In the digital era, it is easy to dismiss print marketing as old-fashioned.
But, research suggests that print ads are more powerful than we think.  They create positive feelings towards a brand, an essential component in marketing your business to customers. Another study found that brand recall in customers was 70% higher when they read a printed ad, compared to information given in a digital format.
We are told that print marketing is in decline yet many brands are still investing heavily in print.
Which brands have done print marketing well?


We love this cute and clever print ad from Volkswagen that they used to introduce the park assist feature in some of its vehicles. Clever and quirky, it tells you everything you need to know in one image. Would it have the same effect in digital format?
Volkswagen advert

Everyone in a relationship knows that for it to be successful there needs to compromise. But just in case you forgot, this print ad from proves that small companies or charities can have success in print.




28 Too Many

This arresting print ad throws a light on the topic of female genital mutilation. The need to raise awareness of this barbaric and mutilating act is tough but this image, unpleasant and uncomfortable as it may be, really hits home.

Union Jack



A print ad that makes the viewer take a second look, the message is simple. You may think the beard is a hipster must-have but for your partner, it may not be so pleasant. Hence ‘free your skin’ with one of their razors.





This print ad flies in the face of the rules by asking the customer to make an effort and read what is on their poster.
Graphic design ‘rules’ suggest that the customer will only give more than a cursory glance at a poster. But this ad needs a few minutes of concentration.
We love it, as we think it encapsulates everything about the game!




As a fast food chain, McDonalds often comes in for heavy criticism about where and how it makes its fast food.
From bits in their chicken nuggets, to their chips not being made from real potatoes, this print ad perfectly answers its critics.




We’ve included two print ad campaigns from Nivea as we think they show that sometimes, simplicity is key. They don’t bombard the customer with how to use it etc. relying instead on their brand being recognised.
The second ad refers to why men should use moisturiser, hinting at life inevitably causing a few forehead wrinkles.





You may need to enlarge the image to really appreciate the impact of this print ad. We’ll say no more but we think that once you see ‘it’ you will understand the true impact that print marketing can truly have on your audience.





This brewer has long had a reputation for fantastic content marketing, concentrating its efforts on encouraging customers to enjoy its product.
And being stuck to your mobile whilst drinking Guinness is not the done thing.

guiness advert



Reflex Spray

This is such a subtle advert it is possible to miss what the manufacturer of spray pain relief is actually saying.

A brave move, but those that have run the London marathon and other marathons will understand the ad perfectly. A case of a brand knowing its customer.

reflex spray advert



Harley Davidson

This print ad won big at Cannes. This ad made from component parts of its bikes promotes their custom-made bikes. Taking hours and day to create, for those with a love of the motorcycle, the results and the message are equally as stunning.

harley davidson advert



Dabur Gastrina

You may not be familiar with this Indian brand of digestive remedy but its message is perfectly clear, no matter what language you speak.

Dabur Gastrina




The next advert from Corona combines humour with a striking visual, a class in print ads to attract attention, interest, debate and discussion.
It has a valuable message, can you see it… ?

corona advert




Our final print ad in our top 14 is a visually engaging ad from a Brazilian company to promote and encourage safe driving.
The ad dramatizes the violent and traumatic nature of car collisions, and the damage that drink driving does. It creates a hard-to-ignore impression in its audience.