It's Time to Ditch the Fluff and Gimmicks in Marketing

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Marketing is continually changing and evolving. Some tactics have withstood the test of time, and some tactics are outdated and irrelevant to today’s culture. Unfortunately, some of the obsolete tactics still linger around – fluff and gimmicks fall into this category.


A simple Google search for “marketing gimmicks” will yield several results of articles that explain why you should be using gimmicks in your marketing – I was shocked. I’m going to tell you why you should cut out all of the gimmicks and fluff from your marketing and leave them in the past where they belong.


People remember gimmicks, not the brands behind them

Marketing gimmicks work very well. They grab your attention and are very memorable. However, it’s difficult to recall what brands the gimmicks belong to, especially if it has nothing to do with what is being sold.


Do you remember the Hump Day commercial? Absolutely.


Do you remember the brand that did it without Googling it? I didn’t think so (sorry Geico).


Since marketing gimmicks are memorable, there is also a risk that your brand becomes recognizable for the wrong reason. I’m sure we can all recall a marketing gimmick that made us embarrassed for the company that created it – and believe me, there are plenty. Your brand should be on a mission to gain recognition as a thought-leading and trustworthy brand, and marketing gimmicks can potentially prevent that from becoming a reality.


Fluff and gimmicks don’t add value

Consumers have grown used to brands trying to buy a short amount of their time. We can all generally determine if an ad is relevant to us within 3-5 seconds. If it isn’t relevant, we tend to move on or tune out. When your audience hears your message, be respectful of their time, and get straight to the point. Gimmicks are used to loop someone in on what you’re selling slowly, and fluff bides you the time to arrive there.


Your brand becomes remembered for the main point of the message. When you make a comical gimmick the focal point of your video, your brand will be recognized for the amusing gimmick. When you make your brand’s offering and the benefits the focal point of your video, your brand will be remembered for precisely that.


They can hurt your authenticity

People don’t just enjoy doing business with your brand; they enjoy doing business with the people behind the brand. This helps them establish a personal connection with your team and your brand. The only way to be perceived as a “real” and authentic brand is to be real and genuine.


We don’t use gimmicks to communicate with the people we interact with daily. We talk with people and have real interactions with them. Why should brands be exempt from communicating that way? Logically, it makes sense to be authentic.


Closing thoughts

Generally speaking, using fluff and gimmicks in marketing is not a wise idea for long-term brand perception and growth. There will always be acceptions to this, as there are some gimmicks that have worked (and continue to work) for respected and trusted brands.


We have entered a new era of marketing. Consumers prefer and engage with content that is authentic and built in a storytelling format, and consumers prefer it over branded content.

Taylor Landrum