Ingenious iPhone repair ad puts cracked screens on the map

Amac poster
(Image credit: Amac / QuastQuan on Reddit)

Street adverts have to work hard to make an impact, but when they succeed, they can be effective even for small independent brands. This advert for an iPhone repair shop shows that some of the best billboard advertising works by communicating to us on two levels in quick succession.

At first glance, it simply shows an iPhone with a broken screen. That should get the attention of anyone who's suffered that misfortune. And when they take a second look, they'll find out just where they can get the situation fixed.

iPhone broken? — The cracks on the screen resemble a city map of Maastricht / NL from r/DesignPorn

Look more closely at the advert and you see that the broken iPhone screen is a city map, with the cracks forming the streets in Maastricht in the Netherlands. The copy reads "iPhone broken? Let us fix it quickly", and an arrow indicates the location of the repair shop Amac.

"My first thought was "why?". Then I realized they're showing you where to go get your phone fixed using the "cracks" on the screen. Clever!," one person wrote on Reddit. Some people think the cracks look too real for people to realise that the design is a map, but locals familiar with the layout of the city streets say that they quickly saw the optical illusion.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.