Cliche’-Wear. The Best of the Worst

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Some of the most effective marketing to promote how superior your product happens to be is to promote stuff that is already out there that is exceptionally awful.

Case in point: Adobe’s Cheeky New Clothing Line Celebrates Some of the Worst Stock Photos Ever Take your pick of these horrific visual clichés.

If you’ve ever hankered for a T-shirt collection featuring milquetoast, awful stock photos—like a happy senior couple operating a computer together, or a firm handshake between business associates (just the hands, mind you)—then you’re in luck. Try some Adobe Stock Apparel on for size.

The creative and marketing services company recently asked Swedish ad agency Abby Priest for a campaign about Adobe Stock, which features more modern and less cheesy stock imagery. Abby Priest’s idea was to emphasize how far the new images are from the old—by creating “a limited-edition clothing line giving a salute to the most infamous stock images creatives love to hate.”

In reality, this is serious, if you go to the Adobe Stock Apparel you will find the visual content of about 2/3 of all websites out there. Yes, it is a painful experience.

Abby Priest creative director Oskar Hellqvist talks about the apparel in this Q&A on the Adobe site. “We wanted to pay tribute to what has been before, and then take one last glimpse backwards, before we leave it all behind and move into the new age,” he says.

Actually, I think that is wishful thinking. He grossly underestimates how widespread and truly bad the business community happens to be in regards to creativity. Some stock images may have earned their place in the history books—overtly generic motifs that have been overused and established as hilarious clichés, known, loved and/or hated by all. Adobe is briliiant however, it turning them into a limited-edition clothing line — a grand salute to them and an attempt to create something disruptive and unconventional in the genre. The creative community already shares the knowledge and power/humor that is embedded in these images. It is something that everyone will enjoy and wear.”

Oh No! UPDATE: Tragically, Adobe tells us the clothing is available only for a select audience as part of a direct marketing campaign, and sadly, is not for sale to the public.

So, now you have examples of both a good marketing campaign and a bad marketing decision within it.

Like this sort of disruptive thought in marketing? Contact BSG now.

To Your Success…


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