40+ examples of cool advertising photography: Part 1

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Why do we love  lists? Here are 10 Reasons Why. We are surrounded by lists of all kinds: Top 10 movies,  ’25 examples of this’ and ’15 examples of that’. Lists that rank things (‘Top 10 freeware programmes’ or ’20 must-have applications’) are liked even more on the web; magazines like Time and Fortune have also made brands out of lists. A lot of creative work is presented in the form of lists on the web: ambient ideas, car ads, celebrity ads and so on. I have attempted a few in this space: 30 great print ads that tell a visual story,  19 print ads with attention grabbing copy and a follow up to the visual story post. Why not add to the list of ‘list posts’ and look at a compilation of ads that showcase cool advertising photography? Herewith a few examples:

1. Adidas – F50+

A mega production of a TV commercial, captured beautifully in static media.

Agency: 180 Amsterdam. Photographer: Finlay Mackay

2. Adidas

Based on the insight that a whole nation is behind the performance of athletes at the Olympics, the campaigns features several athletes from around the world. Here are 3: Russian polevaulter Jelena Isinbajeva: “Alone I jump. Together we soar”, Chinese Taipei Taekwondo athlete Chu Mu-Yen: “No one gets up when a whole country kicks.” and USA sprinter Tyson Guy: “Ever seen a nation fly?”

Agency: TBWA\ TEQUILA Hong Kong; Photographer: Nadav Kander


Anti-smoking ads are meant to be shockers and Associação de Defesa da Saúde do Fumante, Brazil or ADESF, has consistently produced work that delivers on that count.

Agency: Neogama/BBH, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Photographer: Robert Polidori

4. Amnesty International

Scores of children, recruited as soldiers, can only dream of simply being children. That’s the cold, direct message from this campaign.

Agency: TBWA, Paris; photographer Michael Lewis

5. Audi

Pure energy, is the claim. May take a fraction of a second to figure it out but sure makes the car drool worthy.

6. Audi Quattro – 25 years

A series of images were published (as a calendar, I think) to celebrate 25 years of Audi Quattro. Drool.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

7. Citizens Crime Commission, New York

I am sure there is digital touch up involved in this but the visual imagery of guns as the familiar NYC skyline makes it an arresting ad.

Agency: DraftFCB, New York; Photographer: Julian Wolkenstein

8. Cordaid

Making the rich feel guilty of their lifestyle in relative terms is a brilliant strategy in itself. The photography brings it alive.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Amstelveen, The Netherlands; Photographer: Calle Stolze

9. Discovery Channel – Dirty Jobs

To promote the Dirty Jobs programme on Discovery, the creative agency presented a visual resume of sorts of the anchor. Brilliant.

Agency: Discovery Communications, Washington DC, USA and RPA, Santa Monica, USA; Photographer: Roger Hagadone

10. Domestos

In a movie poster like claim, ‘You are not alone’ the idea comes alive. But the photography imbues a creepy air to the scenario with the prospect of germs watching your every move.

11. Fraich Fries

I am sure we’ve all been through this. The 70s-style photography gives it a sitcom like feel. Awesome.

Agency: Grey, Paris: Photographer: Achim Lippoth

12. Hermes Air de Paris

High end fashion advertising relies so much on unconventional photography. The ads here, appear like works of art.

Agency: Publicis EtNous, France; Photographer: Camilla Akrans

13. IKEA

Free home delivery is the claim, brought alive by some awesome art direction and photography.

Agency: DDB, Berlin; Photographer: Mikael Strinnhed

14. Koleston hair colour

Kissable hair, thanks to Koleston. The classic visual pun.

Agency: Leo Burnett Milan, Italy; Photographer: Studioros

15. Lamborghini

I had written about these ads earlier. The corporate reminded me of Indian ads in the early ’90s and the ‘Born in Italy’ ones made me laugh out loud.

Agency: Philipp und Keuntje GmbH, Germany; Photographer Jürgen Berderow

Agency: Philipp und Keuntje, Hamburg, Germany; Photographer Arthur Mebius

16. Land Rover

Makes work play is the claim. This apparently uses tilt shift techniques to transform photographic subjects into what appear to be miniature objects.

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, London, UK; Photographer: Nadav Kander

More advertising photography goodness soon. Hope you liked this collection; do comment in about the ads you liked most.

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  1. Solid list of cool advertisements! The Cordaid advertisements interest me the most. Guilt is a very strong emotion and using it to make money has been a tactic used for years. I'm not sure if this advertisement is able to pull on the heart strings enough though – The message isn't clear enough…

  2. This creative advertising list is very very good and innovative, In this list i like "Koleston hair colour" ad and adidas ad very nice creative ads.

  3. Awesome collection dude…the IKEA & d Lamborgini add( dont drive faster than what ur gps sattelite can fly)…just amazing application of USP to the marketing/ ad world arena…

    keep up the good work..

  4. can i use some of the pictures in encouraging students in our school in joining sports? I don’t want to be accused of stealing something if it’s not allowed.

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