Subvert this trend.

This week we launched our new brand campaign for Vantage West Credit Union, the somewhat cheeky, yet delightful “Not a Bank Ad”.

While this concept has been baking in the oven for the last 5 months we started to notice a growing trend of subversive advertising. Obviously subversion is nothing new, but lately it feels like the most impactful creative relies on it. So I wanted to dissect why.

One big reason is there’s a clear monoculture right now when it comes to consumer trends. Maybe call them “capitalism memes” because they benefit from the exact same amplification and viral-effect that internet memes do.

Case in point: we are currently caught in the crossfire of a fast food chicken sandwich war. And it seems like every company on earth is launching their own hard seltzer, from Budweiser to Topo Chico to Arizona Iced Tea.

It’s no wonder when Miller beer subverts the trend by “launching” a Seltzer...into hits differently and makes me notice.

We’re also seeing a business culture grappling with blandification.

I heard a quote recently that I thought said it best: “You see a thousand ads a day but only remember two of them: the best one and the worst one.” I think all of us are savvy enough to know this is true to some degree, yet business as usual is to chase paragons, rather than diverge from them. To do exactly what’s expected from you in your category. Welcome to your bland new world.

Subversion is a great tool to break from your category and stand out.

That is until the subversion becomes the status quo, then the subversive thing to do would be not to subvert. But if you are aware you are not subverting in order to subvert the subversion trend, are you now just doing irony?

I think I’ve had one too many hard seltzers.

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