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9 great uses of typography in TV commercials

Kinetic typography (opens in new tab) has become increasingly popular in the last few years, with a variety of brands using the style to make their TV commercials (opens in new tab) stand out. From Old Spice to Ikea, we highlight some of the most creative uses of typography to sell us stuff on our screens...

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01. Ford F-150

The automotive industry seems to be a huge fan of kinetic typography and this ad from Ford to showcase their F-150 pick-up truck is a brilliant example. Using a bold font entirely in uppercase helped the brand reinforce its final 'Built Tough' strapline and clearly brought much success, with the car company going on to use typography again in its TV ad for the Ford Taurus SHO.

02. Starbucks

Coffee giant Starbucks used animated text for its 2008 Presidential election ad, tempting coffee lovers to exchange their vote for a free beverage. Entirely in capitals and in that all-so distinctive Starbucks green, the brand used different sized text to generate emotion and empathy with its customers.

03. Pepsi

What better way to launch your new logo than to splash it all over a TV ad, right? That was clearly Pepsi's tactic in 2011 when they used an ad for its Refresh Project to showcase the new design, swapping all Os and 0s with the infamous blue, red and white circle.

04. Ikea

Ikea teamed up with London based animation company Bermuda Shorts to create an typographical TV ad that made the viewer question whether they're living in a "house or a home". The 60-second short uses a multitude of fonts whilst graphics were created using a combination of animation techniques; Flash (opens in new tab), After Effects (opens in new tab) and CGI. 


05. McDonalds

American burger giant McDonalds joined the typography trend in 2010 with the launch of its Little Tasters TV ad. A joint effort between Penny Royal Films (opens in new tab), Blac Ionica (opens in new tab) and top creatives from Leo Burnett (opens in new tab), the style emulated the great Saul Bass and used playful imagery and soft tones to celebrate the new menu.

06. Subaru

Subaru got on board with the car industry's TV typography trend when it partnered up with Salt Lake City's Lone Peak Productions (opens in new tab) to highlight Utah's number one Subaru dealer in 2011. The ads were created in After Effects and shot in Lone Peak's studio.

07. Mothers Against Drunk Driving

This non-profit organisation in the US used a bold style of typography to advertise its partnership with personal injury lawyers Robert J DeBry and Associates. Created in After Effects, the very short 15-second spot uses an inspiring mixture of graphics and typography.

08. Bet365

Online gambling company Bet365 has used typography in a variety of ways throughout its TV ad campaign with Ray Winstone. Text swirls about the actor to portray that the viewer will, like Winstone, be knowingly in-control of information regarding the odds if they use the site to gamble.

09. Vodafone

Vodafone has used topography in a number of its TV spots, all incorporating the brand's identity colours of white and red. It's more well-known ad from 2007 sees the network provider use a mixture of animation and typography to create a playful tone.

Words: Natalie Brandweiner (opens in new tab)

Natalie Brandweiner is an online journalist for MyCustomer.com (opens in new tab), covering social media and marketing, and has a keen interest in design.

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