5 Newsprint Ads

Description: This 2018 KFC print ad was created in response to a chicken shortage the company was experiencing at the time. It is a simple KFC chicken bucket without any chicken on it. However, the three-letter acronym is rearranged to spell out FCK, a humorous pun on the curse work f*ck.

Objectives: Use humor in order to announce and apologize for why some KFC locations have had to temporarily close.

Target Market: Anyone who is a fan of KFC, fried chicken, or fast food who may have been inconvenienced by the unexpected closures.

Desired Actions: To hopefully lighten the mood of potentially angry customers during a time of crisis for the brand so that they will forgive, forget and return when the problem gets resolved. I believe that the clever use of humor here was most likely successful in achieving the main goal of apologizing.

Value Proposition: The value proposition of this ad shows that KFC is working tirelessly to resolve the problem so that they can get back to satisfying their customers. It also shows that even in the toughest of situations, they are able to stay positive and portray a sense of confidence that issues will be resolved quickly where other companies may have panicked.


 Description: This is an ad from The Economist, an international weekly newspaper/magazine that focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, and technology for those interested in keeping up with and learning more about the business world. The ad simply reads “To err is human. To er, um, ah is unacceptable.”

Objectives: The humorous phrase is meant to catch the attention of the viewer and send the message that reading The Economist will help the reader improve his business skills. I especially liked it as I feel it really applies to entrepreneurs. The message I interpret from the phrase is that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them, but it is not acceptable to always be unprepared and not be learning. Don’t get caught um-ing and ah-ing when you need to be knowledgeable and confident in order to achieve success in the business world.

Target Market: Anyone interested in keeping up with or learning more about what is going on in the business world.

Desired Actions: Purchase and read The Economist. It could be a one-time purchase of a specific edition, or it could be a subscription. The ad doesn’t specify.

Value Proposition: The value proposition is that The Economist is an intellectual source of information for the business consumer. The simple, humorous and intellectual phrase illustrates this. If you are not reading The Economist, then you are falling behind.


Description: A simple yet effective ad from the Cancer Patients AID Association that reads “cancer cures smoking.”

Objectives: The objective of this ad is to scare smokers by explaining that smoking can lead to cancer. The pun here is that cancer cures smoking because smokers will more than likely either end up in a hospital where they can’t smoke or end up dead where they also can’t smoke.

Target Market: Anyone who actively smokes.

Desired Actions: Stop smoking and potentially avoid getting cancer as a result of smoking.

Value Proposition: This ad is direct and to the point. It brings attention to the fact that smoking is not a healthy habit and that in many cases it leads to some form of cancer.


Description: This ad is from ActionAid, a non-governmental organization whose primary mission is to work against poverty and injustice worldwide. It is a federation of 45 country offices with headquarters located in South Africa. It is part of a 2005 campaign in response to the 1999 cyclone that hit the state of Orissa, India leaving more than 1.6 million people homeless and without much food source.

Objectives: The objective of the ad is to shed light on the continued struggles faced in Orissa even years after the cyclone and to ask for financial support for these suffering people. People are still homeless, starving, and dying as a result of the natural disaster.

Target Market: Anyone willing to make contributions to the disaster relief led by ActionAid.

Desired Actions: Mail contributions to the specified address in the ad.

Value Proposition: The value proposition is that all contributions are exempt under the Income Tax Act.


Description: The ad is a part of a campaign celebrating 60 years of the VW Van. It shows a picture of a vintage VW van with a caption and description below. The caption reads “It belonged to a Trotskyist, a Maoist, a Democrat and a Republican without ever changing owners.” The description goes on to provide more examples of people and things that have changed over the past 60 years. 

Objectives: The objective of the ad is to show that while most things have changed over the last 60 years, including people and their beliefs, the van has not changed and is still it’s old reliable self.

Target Market: Any VW fan, specifically those who have or had a VW van.

Desired Actions: Entice the viewer to buy a VW as they have stayed true to who they are over the years.

Value Proposition: Other than a few many updates, the VW van has not changed or needed to change over the last 60 years. This is meant to show the reliability and durability of the vehicle. VW clearly has confidence in its product if it is promoting a vehicle that hasn’t needed changes in 60 years.

5 thoughts on ““Greatest Marketing Campaigns” – Print Ads

  1. Zach,
    Great choice in advertisements this week. I like how many of your ads were very simple and had minimal text. Sometimes I feel that an advertisement with a powerful picture can truly drive the point home. I suppose that a picture truly does “say a thousand words.”
    Regarding the cyclone advertisement, I feel like people so easily forget those around them. We seem to like our routines and can easily forget that someone not too far away can be suffering greatly from a natural disaster or otherwise. Great work!


  2. Katherine Pearson says:

    Great job on your selection. I feel like seeing these are more powerful than the radio or TV ads. Maybe reading something and actually processing it hits a little different. How can you not read cancer cures smoking and not say wow? Or the one about the cyclone, very powerful. Great choices.

  3. Hello Zach,

    Good job on your ad selections. I actually chose to talk about the KFC ad as you did. I found it to be interesting how they were able to turn their chicken shortage into a joke, apologize about it and continue to get people to come back once the situation was handled. it was a bold move on their part, what are your thoughts about it?

  4. Hey Zach,

    You did a great job with these analyses. The formatting was clear and analysis had a good explanation. Even when I didn’t understand the visual, the explanation made it clear what each company was trying to promote. My favorite one was the ad against smoking. I thought it was extremely clever how they indirectly illustrated that smoking will result in cancer. Great work!


  5. Andreius Harding says:

    Hey Zach,

    You had some really great and informative ads this week. The KFC ad was pretty funny as well. I have to say my favorite is the ad from the Economist Human Err ad. This is true when it comes to business and always being prepared. I also interpreted the phrases as making excuses. In the business world it is unacceptable to always um-ing and ah-ing when asked a question. Great analysis this week and I look forward to the next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>