Cliches are cliches for a reason- there is a grain of truth to them, and they are used to reinforce users impressions of a group, place or experience.

But they are also insulting to both the viewer and those being portrayed.

My personal example: Every political event leading up to the Iowa caucus must involve some visual agricultural image: tractors, livestock, straw bales, cornfields, etc. All of them. Even when the imagery it is ridiculous.

I once witnessed straw bales trucked in for an event in downtown Des Moines to be strategically placed on the lawn of one of the world’s largest financial services companies in order to reinforce what the campaign believed was everyone’s image of Iowa and Iowans.

It was the equivalent to staging a hundred Mob Goons as background for a political event in New York. Or a hundred suits yelling into their Blackberries. Or 50 yellow cabs caught in a traffic jam. and so on.

Worst of all, cliches are lazy because the don’t require any thought by the creator.

Don’t be lazy.

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