Oreo’s. Who doesn’t love them? I chose to do my reverse engineer project on an ad produced by Nabisco for the 2013 Super Bowl. I’ve posted the original ad below. Notice the simplicity, yet boldness of the message. For the duration of this post, I will analyze the design and color of this ad by walking through how the designer utilized the following principles: contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, and color.
Although this ad appears to be quite simple, the designer was very effective in adding a certain degree of visual interest by using the principle of contrast. The viewer’s attention is caught immediately upon the first glance. We see that most of the contrast comes from the variation in simple color choices. There are literately three colors: Oreo cookie black, off white, and a humble shade of blue. The colors are spread out enough that they don’t clash, yet they’re all quite complementary. Although the text remains the same, there is yet again another combination of those three colors. I think the Oreo cookie split in half, each part on a different side of the ad, I think that it’s so catching to the eye because of its contrast. Sure, it’s the same Oreo cookie, yet to the audience, the cookie itself is like completely separate from the creme, and vise versa.
I’ve marked several elements in this ad that represent the principle of repetition. The most obvious example is the two cookies. Although different sides are displayed, the designer chose to display a cookie on each side of the banner, which also shows repetition as it doubles for the second part of the phrase. The font remains the same size and same font style throughout the ad. The consistency in the font ties the ad together, and creates a sense of unity.
I think that one of the biggest reasons as to why I enjoy looking at this ad is because of how the designer utilized the principle of alignment. As you can see, I drew a vertical line, and a horizonal line. There is an obvious visual connection when we look at the ad this way. If you were to cut it in half vertically, it would almost be a mirror image. The designer already placed a faint line horizontally, which serves as a breaker for the image, meaning that it helps with the organization as a whole. Unity is another result of proper alignment. There is nothing on the page that serves as a distraction or block. In fact, the entire ad is placed in the center of the viewer’s screen.
When a designer chooses to place items within close proximity or distance of each other, it’s as if they become one visual unit. The main purpose of proximity is to organize the design. I marked with yellow all of the points of proximity that catch my eye. I’ve marked the four corners with “X’s” to show the white space, or unused portion. Although there is white space in this ad, I don’t necessarily see it was excessive. In fact, there is just enough space around the border of the ad that it looks balanced. We see that the proximity from the border to the edge of each banner is equal. There is a similar distance between the Oreo’s and the banner. I like how the designer didn’t try and cram everything into such a small space. It all seems fairly close, yet at the same time, extremely balanced between the graphics and the edges.
Like I had stated in an earlier section of this post, the colors chosen for this ad are very complimentary. I believe that the designer chose a subtle blue in order to keep the black and white balanced. While there are only three colors, I feel like the ad doesn’t need any more, otherwise it might be a tad excessive. I especially find interested how at the bottom where is says, “Choose your side on Instagram @ Oreo”, the color of the text switches to blue for the username. Although it’s not consistent, it goes really well and helps the username/account for Oreo stand out. After all, that’s what the designer wants us to remember.
After a deep analyzation of this Oreo advertisement, I’ve been able to put together all the pieces as to what makes a successful ad. A successful ad clearly delivers a message. It leaves the views with no questions or uncertainty. A successful ad is organized and attractive to the eye. In this Super Bowl ad, we see in what ways the designer successfully portrayed a message to an insanely large audience. It captured the attention of the Oreo lover, and even the folks that prefer the cookie over the cream, or the cream over the cookie. The basic principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, and color have provided me with insight as to what pieces are essential for a solid, meaningful ad.