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Say What? Three Marketing Clichés We Will Never, Ever Use


Clichés are so lame. Overused phrases rarely advance a conversation or communicate anything to the irritated recipient.

Everyone is familiar of sports interview clichés like “at the end of the day,” “it is what it is,” and other lazy language that clutters up post-game interviews. Well, in the sport of marketing there is plenty of meaningless banter that we at ABC promise never to use – or blog about – again.

1) Think outside the box.

Any creative work worth a damn better be, so there’s no need to say it. By definition, creativity requires us to stretch our brains to capacity, taking invisible and incongruous thoughts then pulling them together to actually make something. If anything, think inside the box when you need a place to put bad ideas. Then bury that box.

2) Move the needle.

As a borderline millennial, I have no idea what this even references. A seismograph? A speedometer? A record player? It sure has a similar effect to a screeching record skip when I hear it. It’s apparently an old-timey way of saying something that will influence people en masse. Let’s just call it advertising then.

3) Make it POP!

C’mon, give it some pizzazz. Got to have that “wow” factor. No, no and no. This is a surefire way to really peeve production and might get you popped in the nose by a designer or two. Pop, pizzazz, wow factor and the like are not art direction terms and never will be.

We just picked a few to make fun of here, so tell us which marketing phrases make you twitch in the comments below.

About The Author

A journalist by trade, Shane tells stories that connect brands with target audiences and inspire them to act. He’s a writer, not a copy machine, and that approach brings exceptional content to every print or digital piece he pens.

Shane taps into his past as a reporter and editor to develop clear messages that resonate in every medium, be it blog or brochure, sponsored content or script.

Daily newspapers developed a habit for idea generation, attention to detail and knack for question-asking. His background as a magazine and web editor keeps client communications grammatically sound and effective.

Shane’s word-based deliverables range from long-form features to concise digital copy to persuasive prose. He’s been on both sides of the PR pitch and puts some muscle behind ABC’s media relations.