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Words or Pictures? Both?

In a recent informal survey, we asked advertising agency professionals which type of ad they are more drawn to: one with an image but no words, or one with words and no image. “Words with no image” won in a landslide…but don’t tell Rosetta Stone, the language-unlocking artifact, or Rosetta Stone, the language-teaching brand.

The original stone itself acted as a key to help the modern world understand the pictures that acted as language in the ancient world. Using “Rosetta Stone” as a brand name has always been a brilliant branding choice for the company that can teach you anything from Swedish to Swahili. Check out their newest ad campaign. Although one might expect a language-company’s ad to be driven by copywriting, it’s the visual that really catches the eye here:

The headline – in immediately understandable French, thanks to the ridiculous and ridiculously adorable photo of a moustachioed infant – ties it all together. Voila: the brand’s message is immediately unlocked in the viewer’s brain. Is the correlation between the ad and the artifact a bit of a stretch or a brilliant modern interpretation? I’d say the latter. Très bien, Rosetta Stone!

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency


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