how we approach online advertising. Rather than mere selling or marketing, advertisers are now focusing in creating relevant content for consumers.
Ads make use of two different advertising model: the Pay-per-click and the Pay-per-impression. What’s the difference between the two? Pay-per-click requires advertisers to pay the host for every time the ad is clicked. Pay-per-impression is used to measure the cost and worth of the whole online marketing campaign. Both models are used to online ads such as text links, SEO marketing, web banners and e-mail advertising.
In search engines, advertisers bid on keyword terms and phrases relevant to their market. But with content sites, they use a fixed price for every click or impression. Pay-per-click model is perfect for bringing the targeted market into the website efficiently, while the Pay-per-impression is best for building brand recognition. Although these models are open to abuse through click fraud, Google and others have devised automated systems against corrupt advertisers or competitors.
Advertising through Social Media
If you haven’t heard of social media, then you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past five years. Social media, in its simplest terms, is a social tool for communications and networking. Rather than a web site merely providing you with information, social media sites are interactive; giving you the freedom to comment, rate and share information. There are four types of Social Media:
1. Social Networking Tools – Facebook, Twitter, Hi-5
2. Social News – Reddit, Digg Propeller
3. Social Photo & Video Sharing – Photobucket, Flickr, YouTube
4. Social Bookmarking – Del.icio.us, Simpy
One of the biggest advantages of social media advertising is proper targeting of market through the use of the users’ demographic information provided.
Social media advertising is now apparently more effective than traditional advertising! Some even go through lengths as to have a billboard with their own Twitter ID—such as Naked Pizza of New Orleans. Naked Pizza, reputedly the healthiest pizza in the world, erected a billboard prompting viewers to add them on Twitter. It’s not the first time Twitter is featured on a billboard, and surely not the last. It’s a smart marketing move, they will gain more followers and thus increase their marketing and advertising scope and awareness.
Nowadays, it is now necessary for businesses to have a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn page. Social media is the best thing online advertising could get: it’s free, it’s far and wide-reaching (500 million users) and it’s viral. The disadvantage is probably measuring effectivity of social media advertising, whether or not the number of ‘likes’, ‘friends’ or ‘follows’ could convert to actual sales.
Online Advertising as of Today
Viral marketing is now more popular, making use of video ads to market a product or brand. Old Spice (video still shown above) is one of the many companies that have gone into viral marketing. They posted numerous videos on YouTube starring Old Spice guy. It was a huge hit, having 30 million views to date and considered to be one of the most successful advertising campaigns in 2010. Isaiah Mustafah is now a household name. Other successful viral campaigns include Levi’s, Guitar Hero and Super Bowl. We see a regrowth in advertising on the web, which is now equals to the total internet spending.
This does not mean that Online Advertising has now been perfected. Annoying pop up and pop under ads still persist. One of the most annoying and interruptive of ad formats, the pre-roll ads are now used in YouTube. YouTube used to be a free site for uploading and viewing videos. But YouTube has problems generating income–so they added pre-roll ads, or commercials that run before a video that cannot be bypassed. So if you need to watch a 1 minute video you have to sit through a 30-second ad first. Most music videos uploaded on YouTube are now from VEVO, and not from actual users. Which means that there are ads on top, on the bottom and on the background of the page.
So will the internet’s bubble burst again? We are hopeful it won’t. Millions of people are now relying on the internet for advertising, promotions, business and employment. However, one thing is clear; we have learned a lot from the first bubble burst. Only time will tell.
In the next section we will look at Youtube and marketing potential that it has.
Youtube and the Impact of Viral Marketing
Back in the day, advertisements were only seen in newspapers or on TV. Now it seems that advertising has a new playground, the World Wide Web. Ads have appeared as banners, pop-up ads, social media, and lately, in the form of YouTube videos. Ads in the form of YouTube videos are often called ‘viral ads,’ especially when they gather millions of views, and are part of a viral marketing campaign.
What is viral marketing, and how effective is it? Its main objective is to increase brand awareness through replicating a viral like process, like the spread of virus in computers. Often, viral videos are spread through sharing by viewers, kinda like word of mouth. Viral marketing often comes in the form of videos, but they also come in games, software, images or messages.
The main goal is to create infectious, viral messages that appeal to their target market with high SNP (social networking potential) that can easily spread through individuals. But why are they so effective? It is because the internet has enabled companies to reach out to the consumers at a more personal and interactive level. 75% of the internet’s total population go to a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, where time spent in social media is a LOT more than time spent on email. The sharing effect is fast and rapid, kinda like a Pyramid scheme back in the day.
Here are a few of viral videos that were so successful they’ve made internet history. Enjoy.
The Numa Numa video is the first viral video phenomenon that hit the internet. The video stars Gary Brolsma lip syncing to the O-Zone song ‘Dragonstea din Tea’ making funny facial expressions and flailing his arms in a wild and animated manner. It was uploaded on Newsground.com in 2004, and in just 3 months acquired 2 million views on the website alone. Now it has 40 million views with the video, and 700 million views from different Numa Numa copycat videos.
Gary Brolsma was voted the number 1 Internet icon and has set a record in the Guiness Book of World Records. However, the video was unlike most modern viral videos because it was not created to market or promote a product. It was created by a real person who had plenty of time to spare, made an insanely hot video and became a worldwide celebrity almost overnight.
Old Spice Guy
The Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ was launched February 2010 featuring Isaiah Mustafah half-naked and talking directly to the viewer. It was able to generate six million views within 24 hours of being uploaded.
The video was an international sensation and people fell in love with Isaiah Mustafah. It was followed up by video responses on Twitter and Facebook from the Old Spice Guy himself.
It was a very well run and effective ad campaign by Wieden and Kennedy, and was so popular it gained a cult following. Old Spice successfully rebranded the image of their old and tired brand and created customer interaction. There is renewed interest in the Old Spice products and their sales jumped 106% from last year. Traffic to the Old Spice web site jumped 300%. OldSpiceGuy’s Twitter account has 80,000 followers, a whole lot more than Mustafa’s real Twitter account with only 30,000. You’ve got to agree with Reddit, who labeled the ad as one of the greatest advertising campaigns in internet history.
Evian Roller Babies
Everyone loves babies. Babies are inherently adorable. And people love seeing babies doing things that they’re not supposed to be able to do.
This is why the Evian ad is plain genius. The ad combined babies, humor and offbeat music, producing a viral ad that’s sure to be a hit. It got the consumer’s interest and the message out effectively. It didn’t hurt that the video garnered more than a 100 million views, as well.
Coca-Cola’s Happiness Truck
Coca-Cola’s new ad campaign is guerilla advertisement and a viral video all at the same time. The message is beautiful and simple: have a Coke and a smile. Coca-Cola decided to own an emotion, Happiness.
The video brought so much happiness to the people as well as the people watching the video. I was smiling from ear to ear throughout the video. For other Coca-Cola Happiness videos, you can check the Happiness Truck in Rio de Janeiro and the Happiness Machine in a London university.
Viral Marketing Campaigns that Failed
However, they say that there are only two kinds of viral marketing campaigns: those that are successful, and those that are not. It’s true, there may be big companies and well known advertising companies that have failed viral ads, while some new and inexperienced marketers who created one viral video, got lucky and hit the jackpot. Here are some ‘viral videos’ that didn’t quite make it:
Cisco’s Ted from Accounting
I can think of several reasons why this campaign failed. It was trying too hard.
The Cisco Campaign wanted to create a parody of Old Spice Guy, but well, the video just wasn’t funny, nor did it provide the eye candy unlike the Old Spice campaign which had both. In fact, With 18 videos it only had 2,750 views within 24 hours, compared to Old Spice’s 40 million views, something clearly went really, really wrong.
Thankfully, the failed video didn’t do much–literally. Honestly, the videos were ignored by the people. It was an embarrassing defeat for Cisco, but it only hurt their internet and social media credibility. Still there is good enough reason why Cisco shouldn’t be doing any more social media and viral marketings antics any time soon.
Kevin Durant’s Stalker
This is either the creepiest viral ad we’ve seen, or a real case of stalking. A certain 16 year old Mathias Murphy posted videos of Kevin Durant’s daily activities, apparently without his knowledge. Murphy has created a YouTube account and even a Twitter account @KD35sNeighbor to document Kevin Durant’s every move off-court. If you see the more current videos, Kevin Durant has befriended the young neighbor and even invited him over for a little basketball game.
I got to admit, Nike made a bad choice with this viral ad. The whole point of the campaign? Stalking celebrities. Was it successful? 8 videos got a total of 40,000 views, which is nothing in the online world. Let us commend Nike, though, for trying its best to show Kevin Durant as a good guy–since two of its other endorsers, Tiger Woods and Lebron James, are currently under much scrutiny and controversy.
Secrets of Viral Marketing
1. Creating Viral videos isn’t easy
Most viral videos look like they are created in less than a day. They look so easy to create–all you need is a home video camera. No props, no lights, and no director. So false. In fact, marketers pour so much time and money into research to create a viral video that looks homemade, perhaps more time than creating a real professional TV ad.
2. Less is more.
Try your best not to bombard the viral video with your product too much. Consumers will see that you are ‘trying too hard’, and the more they feel like they are being sold something, the less likely they are going to help your campaign go viral. Make it less of a commercial, more of a story.
Another point: never force a concept because it fits the product; rather, the product should fit into the great concept. If you think of it, what is the relation between Evian mineral water and roller blading babies?
3. There’s a secret behind the numbers.
There are tens of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube everyday. How do you make a video go viral and have at least a 100,000 daily views amidst this fierce competition?
The truth is, it is not sufficient to upload the video and wait for the number of uploads to grow. You need to hire a company that specializes in getting your video into YouTube’s ‘ Daily Most Viewed’. To do this, you have to have to garner 50,000 views: you will need to reach out via blogs, forums, social networking sites, email lists, and your friends; anything to create a buzz. A successful viral video campaign is hard work.
4. Release videos simultaneously.
Clients often say: ‘Let’s create a series of videos and release one every week so that viewers can look forward to going back to our website!’
It’s time to stop treating the internet as television. With viral marketing, all videos must be posted simultaneously. If the viewer sees one video and is so amused that they want to view more videos, why make them wait for the next one? If you wait a week before posting a second video, viewers might have lost interest and went on to the next internet sensation.
5. Think of Shocking Headlines.
A few weeks ago Jennifer Aniston attempted a viral ad of her own. It was a viral ad about how to make a viral ad. It was fairly successful, but the part that really caught my attention was when the marketers decide to name it ‘Jennifer Aniston sex tape’.
It is true that viral videos often have unrelated and intriguing titles so that viewers click the ‘Play’ button. Create headlines that intrigue viewers, making them think ‘Did it really happen?’ So a headline from Blendtec ‘Will an iPhone blend?’ is much more interesting than Smirnoff’s ‘Tea Party’.