Minimalistic designs: The new trend in advertising

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication” As we quote Leonardo Da Vinci, we have come to realize that minimalism is not a fad of the current

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“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”

As we quote Leonardo Da Vinci, we have come to realize that minimalism is not a fad of the current times. It existed then and it exists now. Minimalistic music; minimalistic literature; minimalistic art; minimalistic architecture and now minimalistic advertising, is a proof of the revolution being brought about. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his aesthetic intelligence to showcase the bare necessities in the most creative and simplistic manner.

In this world, which is highly over-communicated, as Mr David Ogilvy would put it, the key to successful advertising would be to keep it simple and interesting. Today’s world is extremely busy. It is the age of multi-tasking. People are always on the run and even have a lot running in their head. And the best way to break the monotony and boredom of life is to provide the onlookers advertisements which are minimalistic in nature. Easy to understand yet overtly creative and imaginative designs attract the attention of the consumers and thus spread the awareness about the company/product/service.

As advertisers, ad agencies now understand that the world is not easy and everyone is trying there best to compete in a world where “ survival is of the fittest”. Hence, to penetrate into the mind of the consumers, it is of utmost importance to follow the K.I.S.S principle i.e. to keep it simple and stupid. Just, the other day, while checking some statistics on IMDB, I found that most of the comedy movies or animation movies, even if they aren’t good enough for you and me, make the maximum profit. They even surpass the quality hollywood movies. We have seen a similar trend not too far from our home as well. Salman Khan’s  movies, which are mostly directed towards light entertainment also are the highest earners on the box office. This may be so, because people are looking for entertainment which is easy to understand and easy to interpret. Similarly, these minimalistic ads are eye-catchy, provide a breath of fresh air from the boring long sentances and thus are more effective. Thus the new trend in advertising: Minimalistic advertising.

Let us take the example of the BMW advertisement, which urges its customer to use original BMW parts, by appealing to the sentiments of the people that “Original is original, rest everything is fake”.

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Another very interesting example would be about the free wifi being provided at McDonalds. They shaped their skinny fries in a very discernable pattern and a familiar design. The poster had no words on it, but still it conveyed so much more. The ability to say so much, without saying much is an art and people in this over-communicated world understand and appreciate that.

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Not just the OOH, print advertisements are big on minimalistic designs. We all know about   page 3 of a newspaper, which generally gives news on celebrity parties and their hear-abouts. So, ‘ The Hindu’, a competitor in the newspaper industry, came up with an ambush marketing strategy, which said all it needed to. Flat designing, that is removal of all the effects like shadow and highlights, which give 3 dimensions to the image, is also in vogue as can be seen below.

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Movies too use this strategy beautifully to attract target markets. For example: that the movie is based in Kolkata might excite and interest many views. The picture of the Howra bridge was enough to convey the message.

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Last but not the least, the indirect application of Gandhian engineering i.e. using “more with less” in advertisements has empowered many advertisers to trade expensive solutions with less expensive solutions yet resulting in superior advertising. As Gandhi led a simple and uncomplicated life not muzzled with the materialistic world, the concept of Gandhian engineering, even though unknowingly, has made it a trend. But, this implies that it doesn’t get any easier for the advertisers rather, it becomes more difficult as each time they have to innovate and come up with ideas which will not only attract and entertain consumers, but spread awareness by doing things differently and better.