Safe advertising is advertising that looks like everyone else.
Acts like everyone else.
Thinks like everyone else.
Safe advertising doesn’t rock any boats.
It doesn’t stick its head in dangerous places or venture into unchartered territory.
Safe advertising is what happens when people are afraid to take chances.
What if my immediate superior doesn’t like it?
What if everyone hates it?
The more unique and intrusive a piece of advertising, the more likely it is to generate opinion and the possibility of adverse reactions.
So fear sets in.
It’s why most car ads all look the same.
Who’s going to be the client that doesn’t show their marque vehicle – the one that’s been in development for 5-years – driving down Pacific Coast Highway 1?
It’s same with banks, financial institutions, drug companies and airlines: the more money involved, the more expensive the product, the safer the advertising.
But surely the point of investing all this time, effort and expense is to get noticed?
To outsmart your competitors.
To surprise your audience.
That’s the way to move a needle, change a mind or make a difference.
And you can’t do that if no one sees your ad.
As Bill Bernbach said:
“If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.”