23 print ads with great illustration styles

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Maybe it’s my penchant for drawing from my childhood days, that I still seek out great illustrations and drawings in ads. Vintage ads had to perforce resort to illustrations to convey their message – ads for Pears, Lifebuoy and several others come to mind. Photography then became the norm. Illustrations then became a way of breaking the clutter, as they simply looked different.

Herewith a small collection of ads which use illustrations to enhance the advertising concept. The illustrations are great, can’t say the same about all the ads, though.

1. Huggies Diaper

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Beijing, China

Diaper pants for the more mature toddler, says the ad. I guess it would have been difficult to capture the situation through photography. One other ad in the series is here.

2. Ariel

You need to stare at what’s going on in the lipstick smear to figure out the message. A stain can reveal a lot is the intended claim.

Ariel Lipstick.jpg
Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, India
3. BETA: Adopt a dog

Well, adopt a dog because they will at least not resort to stuff your kids resort to, is a bit much. But the illustration style is great.

Beta Playboy.jpg


4. BROS Mosquito Repellent

Cartoon or illustration? Whichever. I thought both the concept and the execution were simply superb.

Bros husband.jpg
Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett Warsaw, Poland
5. Coaching-canin: Dog Training School

Imagine attempting to photograph a dog controlling its urge to jump at the barbecue stand by ‘pulling’ its own leash. I guess some concepts are best captured through illustrations.

Coaching Canine - Barbecue.jpg

Advertising Agency: CBGrey, Paris, France

6. Friskies Nido Bird Food

Winner of several awards, this surely appeals to the pet owners among us. Owners are said to resemble their pet dogs (or is it the other way around?) over time. Birds, too?


Advertising Agency: DDB, Madrid, Spain

7. Comedy Central

Laugh out loud stuff. And from Germany, to boot.

Comedy Central.jpg
8. Bacaolinita: Healthier kids

Hmm, healthier kids is the proposition. The stretch is that while the kids are healthy, can’t say the same about their parents. Nice twist.


Advertising Agency: Lowe Honduras

9. Durex: Stork

Thanks to Durex, the stork has found an alternate profession.

Advertising Agency: DDB New Zealand

10. Faber-Castell

A simple, memorable twist on how ideas take shape. Or not take shape.

Agency: Full Jazz, São Paulo, Brazil. Rest of the ads in the series are here.

11. Tiji TV

As imaginative as children, is the claim.


Rest of the ads are here.
Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris, France

12. Heineken

Call it 3D-Art and not strictly illustration, but the end result is still ‘wow’.


13. Terra Web: Parental Control

The web can be a dangerous place for kids. Setting up a pretty picture only for you to discover the shocker in it, is a nice approach.

Terra -lake.jpg

Advertising Agency: DDB BRASIL, Sao Paulo

14. Levis Slim

The campaign that won a lot of accolades for JWT, India.

Levis Slim.jpg

15. Levis Kids

As I said before, nice leap from ‘tough jeans for kids’.


16. Macacolandia Design Studios

Perhaps the best example of how an illustration can bring an idea alive, ‘give more life to your illustrations’ is the claim.

Macacolandia Design Studios.jpg
Agency: Fischer America Comunicacao Total, Brazil. Rest of the ads in the campaign are here. The campaign also inspired (cough, cough) this set of ads for Animaster.

17. Smoking Kills

One of the many ads attempting to either scare a smoker out of his habit, or entered into awards, whichever comes first.


18. Rotomac

Lasts forever is the claim for this brand of pens. Any idea how the pen ‘lasts forever’?


19. Schwarzkopf Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Don’t leave a trail behind is the claim.

Schwarzkopf Dandruff.jpg

20. Sharpie

This is a take off on a famous Burger King ad. So it’s like an inside joke for the agency folks.


21. Tide – angels

Where has the dirt gone? To the heavens, with a little help from angels.

Rest of the ads are here. Advertising Agency: Conill Saatchi & Saatchi, Miami & NY, USA

22. Showoff Films

Sure to appeal to the much-beleaguered advertising agency folks.


23. Coca Cola

Finally, a blast from the past. The whole Santa series of print ads and TV commercials from Coca Cola usually score high on the feel-good factor.

Coca Cola.jpg
Source: Flickr

Of course, there are several other examples, like the Clinic All Clear ads and Sour Marbles ads from India. Speaking of regions, notice that a lot of the ads listed above are from Latin American countries? Hope you liked this collection. Do comment on the use of illustrations above and point us towards more such inspiring stuff.

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  1. Few of the Ads I have already seen, so nothing new, such as Macacolandia Design Studios, Tide & Smoking kills.
    I liked the concept and illustration of levis kids.
    Concept of Huggies needs improvement,illustration is wonderful though.
    Bacaolinita: Healthier kids,illustration has much scope for improvement.

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