As consumers, we are inundated on a daily basis with visuals advertising a product or service. While some may be attention-grabbing or arresting and lead viewers to read the accompanying copy, some are powerful enough in their visual impact alone, conveying the desired message succinctly without the assistance of extended copy. Visual ads with just a tagline or the advertiser’s logo can express an idea, simple or complex, in an unusual, entertaining, intriguing, or comical way.
This print ad for Goldstar beer does just that:
The ad uses a flow chart style, the everyday symbols indicating a restroom for men or for women, and expands upon both. Playing on the idea that women take complex mental routes to arrive to their drink and outfit of choice, the straightforward man with a direct, unquestionable route to his Goldstar beer is set in comparison. The “Thank God you’re a man.” tagline reinforces the visual’s male-targeted concept.
Other ads in the campaign are similar in design and idea, incorporating other differences between men and women, like this one of a woman’s interpretation and contrived meaning of actions when drinking alcohol contrasted with the simple, ultimate intention of a man drinking Goldstar beer.
Both of these ads are effective because they play on truths, on the actions that real women universally partake in, whether they know they are doing it or not. By specifically targeting men and in some cases alienating women, the ads narrow their complexity even further. Some may find the ads to be sexist and the insights portrayed to be incorrect, but for a beer advertisement, can you really expect more than cheap humor at the expense of women? Visually unusual, the ads cleverly position Goldstar beer as a man’s drink, plain and simple.