Content Strategy

Trying to Be Everything…

When you try to target an ad to every possible audience by being everything, you tend to say exactly nothing.

I’ve long fought cliches and buzzwords. But Dissolve, a company that makes stock footage, combined the very best cliches with a fantastic script from Kendra Eash at McSweeney’s. The result? Brilliant.

This could be a commercial for any company that sells pharmaceuticals, investments, software services, utilities… anything, really. Jeff Beer from Co.Create dug up several eerily similar examples. The common denominator is that the advertiser tried to play it “safe” and inclusive, rather than making a carefully targeted, memorable point. As a result, these ads all look and sound the same, and could be interchangeable.

As Beer points out, at least car companies have a product they can show off. When your product is less tangible, sometimes you have to rely on a more abstract approach. But it’s a trap! Instead of making an impression, you’ll either produce something entirely forgettable, or be mocked by those who see the similarities to other generic ads.

What’s your most hated marketing cliche?


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