Fair warning to my male readers: this is an article, more like a gushing fan letter really, about my very favourite ad campaign of all time, and it’s clearly directed at female consumers. Most men I’ve shown this to – including my business school profs and agency creative types I’ve worked with since then – merely scratch their heads and squint. They do not get it. And that’s okay, because men are simply not the target market for this ad. I love this brilliant ad so much that I’ve actually kept the original Vanity Fair magazine where I first discovered it back in October, 1993.
This ad breaks all the rules of effective advertising. It features huge blocks of small-font text, juxtaposed with ethereal full-page sepia photographs of women. And until you get to the very last page of this 12-page ad – and we can only imagine what a 12-page ad in V.F. costs! – there’s not even a mention of any product that’s being advertised. For me, however, this ad works. See what you think: Continue reading