When It Comes To Marketing Effectively, Sometimes Less IS More

“Don’t let your Marketing become a Hardee’s Thick Burger”

That’s one of the phrases my professors from college used to tell us graphic design students that stuck with me over the years.

Before I was a marketing strategist I started my professional career as a graphic designer. I was in college around the time Hardee’s released their Chili Cheese Thick Burger, which was the main reason I gained the Freshman 15.

Some of you might remember the commercial for this. There was a very attractive female sitting in an 18-wheeler truck in skimpy clothes in front of a Hardee’s chowing down on this massive chili cheese piece of heaven. There is chili and cheese overflowing from all sides of the burger as she bites down into it creating a huge mess. When she’s done with the burger, she picks up the paper wrapper and starts to lick the drippings off the paper. Yea, it’s actually that good. I may have done this once or twice myself.

So, what does this have to do with minimalistic marketing and increasing your leads? Our professor used this commercial as a comparison to some of the work he was seeing produced.

Some of the students would fill their entire canvas with design elements to the point where it looked like the burger wrapper, a complete mess. 

Marketers have a similar tendency. They attempt to fill every single bit of available space in their marketing campaigns in an attempt to improve the overall effectiveness.

Chaotic Advertising Creates Buyer Anxiety. Try Taking A More Simplistic Approach To Your Marketing.

When in reality, taking the simple route will, for the most part, get you where you need to go faster and more efficiently. Overwhelming a viewer with content or design is a strategy that works in an appropriate setting. However, we are seeing that users online have shorter and shorter attention spans which means we need to convey a clear and concise message quickly to have a lasting impact. 

Different colors, themes, styles, and techniques evoke certain emotions and connect with different groups. When creating digital marketing strategies and graphic design you must always think about who you are targeting. 

With this in mind, you should also think strongly about who you are not marketing to in an effort to avoid attracting the wrong audience.

Here are a few examples of great marketing that take a simplistic approach:

McDonald’s says “wifi” with a top menu item

McDonald’s had a great campaign when they began introducing wi-fi in their restaurants. They could have shown people on their various devices but instead, they took a very simple approach. They used one of their iconic menu items, the french fry, and bent them in the shape of the widely known symbol for wi-fi. This was a great campaign that gets the message across that they now have wi-fi access but did it using their food products.





Coca-Cola employ’s a lemon peel to send a message

Coca-cola took a similar approach. Their brand’s typeface is unique and recognizable. So much so that a single letter can be associated with the Coca-cola brand. For this ad, they turned a lemon peel into the letter “C”. By only using a single letter they create a very light and airy feeling versus using the full name. This in conjunction with the lemon peel lets you know three things.

              1. It’s Coca-cola
              2. It’s a diet or lighter version of the beverage
              3. It has lemon flavoring in it






Chipotle has a way with (few) words

The last example we will look at is Chipotle. For their ad, they got a white billboard and filled it with text. Much of the text blends in with the color of the billboard. Whereas key words are given a pop of color. You immediately focus on the bold letters reading them first. Before reading the extra fluff words that support the sentence but aren’t critical to the message.


These three brands really capture how minimalism can work to your benefit. Flipping through pages in magazines or driving past a billboard only gives you a few moments to really interpret the message. Each of them uses the negative space around the focal point to really emphasize what the brand wants the viewer to fixate on. 

This simple principle of minimalistic marketing can also be applied to everything from paid search campaigns, photography, branding and content development. Creating a clear focus on your message helps the user connect with your brand quicker and more effectively.

If you are looking for other ideas on how to improve your connection with your target audience, check out our Guide To Understanding Your Target Audience.

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