This is a sub-set.
- Zombies. Their day in the sun should have ended with Shaun of the Dead, which came out in 2004. The zombies’ 15 minutes are up. Adding the word “apocalypse” does not grant the zombie idea any new freshness.
- “Bacon” as a topic of discussion. Eating bacon is still fine. It’s also no longer interesting to put bacon in places where it doesn’t belong, e.g., in milk shakes or other dessert foods.
- The word “awkward” as a punchline. If you’re not sure whether your firm is hooked up with a competent advertising agency, any pitches that include TV spots where “awkward” is used as a laugh-line are a give-away.
- Hipster music. In particular, hipster music used in TV ads.
- Google Doodle commemorations. The commemoration on June 6, 2012 was the 79th anniversary of the drive-in theater. Most days it is okay to have a plain Google logo on your search engine.
- Corporate April Fool’s Day jokes. These are no longer cute or unexpected. In order for it to be interesting at this point it would have to end up not actually being a hoax. Your Web site promotion for a printer that “prints live kittens” is only still entertaining if your company actually makes and sells a printer that prints live kittens.
- Snarky-turned-violently-indignant online opinion articles. Writing does not come off as fresh and edgy just by its using the f-word frequently; it’s played out.
- The phrase “I see what you did there”.
- Any image overlaid with words in white Impact font (with black outline). Changing the typeface doesn’t give it new life.
I worry that we have become not only technologically stagnant, but also culturally.
Updates as events warrant.