2:17 PM

Do you ever sit down to watch TV, only to find yourself thinking, "I've seen this before" or "This has been really overdone"? Me, too. Every once in a while (or a lot lately, actually), I'll realize that regardless of how creative a company strives to be, there seems to be a handful of ideas that keep getting re-used. Sure, we may associate these things with certain products or brands, but sometimes, it can be distracting when you're wondering where you saw it for the first time. Here, let me show you.

Now, I've never actually seen Risky Business, but who doesn't know that famous dance scene? Tom Cruise dancing around the house in his underwear, rocking out to Bob Seger . . . it's memorable. And apparently, these companies think so, too.

Band Hero - David Cook

Now, this isn't half bad. David Cook channels Risky Business to a T, and all of the humor of the situation is so reminiscent of the original, you don't feel like anything is left out. And of course, a whole string of Band Hero commercials followed in a series, all starring celebs such as David Archuleta, Heidi Klum, and Taylor Swift.

Years later, however, 2011 brings us this: a Shark vacuum commercial with the same song, some dancing, and . . . a little disappointment. Maybe it's just me, or the fact that cleaning ads directed towards housewives tend to be cheesy, but the underwhelmingness of this whole commercial just makes me feel like someone in the creative office isn't trying too hard.

Shark Navigator Lift

To use such a memorable song that's been used so many times in your campaign, you'd better make sure your ad itself memorable and blows every other ad who used the same thing out of the water. To me, this commercial definitely isn't the winner in a pool of contenders.

Then, we have colors. Some people wouldn't think that colors would make too much of a difference in distinguishing different brands, especially if the industries are different. Similar shades, though? And a repeated use of italic font? I find myself thinking of aluminum foil every time I watch a Progressive insurance commercial.


See those boxes? They always remind me of Reynolds Wrap.

 photo reynoldswrap_zps050f736b.jpg

 Truck rentals, too.

And of course, we can't conclude without the overuse of the ever-popular cheesy catch phrase. Most eye roll-worthy right now? "The best in the world." I had originally planned to post the Oikos Greek Yogurt commercial with John Stamos and a random beauty commercial I've been seeing all over the place lately, but not surprisingly, I cannot for the life of me remember which company created the beauty ad. Searching Google and YouTube for hours with phrases such as "makeup commercial best in the world" doesn't really help, either. So, I think that maybe this helps prove my point--a generic tagline doesn't stand out, especially if you see two commercials within a month of each other using the same one (If you end up seeing that commercial, however, please let me know who made it. Kind of ironic how I'm compelled to look for an ad I didn't even care for in the first place).

Are there any ads (print, TV, radio, anything) that make you think of something other than what's being advertised? Let me know. :)

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