Good things are far and few between. The problem is that there are a lot of things, products, ideas, etc. – most of them bad, which make it more difficult to find or cultivate the good ones. These days it feels like everything presented to the masses is, well, cheap. Music, movies, even art – lacks originality (granted there are obvious exceptions to the rule and I’m not referring to Indie bands, innovative art, or cult movies). The good stuff is always tougher to find, you really have to go out of your way as a consumer to get to the worthwhile heart of any industry.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
Now apply this theory to the realm of advertising. There is a lot of advertising going on. A lot. Everywhere you look we are being sold something. And if it weren’t bad enough that the quality of what we are potential being sold is questionable – the advertising is questionable. (“Buy this crap because this crap ad says so.”)
Maybe thought provoking sentiments, a careful eye, and a well thought out advertising campaign are things of the past to some – but truth be told, they are principals that will carry on forever. While the mediums are ever changing and the hand-painted billboards are being converted to electronic driving hazards, the messages and strategies don’t seem to be evolving at the same pace.
Some agencies and companies are taking a ‘leap of faith’ on edgy imagery, flashy design, and jaw dropping parallels but it seems to be biting them in the you know where. With the release of a much publicized and scrutinized Tiger Woods advertisement for Nike featuring a weepy Tiger overlaid with resurrected audio from the late Earl Woods – the public rejected a good example of a ‘cheap’ attempt to market a product (or in this case – a label, or maybe even as far as to say – a person).
While this could symbolize a small step in the right direction of demanding more from marketers, the advertisements we view on a daily basis can hardly match the even ‘cheap’ quality of Nike’s attempt to salvage their go-to guy.
If your profession is anywhere near the realm of design, marketing, or media – you should know by now how to spot a ‘cheap ad’ (though I most certainly do not mean cheap in a financial aspect).
Step 1: Purchase i-Stock photo.
Step 2: Overlay company name, location, hours, and website.
(most likely using Zapfino, Papyrus, or Comic Sans)
Step 3: Insert ‘seemingly’ clever tagline.
4: Print, publish, broadcast.
The result? The same universal advertisement we see over and over and over.
Even more astonishing, is that we could be being sold a purse, a sandwich, or a lawn care package – all using the same design and message. Who will that ad reach? Possibly a few uninformed consumers (suckers) but will your company’s ad really convey a unique message? Or will it say the same thing as the rest of the advertisements surrounding it “Buy me.”
By the way, this Blog post has been an elaborate advertisement for 4O1! Creative created entirely by Liz. If it worked, post the URL to this blog entry on your Facebook or Twitter account – “RT” if you will. Don’t forget to demand more from what is currently being offered – musically, aesthetically, & most importantly – when it comes to food. ;)