Gorilla Tape
Ad Campaign

Advertising Design

Gorilla Tape ad with kettlebellGorilla Tape ad with plateGorilla Tape ad with dumbbell

The mandate:
Sell the strength of the product.

This project, executed for an Advertising Design course, required producing an advertising campaign for an existing product available in a hardware store. The theme of this project came to be Gorilla Tape, introduced in 2005 as a reinforced, stronger form of duct tape.

The purpose of the ad was to persuade the audience of the quality of the product through a series of 3 ads. The goal was for it to appeal to active, professional men, mostly in their 30s and 40s. Humour was to be used to appeal to the target audience.

The process:
Look at what's out there.

Pinpoint the competition...

A market research was conducted about the history of duct tape, its household use, as well as future demand. The main competition was identified as Duck, Scotch(3M), Gaffer Power, and Platypus. The selling point of duct tape is its strength and durability: companies that produce it seek an ever longer and stronger hold. Gorilla Tape emphasizes this tenacity with a helpful and powerful gorilla in its TV adverts. For print and online media, however, a cleaner and more immediate solution was envisioned.

Then establish who you are.

A moodboard was put together, where clean and bright colours, sharp lines, and big bold type stood out. These matched the loud and recognizable company colours: it made sense to sample from a similar palette.

Gorilla Tape ad in magazine

The solution:
Loud colours and bold type.

The final ad campaign features three objects commonly found in a gym: a dumbbell, a kettlebell and a weighted plate. In each shot, the object seems securely taped to a wall and effortlessly held by the strength of the tape alone. Combined with the tagline “(Almost) As Strong As You Are”, it makes for a lighthearted joke targeting those who think highly of their own strength, especially in a gym setting. It is also a self-deprecating statement about the overblown claims of some advertisements, which sets the company apart from said culprits.

A bright orange background, loud and boisterous, sets the tone for the three ads, tied together with a similar layout. Only the object at the forefront changes, but the slogan is always there, displayed in bold type in alternating – and equally contrasting –  white and black.

The ad may be placed in catalogues or flyers for hardware stores, in magazines focused on renovations and/or the outdoors, in the hardware stores themselves as banners, and as sidebar advertisements on websites that the target audience might visit.

The benefits:
Humour + Honesty.

A dominating visual, combined with loud colours and bold type, produced an effective campaign for Gorilla Tape. A touch of self-deprecating humour and a clear focal point do more than suggest the benefit of the product: instead, the ads shout and jokingly show off, while appearing honest and self-aware.