5 Creative Ways to Use Print Ads

Print ads give your designers and marketers a lot of room to get creative. But what’s the best way to use all that space?

Some print ads are successful because they blur the line between advertising and content. This is often easier to do in print than digital because readers engage differently with physical content. But as with digital ads, some of the best print ads are simple, elegant images with clear headings and call to actions.

To help inspire your own print ads, here are five creative examples from Outreach Magazine.

1. B&H Publishing: Create a connection

B&H Publishing Ad

Using a lonely mountain road as a backdrop, B&H Publishing appealed to their target audience’s desire for spiritual growth. Instead of plastering Tony Evans’ name across the page and driving sales or preorders, this ad sells people on an idea. It helps the reader see a connection between Esther and their own personal journey.

There’s still a memorable, unique URL, but the call-to-action isn’t as explicit as you might expect in an ad for a book. If someone is sold on the concept of a product or service, they may just need a gentle nudge to check it out.

2. Cass Commercial Bank: Build brand awareness

Cass Commercial Bank Ad

Rather than solely focus on driving ebook downloads, Cass Commercial Bank recognized the branding opportunity they had to share who they are with a group of church leaders. So the first thing this ad does is tell Cass Commercial Bank’s story, and then it promotes a free resource that’s highly relevant to one of their target markets: churches who are considering loan options.

The icing on the cake? This ad teases an insight from the book: churches won’t want to get too invested in a lendor until they learn about this mistake many churches make in the loan process.

3. Funds2Orgs: Inspire curiosity

Funds2Orgs Ad

Funds2Orgs saw a print ad as a chance to catch the attention of the right people. Their innovative fundraising campaigns allow organizations to collect gently used shoes and exchange them for money—so you can raise money without asking for it. Naturally, their ad was going to feature shoes, but it’s essentially a teaser: they highlight the benefits of their service, then point people to where they can feed their curiosity.

4. Group Publishing: Address fears

Group Publishing Ad

For years, Christian leaders have written about how young people are walking away from the church in droves. Christian parents and church leaders obviously don’t want that to be the fate of their kids and students. This ad speaks to that fear by visually highlighting the pivotal moment preteens are in, and it promotes a free sample of the curriculum ministries can use to cultivate faith in the midst of a student’s doubts.

5. Baker Publishing: Capture attention

Baker Publishing Ad

Ray Comfort is a familiar figure to many Christians. His books and videos have modeled creative ways to share the gospel, address doubts, and confront other worldviews. But this ad doesn’t just leverage a popular author. It also prominently displays a frustrating claim Christians have likely encountered in popular culture: “Faith is for weak people.” If Ray Comfort’s face doesn’t capture someone’s attention, the title of his book will.

The premise of the book is clear, so you know exactly what you’re going to get and if the book is right for you. The ad doesn’t drive readers toward a particular channel, but after seeing this ad, people will recognize the book when they see it in stores or online.

Get creative

Whatever your marketing goals, there’s a lot you can do with print ads. Check out more examples of how other organizations have made this unique format work for them, and then get creative!