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French advertisements use digital software to spread message

  • Published on May 5, 2014
French advertisements use digital software to spread message

To promote awareness for the growing illiteracy rates in France, The National Agency for the Fight Against Illiteracy in France released a string of advertisements that sought to shock and inform viewers by using pictures that resembled traditional advertisements, such as a mascara ad with a beautiful model, or a car ad with a shiny new vehicle. At first glance the viewer assumes the ad is for the product displayed, yet by taking time to read the text, the message about growing illiteracy becomes clear.

One ad looks like a traditional movie poster. It shows a dragon with its mouth wide open, against a dark, mountainous background. The text reads: "Unfortunately, over 3 million people in France will keep on thinking that this is a poster for a Film with Dragons." The people who take the time to read all the text on the picture can clearly see that the picture is not a real movie promotion, but viewers who skim over the ad miss the subtle message found within.

Another image features a beautiful woman with perfect makeup alongside a tube of mascara. Similar to the dragon photo, the message reads the same, with a large "Mascara" and accompanying shocking statistics splayed across the screen. A third ad features a woman on the beach, appearing to sell a swimsuit.

The images come from French advertising agency DDB Paris, which won a Yellow Pencil award for its provocative works, according to The Huffington Post. The award recognizes excellence in design and art among advertisements, and is renowned across the design field.

As this campaign shows, digital design tools can be used for worthwhile social causes, and to create effective and creative marketing materials. The skills used to create these ads are covered in the various Adobe training courses delivered at American Graphics Institute.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.