30 Sensational Print Ads From Around The World

Every day, we’re bombarded by thousands of adverts, most of which are boring, thoroughly irritating or both. Every now and again, however, an advert comes along that’s so powerful, due to the originality of its content or the way that it conveys its message, that it inspires us to change our behaviour: it might make us find out some more information about a product, donate money to charity or even cut down on drinking alcohol!

With in excess of $385 billion spent annually on ads, it’s unsurprising that admen give life to veritable masterpieces of visual communication from time to time. These truly brilliant ads can be found on TV, on the internet and on billboards too. But the most engaging ads of all appear in traditional print media, as people reading newspapers and magazines have time to absorb lots of information as well as creative subtleties.

Below, you’ll find 30 examples representing the crème de la crème of recent print advertisements.

Major Brands

Since the dawn of mass production, in the early 19th century, major brands have used advertising to promote their goods and services. The amount of money spent on advertising worldwide grows considerably year on year. By 2010, it’s predicted that investment in advertising will top $450 billion annually.

1. Fun Up Your Home [Microsoft]

Images: The Uninvited Blog & Neurosoftware

2. Goodbye Bush [Veet]

Image: Miragens

3. 360° Wide Angle CCTV [Samsung]

Image: kuteev

4. More Volume [Schwartzkopf}

Image: kuteev

5. Optical Zoom [Olympus]

Image: Elastique

6. French Kiss [Pepsi]

Image: I Believe in Advertising

7. The New Expression of Fun [Miragica Theme Park]

Image: I Believe in Advertising

8. No Drowsiness Gum

Image: kuteev

9. Arcor Bubblegum

Image: Sauce

10. Whatever The Delay We’ll Text You Straight Away [Connex]

Image: Ads of the World

11. Hands Are Everywhere [Dettol]

Image: The Inspiration Room

12. Shirt Straw [Perrier]

Image: DesignSitesUp

Charity Campaigns

There was a time when charities relied solely on shock tactics to raise money. Most charity ads seemed to feature a starving child or otherwise ailing individual. These ads worked for a time, but people started to find them so upsetting that they simply switched off to the ad altogether. Things have changed. Charities now recognise that, like major brands, they can inspire their audience most successfully by taking an original and creative approach.

13. Verbal Abuse Can Be Just As Horrific [Aware Helpline]

Image: The Inspiration Room

14. Guantanamo Bay [Amnesty International]

Image: KikiPulse

15. Animals Are Not Clowns [LPDA]

Images: Ads of the World & Ads of the World

16. Bad Water Kills More Children Than War [UNICEF]

Image: Ads of the World

17. Stop Gout Patients’ Suffering [EULAR]

Image: Ads of the World

18. Nature Can’t Be Recycled [WWF]

Image: Ads of the World

19. Second Hand Smoke In The Home [The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation]

Image: Frederik Samuel

20. Cigarettes Smoke People [Cancer Patients Aid Association]

Image: Space Invaders

21. Don’t Buy Exotic Animal Souvenirs [WWF]

Image: Ads of the World

22. Stop the World Record of Executions [Amnesty International]

Image: I Believe in Advertising

TV Channels

For obvious reasons, TV channels tend to advertise on TV, but when they do opt for print media ads instead, the results can be rather stunning. The BBC have run many inspirational televised advertising campaigns in the past, but none of them have connected with viewers in such a subtle way as the World News ads below. These ads were designed for commuters, who have plenty of time, en route to and from work, to absorb the hidden images.

23. Dirty Jobs [Discovery Channel]

Image: Frederik Samuel

24. Authentic Wildlife Documentaries [Animal Planet]

Images: Ads of the World & Ads of the World

25. Olympic Games [ESPN Brasil]

Image: Frederik Samuel

26. Formula 1 GP – The Fight Begins [Sky]

Image: The Inspiration Room

27. News Beyond Your Borders [BBC World]

Image: Frederik Samuel


In the immortal words of Peter Parker: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Pharmaceutical companies often walk a fine line when it comes to the morality of their ads and must ensure that they don’t prey on the “weak” or the desperate. The ads below use comedic rather than shock tactics to pedal their wares.

28. Fight Your Sore Throat [Mebucaine]

Image: I Believe in Advertising

29. Blocked Nose? [Otrivin]

Image: Igor Kovic

30. Root Out Disgusting Fungi [Tolnaftate]

Image: Ads of the World

About the author:

Tom is a huge tech and gadget geek with a broad range of interests including travel, art and design. Much of his time is spent blogging on CreativeCloud but he also enjoys writing for other blogs in the design niche.

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  • User Gravatar SebastienDR
    September 16th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Wow , great post! #16 is simple, yet powerful.

  • User Gravatar Grateful
    September 25th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Thumbs down for the lame anti-smoking and anti American President Ads.
    Surprised you didn’t bash the Hero Tony Blair, the greatest Brit since Churchill.

  • User Gravatar Eric
    March 5th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Very interesting print ads. They are definitely not boring. Nice roundup.

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