Monday, June 26, 2006

"Meet the World"

The EPICA awards showcase the best in European advertising. I showed my students the whole set of winners from last year, some are creative in concept and simple in design, others are simple and straight forward concepts with intricate and visually impressive designs. The over-all print winner of last year was a Grande Reportagem a Portuguese news magazine. From EPICA:

"The creative challenge of the campaign was to reaffirm the magazine’s unchanged commitment to serious journalism by focusing on topics that are important for people’s understanding of the world today.

This led the creative team to the concept “Meet the world” and to the idea of using flags of different nations as vehicles to transmit it. In each case, the colours that appear on various national flags were usedsymbolizelise a social or political issue that is specific to the country in question."

These are truly amazing ads, basic facts and statistics are transformed into heart-renching statements. Nobody can deny the power of these messages, and not respect the magazine/design agency for its bold approach. I just wish that instead of being used to promote a magazine, this concept would've been used for a more just cause like UNICEF, UN or Amnesty International.

The simplicity and power of these ads show that the strongest of ideas needn't have the most complex visuals or tons of text (Jordanain ad agencies take note).

Let's analyze the reasons for the success of this campaign:

1. Facts. Facts always hit hard, much more than sweet talking and trying hard to convince people with prolonged prologues.

2. People tend to remember short sentences like facts or rhyming slogans more than paragraphs of text, and therefore statistics like these will stick i
n peoples heads and will have them talking about them and discussing them.

3. Recognized visuals immediately create a sense of familiarity (be it negative or positive), and will make people read furth
er on. Associating the colors of these visuals with facts strengthened the visuals even more and got the points across more boldly.

4. The Meticulous selection of the facts and statistics' criterias is also very successful. Disease, Children, Poverty and Ignorance are some of the topics that people can most relate-to or show genuine sympathy towards. Guns, Politics and Non-
Human facts (like accidents or natural disasters) do not have the same strength in moving people's ...

5. Emotions. In serious ads with global messages, targeting people's emotions before their brains is essential. We all know the "think with your head and feel with your heart" saying. Well going against that works even more. Thinking with your heart and understanding the true meanings behind these facts will cause the brain to feel anger, rage, injustice...etc in a stronger way, and can cause it to want to take immediate and strong action. Powerful stuff!

Here are the ads for your comments:

My only design comment on these ads would be that the red tag could have been either moved more to the right, or aligned left with the text of the statistics, because its non-alignment with anything is visually disturbing (especially in the ads which have the least amount of text such as the Angola & USA ones).


At 8/04/2006 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful stuff - are there any more of these 'flags' available to view? If so, where? Thanks for posting.

At 8/05/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Mr. Tea said...

These were the only 5 this ad agency created for this particular campaign. I haven't heard of any others, but I will investigate it!


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