Funny advertising images, how to avoid being boring.

Although I work as a advertising photographer in Stockholm myself, still i get tired almost every time I come into contact with advertising. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I actually been entertained or inspired by advertising. As I’m writing this post, I received two advertising flyers thrown through the mail-slot of my studio and as soon as I heard the flyers hit the floor I felt provoked. I get the same boring advertisement each month that I just quickly throw in the trash. Should advertising really be that way? Why don’t we see more funny advertising images? We could!

A young boy is bossing over his older employees.
This images was created for an interior designer. We wanted to do something else than just a simple picture of the interior, so we arranged a creative and funny situation where a younger boy speaks at a important meeting.

Entertain your customers and visitors

Certainly there are areas you should not joke around with or where you at least should be a bit restrictive, such as the pharmaceutical industry, I’m an advertising photographer and do a lot of work for pharmaceutical companies. But even in this area one can be entertaining.

My first tip when it comes to your advertising images. DO NOT BE SO BORING!! You waste time, energy and resources. People cannot stand hearing (or see) a bunch of gibberish and sales talk, people want to be inspired, entertained and happy. Joke around a little, relax, do not be so serious and try loosen up a little. I understand the concept that we want to be serious, but being too serious is not very serious anymore.

Advertising image guard and dog caught couple making out
Entertain your customers with funny advertising images so that they don’t fall a sleep of boringness. A guard and his dog caught a couple making out in the office after closing time.

Tell stories

Make use of storytelling in your print advertising, it does not need to be a true story, it may be fictional, but please tell us something fun. If it is fictitious be sincere that it is. Then you are probably wondering how to tell stories with static images? Nothing is impossible today, you can cut and paste different images so you can convey anything in pictorial form in that way they become funny advertising images.

Let’s say that you offer effective chemical decontamination. A couple of girls in a stable have ganged up to joke with their stable mate, who does not quite fit in. They place a bunch of test tubes with chemicals in the mate’s part of the stable, of course the horse eats the chemicals and shrinks into a small donkey. At the same time the stable owner shows up with a fine looking horse, both the owner and the horse laugh when they see the donkey. Tagline: Need effective chemical decontamination? (Sorry, I am not a copywriter, but you get the point)

A man in a stable with his shrinked horse, his friends did a prank.
Tell stories with your images. Nothing is impossible with advanced composite techniques where we put several images together to create a story.

Be real

Believe me, people are EXPERTS at telling whether something is genuine or not. Most people have a built-in advertising radar that begins to shout as soon as something looks inauthentic. Make images visually stylish and AUTHENTIC. Buying an image for 150USD from iStockphoto might work for a particular purpose. Please understand, my opinion is not to put all stock images under one roof and say that it is bad, there are so many fantastic stock images out there that are valuable if used correctly. Otherwise, there is a great risk that all advertising turns into one big cliché.

Create beautiful conceptual funny advertising images that fit YOUR business and YOUR brand, not the images that fit 100 different brands.

Funny advertising image from a warehouse where a logistic worker have been cloned three times to work faster.
A company clones their employees and optimizes their logistics.

Make it look good

I often talk about the content before technical quality. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the technical quality, but rather that the technical quality often gets in the way of the content to be conveyed. However, the pictures have to be attractive and well thought-out with the right lighting, good composition (how objects are placed in relation to each other) right environment, the right props and right models.

Funny advertising image of a woman and her dog waiting for their turn to see the vet and an accident happen.
An accident in the cat and dog clinic. A more creative and funnier way of displaying a company, instead of just showing a simple image of their interior.

The bottom line

The bottom line, too keep peoples interest when they see your advertising: entertain them and tell stories to them about your company or your product. Do not convey sales clichés, people are not interested in that. Be genuine, if you use image agencies use them in moderation and in the right way. Create conceptual images that are genuine and reflect your business or your product. Make it radically attractive and your photos will be recognized.

If you are interested in seeing more funny advertising images visit this blogpost: Web Design Depot – Funny print ads.

Good luck 🙂

How we made this advertising image. See how we created this image with layers in Photoshop.

Se hur vi byggt upp denna bild med lager i photoshop


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