5 Attention-Grabbing Magazine Ads – Week 5

Magazine ads. It seems that just about half the pages in magazines these days are an ad, and sometimes it can even be difficult to find much actual content at all in some publications. But frustrations aside, the magazine ad is in itself a form of content. Yes, it’s paid content, but the advertiser still has a message to send and for many companies the trusty magazine is a good way to send it. But the last thing you want to do if you end up running a magazine ad is to create and pay for a boring ad that no one will notice. And for that reason, I have compiled five of my favorite magazine ads with an emphasis on the ones that really grab your attention.

1. Blood Box – Australian Red Cross

ABOUT: Although this image is familiar to most people, the phrase is not. The picture shows a plastic donation box that you might find at a local business where people can contribute their change to a cause or charity. Yet instead of money inside the box we notice blood. It’s striking and a surprise until we learn who the advertisement is for.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this advertisement is to get more people to donate blood. Many people cannot contribute money to charity because they are so cash strapped, but everyone has this critical liquid in their body that is capable of saving lives. And when it comes down to it, blood is even more important than money in this case.

TARGET MARKET: Most young people don’t have a lot of money to give away, but they still want to give back and help others. By reminding these people that their gift doesn’t have to cost them a cent, the Australian Red Cross is opening up an opportunity for non-monetary charitable contribution.

CALL TO ACTION: The call to action comes in the form of a line that declares “Save up to three lives without spending a cent.” followed by a phone number and website. We typically align impact with dollars spend, but in this case, something that costs us nothing can save many lives.

VALUE PROPOSITION: Save a life. Actually, save as many as three lives. It’s difficult to find a more valuable thing than life, and the opportunity to save one is tremendous to anybody. Perhaps the person donating has even been influenced by a blood donor themselves, which would create even more meaning for their donation.


#2. Airmail – DHL

ABOUT: When two means of the same word collide, you might just end up with a DHL ad like this. A plane being serviced by an airport crew is nothing unexpected. A paper plane being serviced by an airport crew, however? That’s different. Now add in the fact that the advertisement is for air mail and you have a comical, catchy, depiction of one of the services that DHL offers.

OBJECTIVE: The objective for this ad is simple enough: create awareness with the public about DHL offering air mail services.

TARGET MARKET: The magazines that this ad ran in are unknown, so it is difficult to pinpoint the target market. However, we can speculate that business people would be a prime audience since airmail often involves businesses.

CALL TO ACTION: Surprisingly enough, there isn’t a call to action in this ad. Instead, simply making the reader aware that DHL offers air mail services is what is intended. The next time the reader wants to ship something via air mail, they might just check out the offerings of DHL.

VALUE PROPOSITION: There isn’t a specific value proposition mentioned in this ad, however, simply having another option from the normal competition  when mailing a package is valuable to the customer.


#3. Hospital – Lazer Bike Helmets

ABOUT: At first glance, this looks like a picture of a very unfortunate fellow in a hospital. Covered from his toes to his hea – wait. His head isn’t covered in bandages! That’s right. His head doesn’t need bandages because he was wearing a Lazer Bike Helmet during his accident. Smart thinking, unfortunate fellow.

OBJECTIVE: Is the objective of this ad to sell more bike helmets? Of course it is. But is the objective of this ad also to emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bike? Definitely. With multiple objectives, the ad communicates them all with no words aside form the Lazer Bike Helmets logo.

TARGET MARKET: The target market is anyone who rides a bicycle. If you ride a bike, you need to wear a helmet – period. It might seem unnecessary, but safety features typically do until they are needed. And by that time, it’s too late.

CALL TO ACTION: There is no specific call to action. Simple brand and need awareness are what this ad communicates.

VALUE PROPOSITION: If you get into an accident on your bike, you will get injured. But if you get into an accident on your bike while wearing a helmet (specifically, a Lazer helmet), then you won’t get injured quite as much. At least your head will be okay, and that is pretty important.







#4. Granny – Findus Fraich Frites

ABOUT: Just about everyone can relate to those times when their grandma would squeeze their cheeks as a child. I would guess that this event wasn’t exactly the biggest thing you looked forward to – to be honest, it could even be dreaded a bit. Yet the benefits of visiting grandma definitely outweighed the difficulties, especially when you include the sheer volume of food that was served on these occasions. This ad from the Findus food company visualizes this very struggle for a young girl, while providing a solution to the problem.

OBJECTIVE: Everyone knows that granny makes some amazing food. And if a company is going to market their food as being on the same level of goodness as granny’s, then it must be good. Brand awareness and equating their food with family-quality cooking is the objective of this ad.

TARGET MARKET: The target market of this ad is most likely parents of children of any age, since fries are generally beloved by a wide range of individuals.

CALL TO ACTION: Once again, we see an ad without a specific call to action. A simple image of what the product looks like when you go to the grocery store is all that is provided. But if we’re honest, that is all that is really needed.

VALUE PROPOSITION: The value proposition for Findues Fraich Frites is two fold. First, you won’t get your cheeks pinched. And second, you’ll get a great tasting quality food that you can make from the comfort of your own home. I’ll let you decide for yourself which of the two is most valuable.


#5. Elephants – Kaya King Peanuts

ABOUT: Two elephants doing the heimlich maneuver. It isn’t something you see every day, so it definitely makes you stop and try to figure out what is going on. After a second or two, we figure out the point of the ad: Kaya King peanuts are so good that you’ll want them no matter what you have to do to get them.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this ad is to make people see how delicious Kaya King peanuts are, which will motivate them to go out and buy some.

TARGET MARKET: Peanut enthusiasts. Or just anyone who wants some peanuts from time to time!

CALL TO ACTION: There isn’t a call to action – just an ad that will make you laugh and think “hmm, those peanuts seem to be especially tasty.”

VALUE PROPOSITION: The value proposition is to satisfy your snacking pleasure with a premium jumbo peanut. I have never personally seen this brand of peanut in a store, but now I’m curious if it is supreme compared to the competition. Leave a comment and let me know whether or not you have seen Kaya King peanuts in stores!





What did you think? Leave some feedback! :)

5 thoughts on “5 Attention-Grabbing Magazine Ads – Week 5

  1. Hello Austin,
    The Laser Bike Helmet was hilarious, the picture say it all. The helmet pretty much protected the biker but as for the rest of the body it was a wrap. I thought this was a ad for the ages, it made me laugh, give deep thought in to buying my reckless daughter one.

    Great Post!

  2. Austin,

    I like your writing style and your ad selection. I enjoyed the elephant ad for it’s oddity. The granny one made me laugh-out-loud. The blood-bank ad speaks to such a serious topic – blood is such and amazing thing isn’t it? The helmet add was cute in that it reminded me of the rounded characters that show up in children’s books and cartoons. I like that they sandwich softer traits with an otherwise depressing topic (awful bike wrecks). The DHL graphics were strong – they caught my eye for a minute.

    Thanks for the share,

  3. Great ads and analysis! I always enjoy reading your posts to your blog. How you write is great and it brings the reader, myself that is, into the story. I would like to thank you for that!! The ads you chose for this assignment are thought provoking to say the least. Your analyses of each were clear and could not agree more with you on them. The one the hit home for me was the Granny-Findus Fraich Frites. This ad brought back so many memories about my own grandmothers, and although it was tough at times, you did enjoy every bite of whatever they cooked. Great job!!

  4. The blood box ad is what drew my attention most. To have a box that is filled with what looks like blood is very striking and will certainly peak someones interest. The topic of having people donate blood is one that usually doesn’t gain enough attention, but it seems we are always in short supply. It is important that the Red Cross be innovative in recruiting people to donate blood. It is an attention grabber! Great analyses on these ads.

  5. The Red Cross ad stands out. They use a well known phrase and turn it on it’s head. The other ads are all funny. DHL’s paper plane being serviced by a crew. The man in the body cast whose head didn’t sustain injury because he had on Lazer’s bike helmet. The picture is worth a thousand words. Getting granny’s food without the cheek pinch. So cute and simple but effective.

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