While I love public relations, I am also passionate about digital art and advertising, so I liked reading the assigned articles about controversial newspaper advertisements for Alice in Wonderland and King Kong for our PR class. No, these advertisements weren’t controversial because they contain foul language or nudity. They were advertisements that made bold design choices by appearing on top of or in place of Los Angeles Times articles. The King Kong advertisement even included fake articles and photographs to advertise a new ride at Universal Studios. While part of the PR class thought the advertisements were creative and effective, I wasn’t so sure. In response to both advertisements, many critics wondered if interrupting or faking news articles cheapened the Los Angeles Times. Personally, in a society where newspaper readership is rapidly decreasing, I wondered why a company would spend the money to place a controversial advertisement in a newspaper? Why not spend less money and reach a larger audience by advertising on the Internet?
Though I didn’t agree with the design choices made in the advertisements mentioned above, I love the following series of advertisements created by Stihl and placed in the Wall Street Journal. While they are also printed in a newspaper, these advertisements don’t fabricate stories or cause a scene. They are placed within an article written specifically about the product and make excellent use of contrast and white space. I appreciate that these advertisements are elegant and eye-catching without trying too hard. They let news be news and still sell a product. Hell, they make me want to go buy power tools. Well…maybe.