June 5, 2012 Leave a Comment
With Memorial Day weekend behind us, we’re in a sentimental mood—sort of—thinking about creative that needs to be buried, declared dead, terminal with no DNR, no headstone.
None of it is ours, natch.
First, some housekeeping notes in this cemetery: we define “bad creative” (isn’t that an oxymoron?) as creative that does not:
- generate response
- help move product or awareness
- is downright nasty/bad taste/a waste of the reader’s time
And no, we are showing no pictures nor are we naming names of said bad creative because we prefer not to invite any ill will toward our creative judges.
The list of the top ten “Bad Creative” we’ve seen goes like this:
10. The recent direct mail kit featuring a radial map-enabled guide to cemeteries and crematoria options for buying a plot or booking a cremation. Even we think this is ghoulish. (Can you feel the burn?)
9. The endless trend toward postcards in direct mail. News flash to cost-conscious marketers: despite being our vet or dentist, we’re throwing you out.
8. What we’ll euphemistically refer to as “men’s pharma” media advertising. Watching television with a child has become an interesting game of dodgem thanks to the proliferation of performance anxiety/enhancement meds and their leave-nothing-to-the-imagination level of frankness. None of them stands out (apologies) due to the plethora of devices, dosages and delirium-inducing delivery of their benefits and hilarious side effects.
7. Magazine ads/inserts for perfumes with no scent strip. Come ON! This is how we get to sample the smell beforehand.
6. Airport baggage-claim machine ads. Isn’t this the most frustrating part of the overall frustrating process known as air travel? Placing ads on the annoying, slow and problem-plagued monolith that spits out and circulates our luggage seems desperate and ill-advised. What next, security-frisking brought to you by Coca-Cola?
5. Mailings with heavy product brochures. Even the phone book has gone digital. Today, there’s not enough money and no excuse for such old-school tactics.
4. Anything with big, ugly, QR codes. If we use them, we make them creatively unique so they work within a client’s overall brand. We’re already moving on to the Next Big Thing.
3. Direct mail or other creative with repeated personalization over and over and over of a prospect’s name prospects’ prospect’s name. (See, isn’t it annoying?)
2. Advertising of any sort co-opting the trendy slang of the functionally illiterate. Copywriters of the world, rise up to heave your potent prose onto the masses of the breathlessly dumbed-down hordes!!! Forsooth!!! Bring on those 25 cent words, a 15 cent raise from the “Really?” headlines of late. Millennials may be a prime target audience, but even they recognize pandering when they see it/sense it/discover it’s been texted to them.
And the #1 Bad Creative is…
1. Anything political. Don’t we all just want to take a shower afterward?
That wasn’t so good now, was it?
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.