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We all would have heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". And, research proves that it is not just a cliche but has quite some merit to it.
Psychologists confirm that pictures are comparatively easily recognised & quickly recalled as compared to either the spoken or written word. This is attributed to the Picture Superiority Effect.
Going digital is the norm these days and 1000s of new brands are popping every day. So, how do you plan to stay competitive and make your brand stand out? Well, advertising using illustrations can help give you one such edge!
Yes, images are great but illustrations are extremely specific to your brand. This helps you create a visual identity that makes your brand unique and stand out from others.
For example, generally speaking, clean & minimalistic illustrations are used for advertising tech businesses while complex organic illustrations can be used for representing a natural food brand.
The level of customization that illustrations offer, helps you convey the story of your brand better to the consumers. This is often very tough using images you can find off the internet.
Headspace, a company that focuses on meditation and mindfulness, uses illustrations smartly and aesthetically to communicate its brand's message. It showcases colorful and fun illustrations instead of the oft seen traditional illustrations such as incense sticks or sunset by the beach to represent the idea of 'calm'.
With such a strategy of advertising using illustrations, they have completely changed the way we think about meditation. They have managed to portray meditation as accessible, relatable, and fun to everyone through advertising using illustrations.
Illustrations when used properly can be a powerful tool in advertising, shaping how your brand is perceived by potential consumers. Having good and easy-to-relate illustrations can help users to connect with your brand while also increasing their trust in it.
Paperboat does a great job of advertising illustrations that evoke a feeling of nostalgia among the consumers. They do this with various illustrations that depict childhood stories.
Such well thought-out illustrations typically motivate users to share it widely on social media. This gives such advertising campaigns the potential to go viral, which of course improves your brand visibility.
Advertising using illustrations also helps potential customers to remember your brand's message for a longer time. This, as suggested earlier, is attributed to the Photo Superiority Effect. This is the phenomenon in which the retention of a message when aided by relevant images is found to be longer than without any visual aids.
A great example for one such campaign is Leo Burnett Sydney's highly memorable illustrated advertising campaign for WWF. This illustration aimed to highlight the depth, complexity and fragility of the illegal animal trade. By creating "pocher pyramids",which stacked representatives at different levels of the illegal animal trade precariously on each other’s shoulders, emphasising that toppling the pyramid is very much possible, it gave individuals the sense that they have the power to help bring down the networks involved.
With a pen and paper, anything is possible! So go ahead and use illustrations to create art that suits your brand and connects with your key demographic.
Additionally, advertising illustrations also helps you break free from overused stock photos often seen on the internet. So, it makes your brand look more professional and in-sync with the current times.
Wanting to convey the idea that every one of its cars is a masterpiece, Lexus commissioned this fun advertising campaign to reinvent famous works of art in its own image. This illustration swaps bulbs for headlights to reinvent Van Gogh's famous Sunflowers painting.
With many of us being visual learners, we tend to remember a brand when we see it visually instead of reading or hearing about it.
We can see how social media platforms cater to our lowered attention span with tweets that have a 140 character word limit etc. In such a scenario, consumers often respond best to an exciting or attention-grabbing illustration rather than a text post. If such illustrations are consistently advertised by brands on social media platforms, potential customers will slowly begin to recognise the brand.
Amul brand’s popularity is credited to its mascot the ‘Amul girl’. The Illustrated artworks featuring her connect with the Indian audiences by addressing day-to-day issues and these popular ads have also earned a Guinness world record for the longest-running ad campaign in the world.
You might find it a bit expensive to make custom illustrations compared to using stock photos - but not anymore. Platforms like Scale give you high beautiful illustration for free! You can also download a few of them and use the SVGs to create an illustration of your own :)
Remember how you found a funny illustration by your favorite brand that you just DMed to your friend? That is an example of successful advertising. Brands adverising using illustrtions can leverage illustrations and employ tools such as humor to create brand awareness and promote user engagement through "likes", "shares" and "reposts".
One brand that really stands out is Oscar. Health insurance is a highly competitive industry – and nobody’s cup of tea. Being a relative newcomer Oscar decided to take up advertising using illustrations and give a human face to health insurance to set itself apart in the often confusing field as an easy and accessible healthcare option.
The Casual, welcoming words matched with minimal yet stylish cartoons keep with Oscar’s “simple, intuitive, and human” design philosophy. The overall effect also helps transform health insurance – something that’s usually dull, confusing, and even irritating – into something interesting, easy to understand, and even fun.
Social Media has always been visually led. Further, the rise of platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, suggests that this is going to continue.
It is also well documented that social media platforms promote content that has a media element vs. one that just has text. To give an example, tweets with images are 34% more likely to be retweeted than without images! So advertising illustrations will not only make your brand standout but also increase your engagement!
Scrolling through your daily social media feed you are much likely to pay attention to something that breaks off from your typical text post. Using illustrations and the right message, you can pave the way to get more user engagement!
Mailchimp embraced advertising through illustrations a long time ago when they adopted a drawing of a friendly-looking chimp named “Freddie” as their mascot and logo. The mascot has become so popular, a vinyl toy version of the mascot has an entire community dedicated to collecting it.
Maintain proper Balance: For maximum impact, the advertised illustrations should have the correct balance of illustrations and the text. Advertising illustrations that have to much text or too many illustrations wil confuse the prospective customer.
The illustrations an text used should enhance the effectiveness of the advertisement campaign. The text should be clear, precise and useful in delivering the message. Placement of all the elements in the advertisement, including, visuals, text and background, should be done properly for a great overall effect.
Ensure advertised Illustrations blend with the overall theme: Advertising illustrations is generally seen as a way to draw attention and promote a product or service. Therefore, illustrations should blend in well with the overall theme of the advertisement campaign and not stick out like a sore thumb. If it does, then such camapaigns become counterproductive and distract the audience, effefctively failing to deliver the message.
Get feedback before actual launch: Depending on the feedback received, the advertisement can be amended, as required. Feedback will not only help in enhancement of the advertisement but will also weed out all the mistakes in the advertised illustrations and the text before it is viewed by the actual audience.
To conclude, illustrations are a medium with an universal appeal. The right animation can bring people together like no live-action clip can, precisely because of its ability to abstract concepts and characters.
Illustrations are a powerful tool for advertising that gives you an edge over competitive brands and helps to create an identity that communicates the ideas of your brand to prospective consumers!
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