Writer Rebecca Fulleylove finds that some of the best press advertising examples approach Press Ads from a human-centric point of view. Here, she demonstrates this with her top picks of press and magazine advertising inspiration from the D&AD Awards.
When Press Advertising Gets Personal
Products and ideas are thrust upon us on a daily basis by advertisers and while it’s something we’ve come to accept over the decades, it’s incredibly refreshing when campaigns focus on us humans for a change. Whether it’s advertising a worthy cause, real issues in society or a plea to change attitudes, the ability to engage with an audience on a more personal level is often much more powerful than we realise.
This focus on the welfare and needs of people can be seen in the winners of the Press Advertising category at D&AD, with some brilliant campaigns evoking an immediate reaction from its audience. The What Sh-ts You? campaign for the Jody Lee Foundation in Australia and conceived by agency Jamshop, demonstrates this fantastically by addressing our tendency to shy away from uncomfortable topics despite the risk it may pose to our health.
Bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in Australia yet there’s an underlying reluctance in the country to talk about the health of their colon. To address this reality and prompt conversations, Jamshop created full page press ads that listed unusual and humorous things that give people toilet trouble and also encouraged online contributions all with the aim to improve awareness of the the prevalence of bowel cancer. Beautifully honest and entertaining, the anonymity of the statements level the playing field and reminds us that conversations about what we’re scared or uncomfortable with needn’t be a terrible experience.
Another campaign highlighting our tendency not to face up to the real crux of the matter comes from Publicis Singapore. The trend of simply clicking the ‘Like’ button to show our appreciation, our empathy and our support is taking over with individual voices and actions getting harder to hear and see. To remind us that a ‘like’ can’t do everything, the agency created this powerful photographic campaign for Crisis Relief Singapore, showing an interpretation of the thumbs up icon paired with images of unfortunate and upsetting situations. Striking in black and white, the simple message that to create real life-changing differences, a true personal commitment is needed is so effectively communicated that only the line "Liking isn’t helping" is added to the adverts.
Reminding us how our misconceptions can cloud our judgement is Leo Burnett London and the campaign they created for Business in the Community. With offenders significantly less likely to re-offend if they they find a job, the importance of rehabilitation is cleverly and sensitively highlighted here. Addressing the prejudice against offenders, with many employers admitting they instantly reject applicants with a criminal record, the London agency used the familiar layout of CVs to face the issue head on.
Eschewing the usual employment history and qualifications, a stream of consciousness from an interviewer, who when discovering a candidate has been in prison rejects them, is laid out in the familiar format. It’s a compelling read and forces the audience to face their own preconceptions of people who have previously offended. It’s a simple but effective approach in forcing people to consider how important a second chance actually is.
What these winners in the Press Advertising category highlight is the brilliance and skill of the agencies and teams involved in gaining an audience’s trust and their ability to provide them with content that tells a story, relate what they see, read and feel to their own personal experiences.
If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.