Stop Telling Us What Celebrities Can Teach Us About Marketing

“What [Insert Celebrity/Character/Whatever’s Trending on Google] Can Teach Us About [Content Marketing/SEO/Barely Relevant Business Topic]”

If you’re even remotely involved in marketing, tech or just business generally your eyes probably rolled back into your skull. I don’t have any pretense about reaching anyone specifically with this blog; it’s mostly an outlet for my own thoughts. That said if I can reach one blogger, brand manager or content marketer with this message I will consider this blog post a success:


Stop this. Stop it now. Back away from the keyboard and find some creativity.

It’s seriously time to just retire this for a while. It’s old, it’s stale, and by the power of Steve Jobs, is it done. Unless you have something significantly fresh and interesting to contribute to this subgenre of business blog posts – and let’s face it, you probably don’t – don’t even bother because it’s going to be a carbon copy of the thousands of other near identical blog posts. It’s a cookie cutter exercise in mundanity from a marketing playbook in 2011.

It’s one thing for me to just say that this dead horse has been so kicked you practically see a Nike symbol intended into it. You don’t have to take my word for it; use Google to see how done to death, resurrected into undeath and done to death again this blog topic has become. Go to Google right now and swap in “What X can teach you about marketing/SEO/branding” with virtually any public figure, celebrity, fictional character or even job and watch results come up. I can almost guarantee some blogger or marketing company has written about it in some way, shape or form since 2011.

I used “What X can teach you about marketing” and in the last ten minutes I’ve discovered what I can learn about marketing from (without linking to or publicly shaming any specific blog posts):

Bruce Lee, Elton John, librarians, dogs, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Gordon Ramsey, Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, Mario (as in, the video game character), Winnie the Pooh, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Achievement unlocked, by the way; I finally managed to use Winnie the Pooh and Mark Zuckerberg in the same blog post.

Anyway. You’ll notice a recurring theme if you decide to put yourself through the effort of reading the vast majority of these blog posts: They all may as well have been written using the find and replace tool in Microsoft Word. They offer virtually the same, vapid information: Be true to yourself. Personalize your brand. Be innovative. Why do we even need a segue from Mario to tell us this information? It’s not like as if it becomes less relevant or true if it’s not being told through the lens of a fat, Italian plumber who spends his days go-karting with the same guy who kidnaps his girlfriend with alarming regularity.

If you want to write for a marketing or business savvy audience, you’ll realize sooner or later that every marketing company and their office dog writes posts like this while loosely tying a celebrity to their core message somehow. Don’t be like that. If you want to actually impress people, do something that comes from you. It’s supposed to be your voice or your company’s voice – not a voice informed by a bandwagon that stopped being a clever spin on blog topics by 2014.