Graphic Ad Analysis

Softlan Ultra created a happy yet unusual advertisement using an often thought of stinky sport, wrestling, to promote its laundry detergent. The ad is referred to as one of the fifty-two most interesting advertisements created. Rahul Matthew takes the credit for designing this popular and engaging ad (Lupsan). When you first look at the ad confusion yet appealing thoughts run through your head. You laugh at the man’s facial expression because wrestling is usually portrayed as a smelly, sweaty sport. The ad blurs the background drawing your attention to the colorful men in the center and the Softlan Ultra image in the bottom right corner. The humor behind the Softlan message creates a happy, lighthearted mood.

The elements and principles of design are used artistically to achieve the comical entertaining aspects of the advertisement. The men form a horizontal line with soft curves which suggests a feeling of comfort and relaxation. The ad depicts a smooth yet wet texture with the glossy mat and sweaty skin and singlet. The contrast then separates the men from the background, focusing all attention on them and the facial expression of the man on the left. The red and yellow colors imply the energy and excitement pertaining to the successful product during the wrestling match. The symmetrical balance of the two men in the ad creates an emphasis on the center of the picture on the one man’s face. All of these elements and principles of design create a realistic depiction of two men wrestling while selling the Softlan Ultra detergent (Jirousek).

The advertisement clearly expresses that the Softlan Ultra laundry detergent will overcome any repulsive smell and clean the clothing throughly. Even in such a smelly sport like wrestling the product will defeat the nauseating odor leaving the clothes smelling fresh. Using semiotics to interpret the ad, first the signifier and signified have to be determined. The signifier is any material thing the signifies, and the signified is the concept that a signifier refers to (The Semiotics of Media). In this ad the signifier is the man’s facial expression that is telling the audience how fantastic his opponents singlet smells. The signified is the small icon in the corner representing the Softlan Ultra detergent that is causing this man’s face to be intrigued and happy. In the article it is stated that advertisers say a lot with as few words as possible and that these frequently turn to common myths (The Semiotics of Media). There are no words at all in this ad, yet the common myth of wrestlers being very smelly is portrayed strongly. As an athlete it’s a common stereotype to be thought of as reeking sweat, although many athletes do not smell as bad as characterized.  It still makes me laugh because the man’s facial expression is priceless but the ad reinforces the common myth of smelly athletes.

I think the ad communicates its message effectively while using some comedy relief. There are no words to cause confusion, the ad is straight to the point representing the product. I think the ad sells the product well and will have a favorable effect on its audience. The colors and design create an attractive and appealing advertisement that will make the audience find laughter and happiness after looking at it.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “Elements and Principles of Design.” Art, Design, and Visual Thinking. N.p., 1995. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. <>

Lupsan, Cosmin. “52 Most Interesting and Creative Advertisements.” 1stwebdesigner. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. <>.

“The Semiotics of Media.” N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. <>.


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