6 Days 6 Posters

I read three books this spring. Persuasion by Gass & Seiter, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, and Made to Stick by the Heath brothers. When it comes to branding, these are the three books I highly recommend. These books will not just entertain you, they will change the way you look at things and brands. I tried that and looked at six posters to see if they changed my perspective. I found these books and what they preach in every single poster.

I have highlighted the relevant parts from the books and tried to condense the learnings from these books into short blogs. These books can be downloaded or bought. If you are hungry for knowledge, consider these your Big Macs. Happy learning.

If you are hungry for knowledge, consider these your Big Macs.

Shot on iPhone.

#6DaysSixPosters - DAY 1

Every morning at around 9 a.m. I reach the Farragut West metro station in DC to get to the World Bank. Although I love mornings as much as Donald Trump loves CNN, still at around 9:01 a.m. at Farragut West I do manage to get an organic smile. This is because of three reasons. The first reason is before I get on the escalator to get to the 18th Street I can smell the alluring aroma of fresh coffee, thanks to Pret a Manger coffee shop. This cup of coffee is actually what wakes me up every morning. The second reason is the sound of street-musicians usually playing some Bruno Mars song. The pitch rises gradually as I move closer to the exit. The sound of the saxophone and the beat of the drums resuscitates and revives me back to life. The third is the plethora of ads displayed on the wall as you walk towards the escalator. Almost every day there is a new one and I am looking forward to seeing the creativity, albeit rather critically. 

Today was special because I had to hunt for the first one for my 6 days blog. Fortunately ‘the new one’ today was an ad from my favorite brand Apple, the makers of iPhone. The poster shown above immediately took me to the scores of concepts I read in the books.

“There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (pg. 131-2)


Apple is known for its simplicity in branding and advertising. Simplicity lies at the core of the three agents of change according to Malcolm Gladwell, “the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.” (pg 19).

“According to mobile analytics firm AdMob, 25 percent of all iPhone users are under age 25 while 46 percent are under age 35, which means that iPhone users are generally young and, according to additional AdMob statistics, affluent. And iPhone users are 57 percent male.” (Source Chron, retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/iphone-advertising-strategy-13596.html)

iPhone users are more educated, more affluent compared to Android users. They are also professionals and/or entrepreneurs. Although there is no age guidance for iPhone segmentation, when they advertise they focus on a younger crowd between the ages of 18 to 25. People who love music and social media, who love taking pictures and making a statement are the core audience for iPhone.

Anyone who shops for a smartphone pays close attention to the rear-facing camera. It is the backbone of social media and one’s digital identity. And this is the feature Apple uses in this poster to sell the iPhones. The message and the visual are strikingly simple and if you are on the verge of buying a phone, this poster will persuade you to pick up an iPhone. No wonder Apple is the most revered brand in the world.

“When you say three things, you say nothing.” 

― Chip Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (pg. 50)


“Earth Shot on iPhone” Four words that sum up the entire pitch. Focusing on just one feature out of numerous features in the iPhone.  Seems like someone read “Made to Stick” before creating this campaign. This is how you design an idea that sticks. According to Heath a sticky idea is an idea that is more likely to make a difference. Although this poster covers almost all the principles of Stickiness, I feel “Credibility” here makes a great impact. The subliminal message ‘look at the picture taken by the rear-camera designed by Apple’ combined with the supraliminal message of four words hits the nail on the head. Which reminds me I need to upgrade my phone.


I want to end this with a quote from Gass and Seiter that sums up the power of the poster for me.

“Images are powerful. They can move us in ways that words cannot. Their potency stems partly from their realness or the idea that seeing is believing.” Persuasion: Social Influence and Compliance gaining, Robert H. Gass, John S. Seiter (pg. 310)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *