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This is a great question. One of the best persuasive posters that I have ever seen was Apple computer's "think differently campaign." There are three reasons why I thought the posters were great.
First, they were extremely simple. Please see link below. They were just pictures of famous people who have done something remarkable in life. Just the faces of the people show something great. This is really a case where a picture is worth a thousand words.
Second, by using these famous people in their advertisement campaign, they have made a mental association with these famous people and their company. This can be powerful, because the implication is that these people would have used an Apple computer, if they had the chance.
Third, it also leaves the impression that if you really want to think outside the box, then you must not use a competitor's computer (a PC).
The blog for 101GreatBrochures shows several effectively persuasive brochures. The first one, in its cheery orange, surely persuades me to go out and buy myself a box of organic vegetables. Some elements that make the brochure effective are the proportions of the sections; they have the feel of orderliness and productivity, like a well tended vegetable garden. The most effective visual is the box of organic vegetables. It has shape with movement, color, and graceful sweeping lines. These are all refreshing and emotionally appealing and whet the appetite.
The second one is persuading citizens to endorse Canada's British Columbian Living Water Smart program. It is very effective and persuasive, to my mind, because it presents both sentimentality (pathos) and reality (logos). Firstly, the lovely little girl drinking clean water from a shinning glass, with a single drop of water juxtaposed below it, calls up loyalty and duty toward family health along with tender loving feelings. Secondly, the clear, deeply colored water plashing and burbling up around the edges of the visual field produces a sense of the cold hard reality of water in danger and water needing protection. I'm emotionally inspired and logically persuaded to back the Living Water Smart program. Additionally, that there are several official seals adorning the exterior of the brochure provides me with confirming third-party objective support for my decision to be persuaded.
I think that some of the best persuasive posters are the smoking cessation campaign from the American Lung Association. Some of them are simply breathtaking, and many are so completely disgusting that the viewer only wants to look away. Yet they are persuasive because they make good use of visuals and witty catch phrases. Here is a link to some of these.
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