If we’ve learned anything from Mad Men, it’s this: The world of marketing and advertisement is cutthroat, dirty, and superficial to the umpteenth degree. You might not like to admit it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t capitalize on the way things are to improve your own adverts and graphic designs. Use the following, sketchy tips to get the most bang out of your marketing campaigns.


Sex Really Does Sell

We might as well face it: “Whoopie” is a pretty powerful motivator. There have been all kinds of psychological studies conducted to prove this concept, but adding a sexual image to your design really does encourage people to use your product.

Balancing on the thin line between good marketing and tastelessness can be quite difficult, however. Consider these two advertisements for AXE body spray. The first presents a very simple, sexually explicit message: Use our product, and hordes of women will be yours. It’s a bit sexist, and might put-off women in your market. Instead, consider the latter commercial: It’s still sexy, but it disguises the blatant nature of its message with humor and a narrative.

So at the end of the day, the message is this—getting sexy with your designs might be just the thing a dry element needs, but don’t be too overt or too offensive, or you’ll alienate your target market.

Fear Is A Powerful Motivator

Don’t believe me? Think about the following message that comes from an actual advertisement produced during the 1950s:

“98% of all procurable women have venereal disease: Why bet against the odds?”

Think about that statement for a second: I’d be willing to bet very little to no research at all was conducted to prove this. Furthermore, who exactly are procurable women, anyway? But at its core, the advertisement is really just playing off fear. The message is, “If so many women have an STD, I’ll play it safe and sleep with no one.”

Obviously, you won’t have to say something similar very often in your own designs. But you can still use this marketing technique to your advantage. If your client sells data encryption, mark up the insecurity of their competitors’ services. Your man is the best bet in town. Make your client seem like the safest choice, and more often than not you’ll have a winning design on your hands.