FWIW: “Generic Brand Video” from company that deals in stock video

Take a look at “Everything You Hate About Advertising in One Fake Video That’s Almost Too Real” from AdWeek. I think this is interesting in at least three ways:

  • That video is funny.
  • That video is also both funny and disturbing because of the extent to which it is tapping into the “generic”/genre conventions of these sorts of videos/PSAs/advertisements.  We could spend a lot of time analyzing the way the commonplaces work rhetorically here.
  • There’s actually a company out there that deals in all of this stock video footage and is making fun of themselves for it, dissolve.com

4 thoughts on “FWIW: “Generic Brand Video” from company that deals in stock video

  1. Danielle

    I don’t really have much to say about this other than it’s funny and disturbing at the same time because the audio is so brutally honest. It is interesting, though, how you tend to see these same kinds of generic stock videos in all kinds of ads. Stock photos, too. It’d be interesting to do some kind of rhetorical analysis on this stuff.

    1. Jonathan Furlette

      This video is hilarious, mostly because it is so true! I like that they were able to “expand our consciousness” about advertising by poking fun at it. It is interesting the various ways that companies are able to send a “heartfelt” message in using stock photos which portray large sweeping overgeneraliztions, paying careful attention to the actors and situations used. It is interesting to me how effective the advertising can be, as we are continuously exposed to advertisements in our daily lives, it is amazing how the brain subconsciously categories these familiar images and we draw specific associations to them; like the bald eagle image standing for something to do with the USA or the scientists in the lab swirling the beaker around, which automatically signified in my mind that they must be conducting research. I agree Danielle that it would be interesting to do a rhetorical analysis on this stuff!

  2. Tracey Sonntag

    The Hub and I cut the cord on cable about 5 years ago; we only watch what we can get on Netflix, Hulu, DVDs from the library, and shows we buy through Amazon Prime. That means that we see very few commercials anymore. Even though Hulu does have commercials, there’re always the same ones over and over. When we do see something new, we’ve become very conscious of the message that the ad is trying to convey in contrast with what they’re really putting out there. Those oh-so-subtly veiled “we don’t do what that OTHER company does” messages just flash like neon. I love that someone put this video together, and that dissolve.com is self-aware enough to make fun of itself. I’m usually skeptic to a fault, but I do know which kinds of ads tend to work on me. *cough cough cell phones cough cough video games cough cough*

    1. Molly McCord

      Tracie, I’ve thought a lot about just getting rid of cable and going with ad-free entertainment. I’m so used to watching shows without commercials that I honestly have a very low tolerance for anything on “regular” tv anymore. If I do see an advertisement lately, I’ve noticed this common theme of “American individualism” and “personal success” that this video actually seems to make fun of a bit. It’s those generic images of the hard working American, paving his/her path to success through individual effort and self-reliance. I appreciate that this video puts a humorous spin on such “ugh”-inducing images:)


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