Amnesty International Advertisement

When we search the internet for weight loss programs, what is the one common thing we find in most of those websites?

The “before and after” pictures of users.

Most of the weight loss programs out there use this specific technique to convert the onlookers into participants. By showing the “before and after” effect of their program, they create desire among the onlookers and lend an air of credibility. A close example of that will be the ad below:

This post is not going to discuss any weight loss program ( I will share my weight loss journey separately). We will rather discuss a way to increase the weight of advertisements; a way which has been overly used by hair fall solution providers and weight loss programs. The way of using before and after-effects of a product in an advertisement.

This technique, however, has an inherent risk. The ads made using this technique depend largely on the claim the product makes. And when it came to making that claim, some advertisers had taken the “creative liberty” and made exaggerated promises to the users. As a result, the trust in the product and, to some extent, this technique has diminished slightly. It’s still possible to use this method effectively, but the advertiser needs to be delicate and careful in managing consumer expectations. If that can be ensured, these ads can be highly successful.

Now comes the question, “How to use it successfully?” There are two answers to this as “The Before and After Effect” can be used in two ways. We are going to call them the Solution Angle, and the Problem Angle. Let’s see how they work:

Method 4.A: Before and After- The Solution Angle

Visual Driven Ad


  1. Identify the problem your product is going to solve
  2. Present that problem using visual elements, in one part of the ad (usually left side)
  3. Present the solution using similar visual elements in the second part
  4. Add the copy/tagline/slogan to connect the images with the product
  5. Delicate and Careful: Try to keep the claim (solution’s effect) as realistic as possible
  6. If you are jokingly exaggerating the benefit to make the ad more interesting, keep it simple so that the audience also gets the joke.

In this method, the advertiser at first has to establish the problem using visuals. And once that’s done, the second part is about showing what the solution can do to the problem.

Let’s have a look at how this method works, with an example:

It starts with selecting the problem your product is going to solve; like loss of hair, insect attack, weight gain, etc. In our example, we are going to use a fictional product M, which is a traffic alert app. This app will notify the users of the current traffic situations and also suggest alternate and faster routes.

The first step is identifying the problem the product is going to solve. The problem here is that people are spending way too much time on the road, due to traffic jams. One potential solution which might mitigate people’s suffering is notifying them beforehand about the traffic condition and letting them know the fastest route. Product M is going to do exactly that.

After the problem is identified, we need to highlight the problem using visual elements. Rather than trying to present the whole traffic jam scenario visually, we are going to take a time and to see how traffic jam affects the activities during that period. Let’s take 7 to 10 PM; the period when working people come back home from their workplaces. During this 3 hour window, due to traffic jams, most of them can complete only the following jobs: come out of the office, spend hours in the traffic jam, and (maybe) reach home.

Image: The situation before a service called M was launched

Now that we have visually highlighted the problem, we are going to show how the solution is going to improve the situation. We already know that Product M is going to save users’ time by directing them towards alternate faster routes. Here, rather than focusing on the “save time” part, we are going to say that the product has made the users’ life faster; meaning that the users will be able to do more in the same 3-hour window. With the help of the app, within the same time, the user can now reach home, watch Lord of the Rings and have dinner.

Exaggeration: Lord of the Rings is a movie with a run-time of over 3 hours. (It’s a joke)

Image: What changed after M was launched

Now that we have shown the effect of the product, it’s time to use the copy and logo of the product to connect it all. And once that’s done, we have our advertisement.

Image: What is M?

Be Delicate and Careful: Will the app be able to suggest alternative routes which are going to save users’ time significantly? If it does, then making the above-mentioned claim is justified. If not, then the advertiser should resort to using any of the other Advertising Hacks.

Best if used by: Brands that provide direct and visible solutions to problems or/and Brands that want the consumers to take any type of action.

Some More Examples of the Before and After Effect: Solution Angle

One of my favorite ad series in the “before and after” mold is the one promoting the Tinka Lottery. This series shows how winning a lottery can change the social and economic standing of a player. For example, in the ad placed below, it’s shown that the person who hasn’t participated in the lottery is the chauffeur, and the person who won it is the passenger. This also shows that the chauffeur can change her position just by winning the lottery.

Image: Tinka Lottery App

Another ad in this series shows how the seller in a jewelry shop can change fortune and be in the position of the buyer by winning the lottery.

Image: Tinka Lottery App

Method 4.B: Before and After- The Problem Angle

Visual Driven Ad


  1. Identify the problem your product is going to solve
  2. Present that problem using visual elements, and use both the parts of the visual to highlight the problem
  3. Add the copy/tagline/slogan to connect the images with the product
  4. Be Delicate and Careful

In this second method, the advertiser uses both sides to focus on the problem. There are many ways to do that, but the most commonly used way would be to introduce the effect of the problem in the second image. The first image, in this technique, would show how the situation was before the problem affected it. And then the second image would show how the situation has worsened because of the problem.

This Amnesty International Uruguay Campaign was a heartbreaking campaign that used the before and after the technique. This campaign remembered the people, who were tortured and disappeared during the military dictatorship in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. It took the memories of families which had the missing member present. But then they recreated that same memory without that member to show the irreparable loss the family is suffering.

Image: Amnesty International Advertisement

Additional Example of the Before and After: Problem Angle

Advertisers often use another way while using this technique. This way would be to keep the problem constant in both the images; to establish that the problem is going to persist no matter what.

The next example is a very smart take on this technique. Have a look yourself to see what makes it special.

Image: Ad of Reynolds Permanent Marker

It’s an ad for a permanent marker, not a washing powder.

The ad takes advantage of the before and after framework in a clever way. It positions the ad in a way that the audiences will expect a solution to pop up. But instead of providing that solution, it has persisted with the problem, which was caused by the product.

Why do these ads work?

  1. The prime reason is that these ads give people something to aim for. We, human beings, feel safer when we know where we are going. These ads tell us exactly where the product will take us. In the simplest of ways, these ads show us the future. And who doesn’t love that?
  2. By stating the after-effect with certainty, the company shows that they know their product very well. The confidence they show in their product positively affects the audience as well.
  3. The “before and after” effect gives the product credibility. The visual element that represents the solution helps the users believe in the claim. However, playing with consumers’ trust is never a good idea. So, it’s important to only use this technique when the claim is true. Otherwise, the strategy will backfire in the long run.
  4. Another factor that helps the success of such ads is people’s desire to get rid of problems. These ads show that the product can solve unpopular problems, which in turn creates the desire for the product.

Among the 11 Advertising tricks, this method is one of the simplest. Yet it would be unwise to mistake its simplicity for ineffectiveness. In fact, because of its simplicity, this type of ad conveys its message more efficiently. It becomes easier for the audiences to comprehend the message, due to the simple and minimalist nature of the ads.

The before and after effect is being used in advertisements for a long time now. But the trick hasn’t lost its charm and remains effective when used with care.

The advertisements used in this post were for review purposes only.

I have written similar how-to guides using other advertising tricks. To read other advertising secrets and how-to guides, visit the following link:




3x Top Writer ⚡ 10+ years in Marketing & Growth Hacking. ⚡I help others in personal growth, branding & finance. ⚡Join

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Mofrad Muntasir

3x Top Writer ⚡ 10+ years in Marketing & Growth Hacking. ⚡I help others in personal growth, branding & finance. ⚡Join