2017 Round-Up – 5 Great Ads Showing the Power of Print

Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 21/12/2017

In these days of digital media, many marketers overlook the power of print ads. But the medium is still as relevant and powerful as it ever was – while new technology and creative executions are bringing them to life as never before. Here, we round up 5 of the best from 2017.


ASICS ‘Foot Type Test’

Asics Foot Type Test

Sportswear brand ASICS ran a print ad in Brazil with a practical purpose – to help runners work out what kind of shoe they need. Previously, runners would have to visit a specialist running store but this ad, by Neogama/BBH, used a thermochromic ink that reacts to body heat. By standing on the ad runners could see what type of foot they had and therefore which shoes were best suited to them. View the case study here.

L.L. Bean ‘Be an Outsider’

This clever newspaper ad could only be read outdoors. The print execution, by the VIA Agency, appeared almost blank if you were reading it indoors, save for text scattered across the page reading “Just bring this outside.” Readers who did were rewarded with a page-long ‘manifesto’ for the brand. It was created using photochromic ink, which is colourless indoors but turns different colours when exposed to ultraviolet light. 

Gillette ‘The Dad Test’

A newborn baby's only communication during their first year of life is through touch. Academic research from Harvard shows that skin-to-skin communication releases "Love Hormones" right after birth and helps a baby build trust in its environment as well as trust in their parents. This double spread magazine ad for Gillette in Israel targets milleninials who are about to become first-time fathers. 'The Dad Test' demonstrates how beard feels against a soft newborn's skin, with different roughness levels used. The adjacent page shows real scratch marks to demonstrate the level of roughness from facial hair. 

Toyota/The Fader Magazine



Toyota teamed with style magazine The Fader's Fall edition for a stunt created by Saatchi & Saatchi that saw it place a flip book-like animation running across 30 consecutive editorial pages. It showed the car marque’s C-HR vehicle spinning around the page numbers and driving off the page, leading to a full-page print ad for the motor. “We still have our print product, so why not continue to try to do fun things with it?” said Fader president and publisher Andy Cohn.

Eir ‘No More Black Spots’

Another one-off execution that moved the advertising in to the heart of a newspaper – without compromising editorial integrity. The Irish telecom provider and its agency Rothco teamed with the Irish Daily Mail to replace every black dot in one issue of its It’s Friday magazine with coloured ones. “At eir, we don’t like black spots. Which is why we’ve gotten rid of them in this magazine. And we can get rid of them in your home and office too,” the brand said in a full-page ad in the same magazine.