Is using solely copy an effective method of advertising?
In the advertisement above, it is. Volkswagen is known for their minimalist art direction. And here, it works perfectly. A poignant use of a small typeface on a large white background is all that is necessary to effectively and creatively convey their message. By using a simple auto correct reference, viewers immediately understand that Volkswagen does not want people to text while driving. No image is needed here.
Similarly, Durex uses solely type in an powerful way. Viewers do not need to see an image of Herpes to understand that Durex is preaching safe sex. A simple, creative spin on words is just as effective.
Yet there is always an exception…
No matter how yummy Jimmy John’s hot dogs are, this advertisement of theirs does not comply with the standard of their food. How does the word “fly” relate to hot dogs? I understand that this means that the delivery guy will deliver food fast, but the copy does not relate back to the product.
If done so with creativity, grace, and purpose, the use of solely copy in an advertisement can be extremely effective. It all depends on the message. Do I want to see a scrumptious image of a hot dog if I am being sold one? Of course. An image of herpes to prevent unsafe sex? Not so much.