“Generic Brand” Advertisement for Stock Footage Site Dissolve is Sad Testimony to the State of Branding

It’s a sad state of affairs when an advert for a stock footage site, made entirely from stock footage, is better than 90% of the corporate branding videos I’ve ever seen and could probably be applied to 99% of corporations out there.

I don’t know if the folks at Dissolve set out to make an “anti-ad”, or were simply having fun showcasing what they could do with the stock footage available on their site, but the have managed to highlight some of the problems with corporate branding – it’s generic. Very, very generic.

You can lay the blame at the foot of execs who want to get a message across – the same message as every other company. Or you can blame the agencies who don’t push companies to break the generic mold, or are simply happy encouraging their clients and churning out “brand” after cookie cutter “brand” because it’s easier, cheaper, safer etc…

Whoever you care to blame, it’s clear that brands aren’t being developed in most cases (unless “we’re the same as everyone else” is a brand) and this “anti-ad”/demo is a shining example of why it’s not happening.

Lets be honest, you really shouldn’t be using stock footage in your brand video. Stock footage is not you, your company or who you want to be. Nobody can show that better than, well, you…


  1. says

    It’s almost scary to think that companies are afraid that potential customers would not like “the real us.” Our CEO is fat, our support people wear Simpsons t-shirts, and our head of engineering has a pronounced foreign accent. Let’s cover this up with pictures of generic smiling faces, with a narrative read by a deep-voiced white man.

    This is yet another example of how we say we want transparency, but we really don’t.

    When I saw the video yesterday, I didn’t realize until the end that the video was actually selling something.

    • says

      I think everyone is somewhat afraid of the impression that “the real us” will make, but I do think it’s far worse to create an impression that results in shock and disappointment once the veil is pulled back, or they meet you in real life.

  2. says

    I don’t have a problem with companies using some stock footage to cut costs, and Dissolve has a lot of great royalty-free examples. I think the point here is the vapid way the footage is used to make points that often have nothing whatsoever to do with the company and are just for effect.

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