You, Your Agency, And Your Brand Are Not Special

When you’re a creative in adveritising, you clearly have to believe that you alone have something unique to offer an agency or a client. We’re all trying to stand out. It’s an adaptation of something we’ve been preaching to businesses for years.

Can anyone stand out in a marketing world where everyone’s desire is to stand out?

It started with thinking that’s typical of Marketing 101: Everyone in advertising strived to make work that would “break through the clutter” or “cut through the noise” or “stand out in a sea of sameness.” But with so much marketing in the world, the problem is not that we want our work to be different. It’s just that when everyone screams, “look at me” all at the same time, no one gets the attention. And we’re all screaming in our own way.

But the desire to be special isn’t limited to the brands we work for. We’ve turned it on ourselves in the form of “personal branding.” It’s a cottage industry now, fueled by authors, bloggers, and marketers who preach the gospel of differentiation. At it’s core, it’s simply bragging, evolved. And it’s a game we all play.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.