Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cliches in advertising

One of the most enjoyable posts I came across was one about cliches in advertising, by a copywriter called Simon Veksner, also known as Scamp (who as since retired from blogging).

The post itself is short. But because he had so many readers, the 106 comments contribute to some decent guidelines on stuff to stay clear from when creating ads. Some funny comments here too.

Here were 20 of my favourite suggested cliches from his post:
  1. Loads of people making something. [assuming comment was referring to Halifax ads, T-mobile ads, Guinness tipping point ad, Skoda cake etc.]
  2. Piggy banks in ads for banks are pretty damn upsetting
  3. I'd imagine 'astonished onlookers' is currently fairly high up most people's lists".
  4. Monkeys (including Gorillas)
  5. Giant versions of everyday objects
  6. Jigsaws
  7. Lots of normal people dancing
  8. Any ad that starts with the word 'because'
  9. Balloons. Folky soundtracks. Black and white ads but with only one colour used (usually red)
  10. Crowd united by common goal.
  11. Crowds-doing-things-together
  12. Lots-of-small-things-put-together-to-make-a-better-thing.
  13. A computer mouse made to look like something else.
  14. Rainbows...also anything falling/rolling/bouncing down a street
  15. Big outdoor picnic setting
  16. Colourful things bursting out of other things
  17. Cars driving along long, winding, desolate roads
  18. Handshakes. Globes. Skyscrapers
  19. "It's child's play" to describe way too many things
  20. Tinned fruit or bottled drinks where the tin is made from the delicious vegetable or fruit in question.
The best comment though was this "I can't think of a single ad thats ever been made that wouldn't have been a little bit better if they'd included a monkey."

Another site about advertising cliches that is worth checking out is www.101cliches.com (where I stole the handshake cliche image).


Lisamaree said...

Guinea pigs in clothes. There isnt anything that couldnt be improved by putting a guinea pig in a hat.

Anonymous said...

aren't points 1, 7, 10 and 11 the sa me thing?

Paul Dervan said...

yes, pretty much.

Elaine said...

I agree definately with point 18 but it keeps cropping up.... and cropping up.... what don't these monkeys get it?!

Paul Dervan said...

yep Elaine, men in suits, with briefcases, in airports, shaking hands...