Skip to main content
brandingResponsible Marketing

“Dads and Grads” Ads Give Us the Sads About Cliches in Ads

By June 4, 2014December 4th, 2020No Comments


It’s that time of year again. That time where we know we’re going to be hit over the head with a slew of ads aimed at selling merchandise for “dads and grads.”

The fact that advertisers mash up these two events – Father’s Day and graduation – isn’t surprising given where they fall on the calendar. But what is extra annoying is that the annual coupling of these two distinct occasions is reinforced simply because advertisers can make two words rhyme.

It becomes an annual reminder of how advertising and marketing can devolve into lazy use of clichéd expressions.

“Dads and grads” is just one example of what some would call “default copywriting.” These are the kind of phrases that advertisers use a lot because they seem natural, but in reality, they are simply the result of doing the least amount of creative thinking possible.

A few other examples of this include:

Locally Owned and Operated – as opposed to the locally owned company that operates in North Korea. Can’t we just say “a local company” or a “locally owned company”?

Huge Savings – this is one of the worst, and most common examples. How much is “huge”? Give us a number.

Experience the Difference – if you do a Google search on “Experience the difference” you will see that every company that uses that phrasing has something in common. And not in a good way. If you are asking people to experience the difference, there is nothing different about that approach.

Going back to the broader observation about unoriginal advertising, a devastating video was posted to YouTube recently. It shines a light on how laziness and lack of creativity has made so many commercials about so many different products and services look exactly the same. It’s 3 minutes of “experience of the difference”.

What it comes down to is this. If an advertiser wants me to pay attention, they have to stop using clichés. I’m sure that most dads and grads probably feel the same way. And if you feel the same way, then call on Outsource Marketing for a fresh take on how you present your products and your company to the world.

Leave a Reply