3 Ad Cliches Of 2022

We’re now more than midway through 2022, which means most of the Super Bowl ads of February are long forgotten. It’s worth taking stock of the ads of 2022 to assess what’s working and what’s soon not going to work. Among the latter are the ad cliches of 2022, a group that might be summed up by the response “Oh, another one?”

By calling these cliches, we don’t mean to say that they’re ineffective. Many are still doing their job of harnessing attention on behalf of clients, but there's the risk that each will drive viewers away the next time an advertiser tries them out.

So here is a list of the top three ad cliches of 2022. For advertisers, consider it a warning: We are onto you, so don’t press your luck.

The Ryan Reynolds ad. Ryan Reynolds is unique for having traded on his box office appeal by starting an ad agency, Maximum Effort, and sometimes appearing in its ads. Reynolds’ rock bottom was arguably reached when he ran an ad riffing on an unsuccessful Christmas 2019 ad that featured a woman who was seemingly terrified by a gift from her husband, a Peloton. (Vox compared the ad to the 1993 horror film "The Nightmare Before Christmas.") Reynolds enlisted the star of the Peloton spot, Rebecca Ruiz, for an ad for Aviation Gin that insinuated Ruiz was traumatized by the previous experience.



Since then, Reynolds has run ads for Aviation and Mint Mobile, two companies he has a financial stake in. Reynolds’ most-recent ad showed "Jackass" star Steve-O eating a ghost pepper as Reynolds looked on. It’s fun for now, but Reynolds will have to keep up that level of creativity before viewers see his schtick and reach for the remote.

Post-pandemic working from home. The subject of working from home after the pandemic is so pervasive that Apple has run a series of ads over eight minutes long that features a sit-com-ish cast of characters who quit their jobs and start a packaging company. The ad presents an epiphany that one character has when she sees that 87% of grocery stores double-bag. The ad ends with the group getting an order for 50,000 bags. Similar ads have run from Allstate and HP.

Jon Hamm. Whether it’s Jon Hamm bemoaning the fact that he can’t be featured in an Apple TV+ ad or Jon Hamm showing up as Flo’s ex in a Progressive ad, the former Mad Man gets around. Since Hamm has appeared in “Top Gun: Maverick” and is slated to star in season three of Apple TV+'s “The Morning Show,” we may see Hamm less in ads -- unless he harbors his own Ryan Reynolds-like ambitions.

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