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Wednesday was the wettest July day this year

This was the headline of an article today in, you guessed it right, Times of India. The Wednesday in question is the tenth day of July. Agreed, the rains in Mumbai have been unrelenting this past month. But a headline like this just takes all the credibility out of the story. This phenomenon is quite common in the world of advertising. In fact, it is common in every aspect of life that involves grabbing attention of others. As a matter of fact, the first thing that came to my mind after looking at this headline was the way in which resumes are written back in B-school.

This is classic example of trying too hard to conform to a pre-approved format. You can see this very regularly in deo ads where a good majority of the brands all have ads showing girls attracted to the guy who applies the deo. The latest to conform to this is Cobra Deo.

Advertisers are becoming so afraid to try new themes that we keep seeing very similar ads for similar products. This is perhaps why the advertisements that won awards at the Cannes Lions 2013 were ones that stepped out of the norm for the category and did something different, even though these didn't necessarily increase short term sales.

Everyone wants to fit in first before they stand out. Even when they do stand out, it is still only within the confines of what is acceptable. In a creative industry like advertising, you will go nowhere by conforming. You need to be bold and be creative.

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