When I finished dictating the previous essay (click here to read) it immediately occurred to me that it was similar in tone to a vintage ad from Cadillac, called The Penalty of Leadership.
Then I wondered if perhaps I had somehow “plagiarized“ it from the recesses of my memory.
The short answer is no, but the more interesting answer is yes – kind of.
This is instructive for those of you studying the field in order to create your own output. I have spent years studying marketing material, such as the Cadillac ad – to the point where I can produce “tropes,” such as the above essay.
A trope might be more commonly understood as a meme in today’s world – taking something familiar and using it as the basis for a new, or extended meaning.
Because the human mind more easily recognizes familiar concepts, tropes are good for business. You are not asking the customer to get their head around an entirely new idea, but one that is familiar and with a twist.
And that’s what you want in your ads – you want to be recognizable enough so that it clicks with people’s understanding of what it is you’re talking about, but you also want to be new, you want to be your own and you want to be effective.
So you’ll find yourself over time creating products and advertising that are similar to what has come before you. That’s not plagiarizing. What you’re doing is speaking in the language of shared psychology in order to get your message across and convince people to take action to make a purchase.
I know I did not plagiarize the Cadillac ad. I simply had that example in my imagination, and I drew upon it unconsciously and produced something similar. I like my own version of the Cadillac ad – I think it is good and motivational and true.
I encourage you to continue studying marketing examples so that your mind will become attuned to simply and easily producing things that are easily recognizable by the marketplace.