Kendra Eash recently posted the text entited “This Is A Generic Brand Video” to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Within this poetic text, she poses a formula about how brands devise their advertisements. She discusses images, words, and other ploys companies use for our heads to associate with their brands and cynically shows how mindless society can be by latching on to these images and creating such a strong association with the brand. It is highly anti-advertising in my opinion, but also poses a viewpoint that advertisers should capitalize on: you need to deviate from this formula. You need to create something new and something different that will not perpetuate the stereotype of a “generic brand video.”
Even more interestingly, Dissolve Footage, a stock videography company, placed video with this text – in fact, the same generic stock video we have seen in ads in the past, ironically to the words of Eash’s text. I thought this was really funny and a great way of advertising for Dissolve to show how they can creatively apply their generic videos to make more “generic brand videos” for companies looking for footage for their ads.
Dissolve stated, “The minute we saw Kendra Eash’s brilliant “This Is a Generic Brand Video” on McSweeney’s, we knew it was our moral imperative to make that generic brand video so. No surprise, we had all the footage.”
I definitely thought that the video was spot on in the imagery it promoted. I also really found it hilarious how they remade this text into the video to really convey the irony and satire that Eash was channeling through her piece. I think Ad Week put it best, saying, “it’s great that a stock video house would so gleefully celebrate the soul-sucking manipulations for which its offerings are generally used. Watch below, and have a great self-hating rest of your afternoon.”
This video motivates me to think outside the box when creating advertisements. I don’t want generic stock videos; I want unique, interactive stories. This piece also points out the flaws in our advertising system: how easy it is to put together an impersonal ad with all of the resources available to us. While using symbols in ads that are represented in this video is acceptable in my opinion, I am of the belief that it is up to the truly innovative and creative advertiser to use these symbols in new and unique ways to draw in consumers.
Dissolve Footage (2014, March 21). This Is a Generic Brand Video [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YBtspm8j8M
Eash, K. (n.d.). This is a Generic Brand Video. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Retrieved from http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/this-is-a-generic-brand-video
Nudd, T. (2014, March 25). Everything You Hate About Advertising in One Fake Video That’s
Almost Too Real. Ad Week. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/everything-