So, you’ve got a slot for a print ad in an upcoming magazine. You have a full page spread—maybe even two pages—to communicate a big idea, create positive associations with your brand, and drive results.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what your print ad should look like. You want it to be a creative, visually compelling reflection of your brand. Our main tips for designing print ads are:
- Make sure it’s easy to read
- Use your space wisely
- Choose a clear call-to-action
- Know your audience
Whatever your message is, you want your ad to communicate it clearly, and you want to be confident that it’s appropriate for the people who will see it. And of course, you want it to produce results—which means it needs to give your audience something to do.
To give you some inspiration for your own ads, here are six real examples of print ads pulled straight from Outreach Magazine, along with insights into why they work.
1. Awana: Youth ministry curriculum
It’s immediately clear that this ad is all about kids. That’s what Awana is all about, too. The imagery in this ad invites church leaders to imagine how they could engage their youth with age appropriate, Gospel-centered teaching.
The people Awana is trying to reach come from a broad range of demographics, theological perspectives, and church sizes, so Awana wants to make it clear that their curriculum isn’t “one-size-fits-all.”
Church leaders also want to be confident that their teaching materials are rooted in what matters most—the Gospel—so that they aren’t just teaching kids stories, but inviting them into a lasting relationship with Jesus.
The call-to-action is simple, trackable, and no pressure. Church leaders want curriculum they can trust. So Awana lets them have some for free.
2. Pushpay: Mobile giving
Pushpay used this two-page spread to deliver a one-two punch. The first page uses a single statistic to communicate the problem, and the second page simply states how Pushpay solves it. The font is big, bold, and clear, and the URL they want people to go to is short and easy to remember.
Churches that already have mobile giving will look at this ad and second-guess how fast their giving platform is. Those that don’t have mobile giving may start to imagine a service without the disruptive ritual of passing the offering plate. And anyone who reads this ad should come away associating Pushpay with speed and simplicity.
3. Zondervan: Comfort Print Bible
This ad visually communicates the product’s most appealing features. The headline uses a large, clear font with plenty of white space to help the letters pop. And rather than just listing the Comfort Print’s dimensions, the thumbtack gives a tangible picture of just how thin this Bible is. The call-to-action isn’t trackable, but it’s incredibly easy to remember—it’s just the name of the product.
4. Church Mutual Insurance Company
This ad uses a single elegant image and just four short lines of text to tell a story of perseverance—a story any church would be happy to call its own. Below the image, Church Mutual Insurance Company communicates how their legacy protects yours, and invites you to see your church in the story above.
5. Avia Tours: Tours of the Holy Land
Avia Tours’ target audience wants to see the Holy Land. So their ad shows it to them. Between the headline and the image, it’s immediately clear what Avia Tours is offering. They also include an incentive that will appeal to a broad segment of the people who see this ad: “pastors travel for free!” And to cap it off, they create urgency by letting people know that space is limited.
Avia Tours knows who they’re talking to, and they’re making the most of their opportunity to connect with this specific audience.
6. Tony Evans: Digital Bible study courses
Tony Evans wants busy church leaders to think of their phones as a portable seminary, a spiritual escape where they can be filled the way they would in the solitude of the mountains. The course list makes it easy for a wide range of people to find a topic that appeals to them, and of course, it’s very clear who these teachings come from and how they can learn more.
How will you reach your audience?
In digital content, ads often feel like a distraction from what you really want to watch or read. But in print, ads are part of the experience, and they often reinforce the aspirations and challenges that brought you to the magazine in the first place.
Print ads are a valuable opportunity to create lasting impressions of your brand and expose new people to your products and services. Hopefully these examples have given you some ideas for how you can reach your audience through print.