5 Creative (and effective) Newsprint Ads – Week 4

Perhaps it seems a little dusty, bygone, and dated. Some people may rarely ever use them anymore. Yet the truth still stands that newspapers do have an audience – and it can be an effective (and cost-effective, too) way for some businesses to reach their customers with a message. But along with this truth comes another: most newspaper ads are boring. And when something is boring, the reader is less likely to take note of it’s presence. In light of this, I have selected 5 ads that add a good dose of creativity to their DNA so that we might have a bit of inspiration if and when the time comes to run newsprint ads of our own.

1. Alzheimer’s Awareness

ABOUT: This newspaper ad about Alzheimer’s disease shows a visual depiction of what someone suffering with the condition experiences. Words washed and faded away from the paper display only the point of the article in the lower right corner.

OBJECTIVE: Until someone in your life is impacted by this terrible disease, it can often be difficult to imagine what memory failure is like. The objective of this ad is to promote awareness of the condition by relaying it into terms that all of us can understand: what if you couldn’t remember anything that you read today? Your memory is your world and reality, and without it, even the simplest tasks become impossible.

TARGET MARKET: It’s difficult to know the exact target market for this ad since we cannot tell what kind of newspaper the ad spot is in. However, it is safe to assume that there is a rather broad market here since anyone, from any demographic or socioeconomic status can be impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

CALL TO ACTION: Contact information about the organization is displayed on the lower right corner, along with the tag line “Today, 85,000 Belgians won’t remember what they read in their newspaper. Let’s support them.” When people view such a powerful depiction of Alzheimer’s in an ad like this, there will surely be some who are moved to support taking care of those affected by it.

VALUE PROPOSITION: The value proposition is two fold: help others because it is compassionate, and help others because someone you love may one day have the disease. By bringing the condition to the forefront of our minds, there is no better opportunity or time to help change a life than now.


2. Southwest Airlines

ABOUT: In this creative newsprint ad from Southwest Airlines, two airfares are displayed side by side – each of them for the same price. One is from Southwest Airlines, and the other from a competitor of theirs. But the ad has a twist: do as the instructions tell you by holding the ad up to the light, and you will see that the two prices are no longer the same after extra charges come into play when choosing their competitor.

OBJECTIVE: We’ve all been there: you’re so excited because you think you got a great deal, but you didn’t notice the microscopic fine-print at the bottom. In the end, you walk away paying way more than you originally planned – and you feel as though you were played as a fool by the company. This ad clearly displays that with Southwest Airlines, there is no fine print and there are no fees. It’s all included under a single great advertised price.

TARGET MARKET: The target market for this ad is the money-conscious consumer who needs to travel. This isn’t typically the person who prefers business class travel, but finds frustration when they are charged fees for every part of their journey.

CALL TO ACTION: “Low fares. No hidden fees.” Although it isn’t a direct call to action, this tag line at the bottom of the ad does clearly state the position of the airline among its competitors while allowing the consumer to make a choice: do you want to pay more or less for the same flight?

VALUE PROPOSITION: The value proposition is simple: you’re going to get an honest rate when you fly with Southwest Airlines. And in an industry known for charging fees on anything and everything, that can be a breath of fresh air.


3. STIHL Chainsaws

ABOUT: This ad about STIHL chainsaws uses clever imagery to get your attention. Three columns of text are displayed, but the third column has been cut down as if it were a tree. The advertiser doesn’t expect the reader to read every word in the ad (because it is very text-heavy), but instead to simply skip down to the bottom of the ad for more information and tag lines.

OBJECTIVE: In a world of boring text ads, how do you visually demonstrate your product without a full-color image? With a little creativity, of course. The objective of this ad is to make you see how the STIHL chainsaw is a great machine without the use of a full page image.

TARGET MARKET: The target market for STIHL products ranges from the ordinary homeowner to the professional landscaper. With varying prices on several different models, the ad even mentions who their products are intended for (see call to action below).

CALL TO ACTION: The tagline at the bottom of the ad reads “Made for professional loggers, landscapers, homeowners, construction workers, farmers, firefighters…and long-winded writers.” With a list like this, it’s not difficult to identify as a person within one of these groups. The call to action that is implied is the following: this isn’t just a chainsaw – it’s a chainsaw made for you.

VALUE PROPOSITION: The value proposition for a STIHL chainsaw goes something like this: it is the choice brand of people from every profession that involves a chainsaw. So you can trust that the product will be effective and high quality. In a nutshell, it will do exactly what a chainsaw should do: cut down trees (or columns of text, if you desire).












4. Valencia College


ABOUT: It’s small, short, simple, and eye catching. A black and white ad with red emphasis is textbook graphic designer gold. A large heading that states “You can get a better job.” makes a confident guarantee to the reader, which is then backed up by a statistic that states how Valencia College graduates end up with good jobs.

OBJECTIVE: This ad appears to be in the “help wanted” section of a newspaper where people post job openings, which is perfect placement. Since many of the jobs posted here will not be too great, it can be discouraging for the reader to choose from one mediocre job to another. As a result, an ad that states you can get a better job (than all of the ones on this page) can be very effective in getting people to reach out to the college for more information.

TARGET MARKET: The target market for this ad is readers looking for employment. Additionally, I would take this a step further and say that it targets readers who are disappointed with their current opportunities in the job market.

CALL TO ACTION: The call to action located at the bottom of the ad says “We say you can.” It’s short and encouraging, but it can be just what the discouraged job hunter needs to hear.

VALUE PROPOSITION: Once again, finding a better job than the ones listed on this page in the newspaper would be an incredible value. And this is exactly what the ad offers to the reader.


5. McDonalds Fries


ABOUT: Some of the best ads require no introduction. The text of each collumn has been changed to the color yellow to represent fries: simple marketing brilliance.

OBJECTIVE: The words you are reading have suddenly become fries. But you can’t eat words on a page no matter how appetizing they look, so go to a McDonalds instead and order some real ones.

TARGET MARKET: Anyone but the healthy eater. Well, maybe they’ll give in, too, once in a while.

CALL TO ACTION: The only thing calling you to action in this ad is your own taste buds. Don’t let the call go unanswered.

VALUE PROPOSITION: Inexpensive hunger satisfaction. It’s simple.











Images gathered from Pinterest

What did you think? Leave some feedback! :)

11 thoughts on “5 Creative (and effective) Newsprint Ads – Week 4

  1. Hello Austin,

    1. Alzheimer’s Awareness: They say white space sells and if you take a quick look at that page the white space makes you stop and review it. I thought your analysis is a good one. It douse truly come down to Alzheimer’s Awareness. Keeping the problem in front of the public will raise funds to find a cure.

    2. Southwest Airlines: Wow, I have never seen a secret message used in print add before. Oh yes, hold money up to the light and see faces etc… but not print ad. I like it and it hits the point when we see all the additional charges. I would respond favorably to an ad like this myself.

    3. STIHL Chainsaws: I have seen more than one of their adds and they like white space to catch the eye also. I like there ads and I think that if I was in a box store looking for a chain saw this ad would pop up in my mind as I was making the buying decision. That is what an ad should do.

    4. Valencia College: Black, Red & White, Simple and eye catching and get a powerful message across. I rate this as a winning ad! Good choice.

    5. McDonald’s Fries: Name Recondition in the biggest way here. Just the top of the golden arches on the red fries box and you know what it is, says, represents, and does with no words. Do not like it myself because it is so unhealthy but I do have to say the ad is an eye catcher with all its simplicity.


  2. Austin, the Southwest airlines newsprint advertisement literally… blew… my… mind! I must say I have NEVER seen a “message within a message secret, interactive” approach to marketing/advertisement (at least not to my knowledge or memory). SO COOL! SO COOL! The thing is Southwest is just an awesome company – they treat the customers and their employees as best as possible and have changed the field of aviation and commercial travel in ways that other companies have not even caught up with. This advertisement is a sort of example of that creativity and innovation in a symbolic way! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Austin,

    I like that all of your ads have a very visual and creative perspective. Of course, visuals are even more important when creating newsprint ads. We, as target audiences, are all far too spoiled when it comes to moving visuals. Usually we get an amazing video or movie to drive home a message. Newsprint has the extra challenge of visually interrupting a readers view. Those who read newspapers or other written messages tend to need a visual break, but don’t necessarily require them. It is important to understand when and how to interrupt the readers view. These ads above do a great job of doing just that. I really like how the Alzheimer’s ad and the McDonald’s ads are laid out. I enjoyed reading your analysis and your layout was easy to read.


  4. Austin,
    My favorite ad is the Alzheimer’s one. It caught my attention and does reach a wide audience. I thought the McDonald’s ad was unique because there are no words but gets its message across. The others were visually creative also. All of these adds do alot with the visual and little with words and still got their point across. Sometimes there is just toom much overdose in ads which is a turn off. Great job.

  5. Austin,
    All of these ads were visually creative using little words but still got their point across. Many ads overdose on too much information which is a turn off for me. My favorite was the Alzheimer’s ad. Either it’s in your family or you know someone with it. This ad got it’s message across loud and clear. I also liked the McDonald’s ad. Great selection of ads and point on analysis.

  6. How refreshing. Thanks for finding them. Honestly I can’t imagine every seeing an innovative newspaper ad. Its no wonder that the medium is currently getting the same ad revenue it did back in 1950. Despite the optimism you gave me I say kill the medium. We have 10 newspapers that they leave for free rotting by our front door. We found that if we threw them away they kept coming. When the last newspaper ad finally shows up, I say good riddens. Imagine how much better those ads will be in a more contemporary medium

  7. Hi Austin,
    When I first looked at your ads, I thought there was something wrong with the first one until I started reading. I thought it was a brilliant ad. Having done work with Alzheimer’s patients I thought it was perfect. It hit me right away once I realized what it was for. I thought the Southwest was very clever. I had no idea about secret messages, subliminal messages yes. Southwest is the most transparent airlines out there and they try not to be everything to every traveler. I hope they never change. Interesting how both the chainsaw and the McDonald’s ads use newspaper columns to frame their ads. I thought the chainsaw ad was funny. I did not even need the McDonalds ad the other day when I broke down and bought some fries. They are consistently the same salty fry from McDonald to McDonald.

  8. Hi Austin,
    In the Alzheimer’s, Stihl, and McDonald’s ad they used the whole page to their full advantage – it may cost a little more for a whole page but it is easier to get your point across if you can have a full effect on all the word columns. When creating an ad you have to think about the color scheme, what it will say, and where you want it placed. I think the Valencia College ad was strategically thought out and could be that push that someone needed to help them take the steps to going back or to start back to college. Going back to school or just starting can be hard but so can trying to find a decent job.


  9. Hello Austin,
    Yet again another great selection of ads. I really took to the McDonald’s ad, it was clever the way the producer of the ad turned the words yellow to look like fries.
    You hit it right when you said the ad targeted peoples taste buds.

    Great Post!

  10. Hi Austin,
    I enjoyed your ads- they are very visual – unique – I really enjoyed the newsprint ad about Alzheimer’s Awareness. The ad visual expressed the experience of this illness. I totally agree with your Target market – this information can affect anyone at any time. I like the fact that, anyone can educate themselves about this awareness. I also appreciate your objective response – it is so true. No one understands this disease unless they are experiencing it or observe someone battling this illness, This ad really made me emotionally because watching a love ones memory fade away as pictured on the ad- is a sad, difficult thing to watch.
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. The Alzheimers Awareness and Southwest Hidden Fees ads were fantastic! The alzheimers awareness ad very creatively shows you what alzheimers is like. Seeing this ad would make me want to contact a professional if I thought I may be at risk for having Alzheimers disease. The Southwest flyer was great! Showing flights that are the same until all the (literally) hidden fees were “brought to light” on the paper. This is a super effective way to get the point across for Southwest. Great finds!

Leave a Reply

Loading Facebook Comments ...