Low-Tech and Low-Budget Ads: More Bang for Your Buck

The power of technology in this modern world is indisputable. Its dominating presence in all aspects of society and culture presents a unique advertising opportunity to produce ads so low tech that the cheeky satire of it all isn’t lost on even the most aloof consumer. Here are some of the best examples of low-tech and low-budget advertising that worked like a charm.

Experience the Power of a Bookbook

IKEA almost makes this no competition at all, with its hilariously brilliant, insanely simple and ironic 2015 IKEA catalog commercial. Its catalog isn’t an e-book — it’s a “bookbook,” with a display that expands when you open it and high-resolution images that load instantaneously (when you turn the page). You can bookmark items that you want to save (with sticky notes). A hand model over-exaggerates demonstrative gestures. Simply swipe right to go forward, swipe left to go backwards. Simple. Brilliant.

Totally poking fun at every tablet commercial ever made, it succeeds beyond every snarky comedy writer’s wildest dreams. An adorable 20-something preppy hipster dude with an extra-thick Swedish accent narrates the bookbook’s features that are at times giggle inducing.

The bookbook is the simple, no-plug-in, endless-battery-life anecdote to the barrage of high-tech, high-priced tablet ads that dominate the market.

High Tech Down Under

From no tech to below deck tech, Samsung’s water-resistant Galaxy S7 Edge may be super high quality and high tech, but the unforgettable ads announcing its release required little more than a snorkel, a swimming pool, one of the biggest hip-hop artists on the planet and champagne.

The first of Samsung’s ads was called “Underwater Unboxing” and featured T-Mobile product expert @AskDes in a wetsuit at the bottom of a pool. Des opens up the phone box to reveal all the waterproof goodies inside for summer-ready customers. A closed captioning at the bottom of the screen translates Des’ product descriptions spoken through his hot pink snorkel.

The second ad called “Champagne Calls” features Lil Wayne pouring champagne onto his Galaxy S7 Edge and laughing as his entourage watches in awe. Then, Weezy calls his buddy and drops his phone into the fish tank as he continues the conversation.

These are both prime examples of taking humor and consumer expectations into account when designing a low-tech ad campaign that is imitable and memorable while offering advertisers bang for their buck.

Save the Tech and the Trees

Sometimes the simplest details, those that really define the ethos of a company, get thrown out the window when developing an ad campaign. But sometimes good advertising comes down to clever and honest verbiage as well as open and honest communication.

@Issue, the online journal of business and design, cites a dramatically simple and humorous collection cup that is strapped to a tree to gather donations for the Oro Verde Rainforest Foundation. The ad was created by a marketing-heavy hitter in Frankfurt, Germany. The handwritten cards, which were placed on 600-plus trees all over Germany, increased donations by 25 percent.


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