Making a print ad fun and exciting is always a little more challenging when the product you’re given may be one of the most mundane and ordinary household items there is. Marketers do it every day, though. And, I assume I might be asked to do it frequently myself. Everything from beer to toothpaste has a marketing campaign behind it and not everything is as glamorous as high fashion in magazines. So how do you take ordinary disposable items and turn them into something desirable in an ad that a person might look at for a total of 5 seconds?
Lucky for me, there was a generator that chose my item, audience, and all of their demographics for this assignment. The item I created an ad for is toilet paper. I chose Scott brand for no particular reason other than their brand name and logo is reasonably easy to work with. The audience is both male and female, ages 25-34, married with a reasonable income of 60 – 90,000. They have some college education and mostly consume magazines and social media entertainment.
With all of those things in mind, I began sketching. Three of my strongest ideas included a couple on an evening stroll walking along a path of soft tissue; an iconic celebrity photograph (like Marilyn Monroe), only their clothes would be replaced with the airy delightfulness of toilet paper; or one of the World Wonders showcasing toilet paper in a way unique to them, for example, the Statue of Liberty holding a roll of toilet tissue high above her head instead of her torch.
While sketching I continually asked myself, “What if…” in order to help combine two different ideas into an idea, no matter how absurd, it’s only a sketch. I liked the idea of Marilyn’s dress being replaced by streams of billowing TP, but quite honestly I wasn’t sure how to go about executing that idea and was skeptical about the legal availability of the images needed. In the end, I chose to go with the Statue of Liberty idea.
Often, I use a site called Pixabay for quality photos and images with high resolution. This site allows users to post and offer their photos to the Public Domain, often with no attribution required. My photo, however came from Pixabay’s site and was taken by user nash78690. Additionally, I took my own photograph of my daughter holding toilet paper high above her head.
I designed the magazine ad first, using the photo as a background image and adding everything else on top. I had to a little bit of creative masking and layering in order to replace Lady Liberty’s torch with the toilet paper. After that, I settled on a patriotic slogan in Lato, a sans serif font, and added it to the Scott brand logo that I found online. Finally, I added just a tiny filler text in Centaur, and Old School traditional serif font.
Social Media Ad
In order to complete the social media ad, I needed to resize and reposition just about everything. However, the placement of all the elements in this format might even be better than the original.
The assignment taught me how to look for better images with better quality. I also enjoyed practicing with photoshop and learning how to better use the layers and masking palette in order to achieve the image I want without destroying pixels. I also gained an appreciation for having to generate creative content on a subject that isn’t necessarily juicy and ripe with creative directions.