The cog icon has had its day – Cliché Killers explains why

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

Episode two, Cogs, explores the tiresome fascination with images of cogs representing efficiency and predictability.

Cliché Killers, which will run over summer 2016, features a cast of ad industry leaders discussing and dismissing the clichés commonly used in B2B advertising.

The clichés discussed, looking at their genesis and common usage today, range from the stopwatch to the piggybank and, in episode two, the cog.

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.

Dismissing the cog cliché, Stein IAS’s Tom Stein says: I’ve visited hundreds of businesses over the years and I don’t think any of them have ever run like clockwork.

Which is a good thing. That would take the humanity out of the workplace and that's where the magic is.”

Dixons Carphone head of CSR Kesah Trowell concurs.

“Even the most geeky petrol head probably isn’t interested in a picture of cogs.

They’d be more interested in the machine that the cogs live inside,” she says. “I can’t see any reason to ever use this visual.”

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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