Watch: This Spoof of a ‘Generic Brand Video’ Is Brilliant

By Elizabeth S. Mitchell Comment

Disclaimer: we’ve been fans of McSweeney’s publications for years. We also think, talk, and write about branding every day. So, this is pretty much the greatest thing we can imagine seeing this week.

McSweeney’s recently published a brilliant zinger of a piece by Kendra Eash, titled “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” which cuts the bullsh*t side of branding to the quick with lines like the following:

“We think first
Of vague words that are synonyms for progress
And pair them with footage of a high-speed train”

And this:

“Did we put a baby in here?
What about an ethnic old man whose wrinkled smile represents
the happiness and wisdom of the poor?”

Ouch. The truth hurts.

Now, stock footage company Dissolve has actually created the video that the piece describes. The firm said of the project, “The minute we saw Kendra Eash’s brilliant ‘This Is a Generic Brand Video’ on McSweeney’s, we knew it was our moral imperative to make that generic brand video so. No surprise, we had all the footage.”

No surprise, indeed. The final result looks like a combination of every branding spot you’ve ever seen, and if you mute the (perfect) narration, you might actually believe you’re watching an ad for BP, GE, or some other major corporation striving to make itself look human.