Advertising Designs Consumers Still Talk About

Brands rely on strong advertising design to promote their venture and increase sales. Though you can chase the trends for advertising ideas, sometimes, looking back at the classics can be just as beneficial.

In this advertising design article, we’ll review some vintage ad campaigns that still spark interest decades after their launch. Considered to be the viral ad campaigns of their time, let’s see how their visual strategies never go out of style.


Timeless Ad Campaigns

Here are some vintage ad designs that are still popular until now. Let’s see what made them successful back then and how they stood the test of time. 


US Army

vintage viral ad campaign example

The first of our advertising design examples probably looks familiar to a lot of people. This iconic poster, created in 1941, aimed to encourage Americans to enlist. Aptly, the visual features a half-length portrait of Uncle Sam pointing to the viewer, with the copy “I want you.” The design is powerful because it’s simple and straight to the point. In fact, many instructors use it as an example in advertising design course programs because of the classic appeal of both its visuals and copy. 


Campbell’s Soup

vintage viral ad campaign example

This is one of the best family ad campaigns of its time. The ad for Campbell’s Soup highlights the benefits of trusting the product with the headline, “Soup for lunch.” The visuals show a happy mom and kid with a cart-full of soup cans. Also, the poster features photos of serving suggestions, including pairing their products with other lunch staples. 

Menu hints and recipes are one of the most used advertisement ideas for food. In fact, if you go to Campbell’s website today, they still feature dinner recipes using their soup as the key ingredient.



vintage viral ad campaign example

In theory, this vintage poster for the makeup brand may not be so different from their online ads today featuring supermodels like Gigi Hadid. Though the term “exotic” is no longer acceptable today, firms still use the overall visual look of the ad. Because it’s an eye makeup promo, the layout aptly draws the viewer’s gaze to the model’s eyes. The ad exudes a monotone appeal, much like black and white business cards.  


Lucky Strike

vintage viral ad campaign example

Today’s healthcare design agencies would probably cringe at this poster, but it’s an ad of a wholly different time. Though we now know that tobacco, even if “it’s toasted,” can’t act as a “throat protection,” we can still learn a lot from this ad. For instance, if you’re looking for topics for advertisement, you may want to look for research relevant to your product. Then, use that info to inspire your copy and visuals. 


Westinghouse Electric

vintage viral ad campaign example

This poster is one of the most successful marketing campaign examples in history. In fact, many visual art creators still use it as a reference until today. Released during World War II, the add aimed to boost the morale of female workers. Just like the “I want you” US Army poster, this ad features a sharp image and a short copy – “We can do it.” Decades after its release, it continues to be associated with feminism.



vintage viral ad campaign example

At a time when designers worked to make the most out of every inch of the page, this 1959 ad for the German automaker stood out for its minimalism. With much negative space, the layout showcased the tiny size of the Beetle, which worked well with the copy headline, “Think small.” This look became one of the advertisement design templates that catches attention up to now. The carmaker still releases some ads with the same appeal.


Chocolat Ideal

vintage viral ad campaign example

If you’re looking for creative advertising examples, you can’t go wrong with this vintage poster. Created by Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha in 1897, this ad for a French chocolate brand still turns heads today. The ad became so popular, and it’s now considered a classic work of art.



vintage viral ad campaign example

Though there are opposing sides debating whether the cola brand invented the modern-day Santa we know, it surely added to the man’s popularity. This ad comes from a series released in the 1930s. The poster features Christmas colors red and green. Coincidentally, Coke’s brand color is also red. Their vintage Santa ads were so popular back in the day, and they recently developed merch ideas to showcase them again.


Creating the Best Ad Campaigns

Some people may argue that looking at old ad campaigns is futile, and studying viral marketing examples is a more worthy effort. After all, many firms today strive to release viral marketing campaigns to reach the widest audience possible. However, being shared on social media for some time doesn’t guarantee instant success. Some viral campaigns in 2019 may not even ring a bell now.

Whether you’re looking for advertisement ideas for small business ventures or established brands, reviewing the classics is a great way to start. For one, it gives you a grasp of graphic design basics and the visual tactics that have been working since time immemorial. Also, it widens your visual language and allows you to brainstorm better for original advertisement design ideas. 


Advertising Campaign Types that Still Work

As we can see from the ads above, some campaign themes still continue to prevail in today’s digital world. These include:


Clever Ad Campaigns

Ads like Lucky Strike cleverly used the term “it’s toasted” to sound healthy and organic. Though you can’t apply this to tobacco products now due to more info about its health hazards, finding your brand’s USP is still valuable today.

Family Ad Campaigns

It’s still a great tactic to focus on family when promoting household products, just as Campbell’s Soup did. Some perceives canned soup to be a resort for people who live alone and don’t have culinary skills. However, the brand spun this notion around by using a family theme. 

Funny Ad Campaigns

Volkswagen’s tactic is memorable because of its wit and humor. Your audience can recall you better if you tickle their funny bone.


Ad Graphic Design 

Gone are the days when designers would use lithographs, freehand, or cut-outs for promo materials. Today, advertising graphic design is the name of the game. Whether you’re going for a typography ad or social media posts featuring graphic illustrations, find a way to stand out. You don’t need the top graphic designers to be on your team. You just need the most dedicated people who are committed to helping you grow your brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *