Top 10 Most Effective Magazine Ads

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Despite the trends of the digital age, magazines have remained a popular medium. Their success lies in a combination of collectibility and ad support. Of course, with so much of our media tied up in television and the internet, it has become a matter of survival to create ads which grab the attention of a reader who is more likely to flip past ad pages. As a result, making something that can catch the eye and provoke mind has become a fine art.

A good magazine ad doesn’t have to provide vast amounts of information or even show the product. The key is to create something that people will notice and then talk about. Controversial or shocking ads are spoken of and shared, getting the brand name out there. As such, the 10 most effective magazine ads might be a bit surprising.


10. World Wildlife Federation

World Wildlife Federation

Kicking off the 10 most effective magazine ads is one with a dark undertone. At first glance, the World Wildlife Federation’s ad appears quite peaceful. A woman making her way through a terminal, dragging a wheeled bag behind her. Yet confusion sets in when the reader notices a red streak trailing behind the bag. The simple caption “Don’t buy exotic animal souvenirs” says it all – that killing animals for looks isn’t acceptable.


9. Nikol Baking Dish

Nikol Baking Dish

Sometimes, the humour of an ad is enough to get people talking. Nikol’s baking dish ad features a chicken relaxing in the dish as if it were the average hot tub. The caption simply says “Treat your food to something good.” The chicken says everything else.



good ad

One of the biggest eye-catchers in the 10 most effective magazine ads is that of a woman sitting at her laptop, cheeks puffed wide. The caption, which one is drawn to, suggests what she’s searching on the laptop. It reads “Can you get a sexually transmitted infection my swallowing sperm?”. Using beautiful women in adds is nothing new, but the comedic aspect really sets this one apart.


7. Humans or Animals

Humans or Animals

The 10 most effective magazine ads cannot ignore taboo for shock value. Taking a page from the Golden Rule, Humans or Animals printed an ad in which a seal had clubbed a human baby to death, reversing the typical image of seal ads. The caption drives the point home: “Don’t treat others the way you don’t want to be treated.”


6. Softlan Fabric Softener

Softlan Fabric Softener

What is more disturbing than an adult seal murdering a human baby? Softlan’s wrestling ad answers the question with the smile on one wrestler’s face and he hugs his opponent’s shirt. That grin is truly creepy!


5. Sisley


The phrase “fashion junkie” is nothing new. However, watching two anorexic models trying to snort clothing takes the thought and runs with it like a steamroller. Considered both genius and controversial for displaying the questionable image the modeling world provides, it is an ad which will easily find its way into conversations at the water cooler.


4. International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism

International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism makes the 10 most effective magazine ads thanks to a visit to the local hospital nursery. The caption, “Your skin color shouldn’t dictate your future”, is made prominent by the image itself, which depicts three babies. Two are white, and the third is dark-skinned, only instead of a diaper, she’d dressed in a full janitorial outfit.


3. HIV/AIDES Awareness

HIV/AIDES Awareness

Over the past two decades, the media coverage of HIV has decreased as new treatments have arisen. In an effort to continue bringing awareness to the masses, it became necessary to change tactics. The 10 most effective magazine ads would not be complete without this entry, which takes satire to a new level. A typical shot of a scantily-chad woman is overlayed by a destination icon in a rather suggestive place. The caption, “Matti Virtanen and 19 others were here”, is both hilarious and thought-provoking. The whole ad is a reminder to wear condoms, and it works out quite nicely.


2. BK Super Seven Incher

BK Super Seven Incher

Sex sells, and there has been plenty of sex in the 10 most effective magazine ads. However, none have been quite as classy as Burger King’s advertisement for their BK Super Seven Incher. Featuring a pretty blonde girl opening wide to bite into the sandwich sliding towards her and the caption “It’ll blow your mind away”, this ad is both suggestive and well-designed.


1. Alkaseltzer Hangover Pill

hangover is dangerous

One annoying side effects of drinking is a hangover, and Alkaseltzer reminds the reader that “hangover is dangerous” by depicting a disheveled man in a rob washing dishes.That might not seem that bad until the reader notices that the man is using a kitten for a sponge. A fine end to the 10 most effective ads!


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