HSBC – “Turtle”
Advertising Agency: JWT, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Creative Directors: Mario D’Andrea, Fabio Miraglia, Roberto Fernandez
Art Director: Silvio Medeiros
Copywriter: Leandro Pinheiro
Illustrator: Open The Door
Contrast: This ad uses contrasts mostly in colors, with a very bold black and white image mostly. Half of the page is white with the images in black, and the other half is black with the images and text in white. The artist uses this to it’s advantage, by changing the image slightly and using the negative space in the second half to reveal the turtle changing into a plastic bag.
Repetition: The artist repeats the turtle image over and the white space (empty space) that turns into the plastic bag with minor alterations. Because the image of the turtle also repeats horizontally, and fills a diamond shape, it is clear to see the turtle (or the plastic bag) even with the minor alterations.
Alignment: Firstly, the images of the turtles and the plastic bags are all right-centered. Due to the image “transforming” I think this is a good choice for us to see it the turtle at the very top directly above the final plastic bag, making the visual connection more evident than if the images where flushed left or flushed right. The text on the right doesn’t have a strong alignment but the words are in italics, and the sentence one the bottom is spaced to the right of the one above it, so it flows in the natural left-to-right way most of us read.
Proximity: The images are all evenly spaced, helping with the illusion that is revealed at the end. All the turtles that have the same features are related to each other, with minor changes only when you go to the next line. Although there are many images in the larger images, they still become one visual unit. Another trick the artist used is once you get to the final bag, our eyes fall in the bottom center, and the text is on the right, because we tend to read left to right. If the text were on the right, our eyes wouldn’t naturally go back to the right after looking at the image in the center.
Color: Although the image is mostly black and white, the artist makes certain deliberate choices to make the image stand out. It uses the same hue of red used in the HSBC Insurance logo as a borer to the ad, not only to connect the ad with the company, but also to make the ad come forward and make an impact, even if the inside is purely black and white.
The artist used the elements of contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity and color to take a general ad into an extraordinary one with you powerful message that sticks. The whole image is a contrast of black and white, with images of the opposite color from top to bottom. Familiar patterns emerge until the Background’s repeating pattern is revealed to be something we recognize-the plastic bag, with the help of the contrast. Usually, centered alignment can have a boring look, but because the pattern forms a diamond shape and the tip at the top aligns horizontally with the tip at the bottle, the impact of the turtle transforming into a plastic bag is felt more strongly. The equal proximity of the images between each other, and the text guiding moving with the eye to the right make sure the small text is not missed. The eye-catching red on the border helps us pay attention to what seems to be a simple black and white image. The red also helps us looks at the only other red in the picture, HSBC logo and matching tag line. All these elements help the sign not only evoke an emotion, but ensures we will not forget the image.