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:
- Loads of people making something. [assuming comment was referring to Halifax ads, T-mobile ads, Guinness tipping point ad, Skoda cake etc.]
- Piggy banks in ads for banks are pretty damn upsetting
- I'd imagine 'astonished onlookers' is currently fairly high up most people's lists".
- Monkeys (including Gorillas)
- Giant versions of everyday objects
- Lots of normal people dancing
- Any ad that starts with the word 'because'
- Balloons. Folky soundtracks. Black and white ads but with only one colour used (usually red)
- Crowd united by common goal.
- A computer mouse made to look like something else.
- Rainbows...also anything falling/rolling/bouncing down a street
- Big outdoor picnic setting
- Colourful things bursting out of other things
- Cars driving along long, winding, desolate roads
- Handshakes. Globes. Skyscrapers
- "It's child's play" to describe way too many things
- Tinned fruit or bottled drinks where the tin is made from the delicious vegetable or fruit in question.
Another site about advertising cliches that is worth checking out is www.101cliches.com (where I stole the handshake cliche image).