Minimalism, which began as an art movement in the USA in the 1960s, is now utilised in the lifestyles of an increasing number of people to declutter their lives. It involves keeping the items that are necessary and bring you joy and removing what isn’t.
In marketing and advertising, the term minimalism refers to the strategic use of less text and graphics, and anything excessive, with the idea that less is more. The strategy aims to provide the audience with the entire essence of a brand and/or message in one sentence or small image. Generally, minimalistic ads are creative, humorous, and powerful.
The advancements of technology and the digital era have led consumers to have developed a strong grasp on what to expect from the digital world, they are often bombarded with information, such as social media posts, videos, and blogs, which can often become overwhelming and unappealing. Rather than providing your audience with all the information they need, minimalistic advertising allows consumers to fill in the gaps themselves while still driving messages home effectively and efficiently.
Here are three minimalist ads that caught our attention.
One of the most recent, effective minimalist adverts came from Coinbase, who broke the internet after their QR code retro DVD style Superbowl ad (below). This advert was intriguing as it doesn’t follow many other minimalistic ads by providing the essence of the brand but rather gained attention by using the retro DVD graphic that is memorable for people over a certain age. The QR code led to a web page offering $15 in Bitcoin for those who sign up for a Coinbase account.
The advert may have worked too well as the Coinbase app crashed during the Super Bowl because of the high influx of users. This may have also impacted the share price of Coinbase, which dropped 1.7% in pre-market trading.
The brand with the three stripes adopts one of the most recognisable logos in the world. Adidas wittily adopted the classic logo with a line underneath (below) which replicates the well-known Adidas slider sandal. The simple adaptation of the logo is creative and effective in that consumers understand what the product is and who it is associated with.
Adidas’ advertising has been a topic of discussion over recent weeks. The sports brand launched the ‘The reasons we didn’t make just one sports bra’ campaign which has subsequently been banned due to its depiction of 'explicit nudity'.
The minimalist collection of ads from Lego is brilliant, but we love the shadows the most. Almost every child grew up playing with Lego and being able to create anything they could imagine - these ads perfectly depict that.
The simple ad provides the consumer with the essence of the brand and what the product can provide. The ads also slightly adapt with different coloured backgrounds to give the impression of land and sea, while the Lego displaying the airplane shadow appears to be hovering above the water. These small details make this collection of ads so much better.
This type of advertisement aligns itself with meme marketing that has come into play since the development of the meme age. The brands targeting the teenager to young adult demographic will benefit the most from it. With a wide reach and high probability of brand recall, it can be cheaper than traditional forms of marketing.
Creating effective and efficient minimalist ads is an artwork, it takes a great level of understanding of social environments, human behaviour, and aesthetics, in addition to being able to convey the essence of the brand and the message of the advert in as little content as possible. Creating content for any adverts is difficult, but we believe understanding how to utilise minimalism effectively is greatly beneficial.