I’ve been speaking at a lot of events lately, and several focus on similar topics in social media or interactive marketing. One of the consistent problems with speaking at events like this is that there is a danger of using or hearing the same examples and stories over and over. As my volume of speaking increases, this is one of my big concerns … that people will opt out of coming to hear me speak because they feel like they’ve heard my point of view before. The other problem, of course, is that nothing makes you look worse that sitting up on on stage talking about an example that everyone has heard a million times before.

What if there could be a central list of interactive marketing or social media campaigns that were so overused we could retire them? Once a campaign or product makes it onto this list, the idea is that speakers would voluntarily avoid mentioning it, treat it as a cliche and think of other examples to use in their presentations.  The only exception to this rule would be if you actually worked on one of the retired examples personally.

I’m starting with five examples, and looking for more from you. If you have one, leave a comment and I’ll keep updating this post. And if you disagree with one, say so and maybe we’ll get it off the list. My aim with this list is to get us all (and especially anyone who will be speaking at an event in the near future) to think more deeply about examples to support what we are talking about and not use the same obvious examples over and over.  To that end, if you are about to speak at a conference, check this list and if you are moderating a panel, be sure to pass this list on to your panelists. Let’s all aim to be smarter and more original.  The end result won’t just be better discussions, but better events too.

About the Idea Bar: Working in a creative team, the life of our business is new ideas.  We come up with them every day for clients, but sometimes there are ideas that just don’t fit a client.  They are too big, too different, or just not quite right. Inspired by John at Digital Influence Mapping Project, the IdeaBar is a category of posts that are meant to be "open source" and offer new ideas for marketing.  Take them and use them … all I ask for is a link back to this post if you find these ideas useful and talk about them.  Read more IdeaBar posts on this blog.