Any business, which has been in business long enough, develops its own set of clichés. And if there were one business that was most prone to them, it had to be advertising. Lets take a quick look at a few to banish them to hell the next time they are thrown at us.
That idea is too radical
All it means is the folks reviewing the advertising are wimps too scared to take chances and interested in saving their backsides and jobs. They are looking for the same faceless, insipid stuff that has been done to death, happy to sink with the boat rather than rock it.
Why don’t we do some research?
Reminds me of another cliché ‘Research is often used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support rather than illumination.’ I am all for research, but not at the expense of that sure as hell thing called deep, insightful ‘gut feel’ which more and more folks are giving up for the woolly, fuzzy comfort zone of research.
Is the logo large enough?
You could use the entire page or billboard for the logo and yet not sell a cent worth of stuff, or you could have something engaging and involving for the right audience and they would find the logo. Is this too difficult a concept to sink in?
Don’t you think a lot of space (air time) is being wasted?
I’ve spent 28 years in advertising and I can say this with a hand on my heart that rare is a client who thinks of open space not as a waste but a important element to either get attention or bring greater focus to the subject. What would grab you; a wall filled end to end with Picassos or just one average canvas on an entire wall.
Only half my advertising works, I wish I knew which half.
Truth be told, if half the advertising really worked you wouldn’t have the time to count your moolah. Actually only a fraction of the advertising actually works. Imagine releasing an advertisement in a newspaper with a circulation of 1,00,000 copies. This would give you a readership of around 5,00,000. Even if a 100 of them walked into you shoe store seeing that ad, it’d be a success.
Everyone’s my customer
All it tells me is actually no one is your customer. Yes, theoretically each one of us is a customer for every product (and before you tell me, I know there are ridiculous exceptions like sanitary napkins for men) but we all prefer a small basket of the kind of acceptable brands we buy in every category. So Mr. Client please tell me who would be the most likely to prefer your kind of ‘brand’ rather than telling me everyone could buy it. Because everyone won’t and if you keep believing that, no one will.