Ambient Advertising: What Makes a Great Ambient Ad?

TurboTax2012-online-mobileTwo weeks ago we got an assignment in our copywriting class to create an ambient ad campaign for TurboTax – taken that it’s time to do the taxes.

How do you creatively approach a company (a client) that is not ‘sexy’, but rather – the most unsexy and unpleasant thing to do for the Americans? Can you make doing taxes sound ‘sexy’, ‘engaging’, and/or ‘entertaining’?

Let’s take a look at the TurboTax ads: you’ll be surprised to see how THEY approach their product and services. With a great humor, indeed:

They mix  fun ones with the serious ads that talk about the most important benefits of using TurboTax – the message is clear and effective: “We know how hard you worked for your paycheck, so we are helping you to keep more…” And this is exactly what the users of TurboTax, or any other Americans that do taxes, for that matter, want to hear – get more back for the buck you make.

So, can you make the ambient ads marketing tax services sound ‘sexy’, ‘engaging’, and/or ‘entertaining’?

The answer is – yes, you can. There’s absolutely no company – even if it’s a funeral company – that you cannot make a creative ambient ad for that attracts the public. The problem that most of the copywriters and creative directors at the advertising agencies face is not what to do to attract the customers, but what ELSE they can do that’s not been done before? Judging by the many creative approaches that have been already used to create the ambient advertising – just go ahead and google it – it seems there’s absolutely nothing that hasn’t been done before. But we – the aspiring copywriters and graphic designers – we want to be THE FIRST and THE ORIGINAL with our projects. Is there more room to be creative? Yes and no. But first thing first, let’s define the ambient advertising.

Ambient advertising is about placing ads on unusual items or in unusual places you wouldn’t normally see an ad. Ambient advertising can be found anywhere and everywhere! The key to a successful ambient media campaign is to choose the best media format available and combined with effective message. These kinds of ads often make someone think about a certain place or thing differently.

Just take the following examples below that show some of the most creative ambient advertising approaches done for very different companies – from cars and razors to toilet paper and fast food restaurants. The choices are unlimited. Learn, be inspired and go ahead…taxes can be fun too.

Here are a few examples to inspire:



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