How many times has your agency told you: “It’s all about ‘what, where and how much’”?

Furthermore, ads contain the seemingly familiar: a visual of a house or street scene (portrayed like everyone else’s), with headlines plucked from the same headline book that’s been doing-the-rounds since the days of Prowting!

In short, they follow a convention.

The problem with creative conventions, is that all the ads converge into looking the same. Net result, a confused consumer who can’t establish the difference between housebuilder X & Y. (Go on, cover the logos and tell us we’re wrong!).

And as one of the original New York Mad Men, Bill Bernbach said: “familiarity breeds apathy”.

So, this ‘Rule of the 3 Cons’ (convention= convergence = confusion) is to be respected, because it’s counter-productive and a huge waste of money, with millions upon millions spent, unbelievably, compounding a lack of differentiation.

Next month we’ll share ideas on how to avoid ‘the 3 cons’. In the meantime, take a long, hard look at your ads and those of your competitors.