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Life Health > Running Your Business

Beware the most overused themes

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A fresh creative concept is crucial for effective advertising and a smart marketing strategy. But too many advertising and marketing campaigns recycle the same tired creative themes and copy phrases over and over. Here’s the 2011 edition of my annual list of the most overused “creative” themes in marketing. How many do you recognize?

1. “Got _________?”
You probably do because just about everyone else does.

2. “You need a ______ that works as hard as you do.”
And you need a marketing agency with a better idea.

3. “It’s that time of year again: ______________.”
Oh, no, is it? I hate that time of year.

4. “I am/we are ___________.”
Yeah, and so is every other marketer who uses this theme.

5. “The best just got better!” It did? Again?

If you’re using one of these themes in your marketing campaigns, it’s time for a new creative approach and maybe a new creative team. Look for a marketing agency or creative consultant with a solid track record of developing new ideas that get attention and deliver a high-impact message.

Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing, a consulting firm in Cleveland, that provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at


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