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Advertising Cliches are the Devil


Do you remember the advertising campaign “Got Milk?” Of course you do. You’re probably still seeing it everywhere, only not in relation to milk. Maybe a local bar has a sign that asks “Got Hooch?” Or maybe a pastry shop inquiring if you “Got Sweets?” You can just replace that second word with anything, really.

Got Creativity?

Probably, if you’re doing your best to avoid well-worn advertising clichés. Unfortunately, when people see something that works, they tend to want to hop on the bandwagon. Those rides may last a long, long time. That milk wagon has been cruising steadily along for ten years now. I’ll give you another example, this one very local. In southern Louisiana, names ending in “eaux” are pretty commonplace. Thibodeaux, Comeaux, Breaux, etc. A while back, someone had the idea to incorporate that into a headline. Fine, right? “Geaux Cajuns!” is very popular here at UL Lafayette. Seaux popular, in fact, that it has spread throughout the area and can’t be beaten back with a stick of any size. Leaux and beheauxld, it’s everywhere you look. At least you can tell the amateurs from the preauxs. Neaux? Yikes, enough of that. There’s no use getting riled up about it, right? If you’re reading this, we’re probably on the same side. We both cringe a little when we see that particularly well-worn headline every day on our drives to work. Let’s just laugh a little and come up with some humorous bullet points we can put on a flier and air-drop into the streets:

How to Avoid Advertising Cliches

  1. If you’ve already heard it, you probably shouldn’t use that headline.
  2. Always research. “Like a Rock” seemed like a pretty good tag until you googled it, right?
  3. Don’t include anything that makes you cringe.
  4. When showing the idea around, “Ahhh!” is good and “Uhhhh?” is bad.
  5. “World Famous” means “Very Local”
  6. If a particular image or saying has oversaturated the market, try to avoid it. Try really hard.
  7. Never be afraid to ask for feedback. Unless your idea involves anything from tips 1-6.