I’m, uhh…pretty provocative

By: Mike Faley

Do you know how much marketing there is out there? A ton. You wouldn’t believe it. Every brand is saying all they can to as many people as possible — and this over-saturation is one of the reasons Gen X and Z are tuning out what they hear from brands. On social, brands do their best to peddle their wares between pictures of your friends and family. On digital, you have to bob-and-weave between product glamour shots in order to read that op-ed on whether or not college football players deserve a salary. And on mobile, you’re still researching how to get ad blockers working.

If this was a click-bait article, it might be called “ADVERTISING IS DEAD AND YOU KILLED IT.” But it’s not. Here at Carrot, we’re SOLUTIONS-ORIENTED. Strap in.

Why are Gen X and Gen Y tuning out ads? Lots of reasons, but the one we’ll talk about today is that a lot of advertising is boring, and the rest of the internet isn’t as boring. You have a generation of folks raised on the excitement of the internet, trained to find the interesting and navigate the boring. How, as marketers, do we get people to listen to brands?

Don’t be boring. Really. Honestly. Please.

When ideating a concept, or developing copy or whatever the heck else, think to yourself: “If I saw this on the internet, would it be interesting?” If the answer is no, stop what you’re doing, close your laptop, put it in the sink and submerge it in water.

“Interesting” is not easy to come up with, and that’s fine. It shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threshold you should hold yourself and your team to.

From a pragmatic standpoint, there are hundreds of agencies and staff out there more than happy to build boring, run-of-the-mill messaging for brands. Creating interesting things might be risky, but not as risky as being a “me too” shop that just offers another alternative to “meh.”

From a personal standpoint, interesting work is more fulfilling (to me). I want to stir someone’s imagination, give them pause, and maybe even leave a mark. Wouldn’t that be great?

It might take a little bit more time and effort, but the juice is more than worth the squeeze.

So, whatever you’re doing after you read this… is it interesting?

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