Why do businesses call themselves superheroes?

The Drum has launched episode nine of a 12-part video series, Cliché Killers, produced in partnership with Stein IAS, exploring B2B advertising clichés.

Episode nine, Superhero, explores why businesses are so obsessed with portraying themselves as superheroes.

“The message that they are conveying is that they’ve got the extraordinary powers to come in and save the day,” says web psychologist Nathalie Nahai. “It paints them as the saviours and us the mere mortals. Like we all need saving anyway.”

Cliché Killers, running throughout summer 2016, stars a cast of ad industry figures discussing and dismissing the clichés commonly used in B2B advertising. The series discuss their history and use today, range from the piggybank to the lightbulb and, in episode nine, the superhero.

But as Stein IAS chief executive Tom Stein points out, it is impossible to be on superhero duty all the time.

“Clark Kent spent most of his time out of lycra holding a day job. In business, it’s probably more likely that the mild-mannered alter-ego to superman is the guy putting in the long hours doing the smart thinking. Now that’s heroic in my book.”

Cliché Killers stars web psychologist Nathalie Nahai; Kesah Trowell, head of CSR at Dixons Carphone; David Burnand, marketing lead for Northern Europe, Adobe Marketing Cloud; Google head of marketing Nishma Robb; Stein IAS chief executive Tom Stein; and Stein IAS creative director EMEA Reuben Webb.

The Cliché Killers series was based on a book by Stein’s Reuben Webb. You can watch the other episodes in the series here.

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