Q: When is an ad more than an ad?
A: When it says what you want to say while barely saying a word. At this point, the ad becomes the thing itself, not just a representation but an actual testimony to what the thing is.
Take this design school’s idea for a Smart car ad, tucked perfectly onto the spine of a magazine.
The piece works for several reasons. First, the product itself is instantly recognizable and so can be rendered in this favicon-size image. Secondly, the company has such a strong brand message that only one word is needed to make the case. And finally, the very thing that this car is – a vehicle that will fit anywhere – demonstrates its “is-ness” by fitting in a place normally too small for anything of value to advertisers.
It’s bound to be imitated, but we can’t think of many (any?) other products that could fill this tiny space so robustly.
We like this.