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Generic Brand Video: In less than 3 minutes, every global corporate t.v. ad

Here is a wonderful video that captures every trope of early 21st century company brand messaging:

(ht DC/DZ)

Really, there’s nothing much to add to it, the video says it perfectly.  Much more perfectly, in fact, than my previous post about stock photography, which covered many of the same themes, albeit in a rambling, needs-to-edited-down-to-one-third-the-length-draft-blog-post sort of way.

Yeah, my friends, you know I love the meta-humor.

Also: The “Generic Brand Video” makes me realize that portraying diversity through a sequence of stock images is only slightly better than trying to do it with a single stock image.  In the end, if it looks like stock photography and if the ratios of skin tones are just a little too calibrated, than, yeah, it’s inauthentic.

Perfectly Balanced Ratio of Skin Tones

A client recently pointed me at a banner in their office that advertises their learning academy for employees.  She noted that all the people in the photograph were employees of the company, including her boss.  In other words, it was an authentic picture.

In the never-ending arms race of novelty and fashion in corporate aesthetics, expect to see more and more images of real life employees being featured in company ads and marketing materials.

..and expect to see more and more employees who are stock photo quality.




How to Give (and Receive) Free Advice, Coaching and other Professional Services… But Should You??

Giving away products is a well-known method of marketing:  Companies are always giving away free samples for consumers to try:  food, drink, office supplies, pet supplies, deodorant sticks… usually in a small, consumable “trial size” format.  In a crowded marketplace that gets even more crowded with brand new Purple Cows every single day, the free sample is one of the most efficient ways for consumers to decide whether they like what a producer has to offer.

Knowledge is being given away too, in small “snackable” bits of insights and “how tos” in magazine articles, blog posts, podcast, seminars and so forth. Chris Anderson’s flawed-single-idea-manifesto-published-too-quickly-into-a-book which came out last year, Free, was devoted to this concept of “giving away the content to sell the service.”

It’s not about the gift as much as it is about the way the gift is given, and received.

But what about that?  What about giving away the service?   Unlike deodorant sticks and three-hundred-word essays, true professional services are a little harder to give away… especially professional development services such as consulting, training, coaching and advisory services such as tax and legal advice.

This (free, longish-but-still-snackable) post will explain why that’s the case, and give  some tips on how to overcome those difficulties — both for Givers (Professional Advisors, or “PA”s)  and Would-be Receivers (“WBR”s). After all, gracefully receiving a gift is sometimes harder than thoughtfully offering one.


  1. Why Would You Want to Give Away Your Professional Advisor (PA) Services?

  2. Five Types of Would-be Recipients (WBRs)

  3. Five Barriers to Gracefully Giving & Receiving Free PA Services (and how to overcome those barriers)

  4. Maybe This Is Not A Good Idea, After All?

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