Publication: Stores Magazine

Navigating the Sea of Marketing Clichés

November 14, 2016

New York City-based CBX is consumer branding firm providing a range of strategic and creative services. As executive creative director, Allison Koller is responsible for providing inspiration, vision, and strategic guidance for the CBX design team. She has led creative and innovation initiatives for such clients as Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, Burt’s Bees, and The Art of Shaving.

Most recently, Koller led her team to a Platinum Pentaward for packaging work on behalf of U by Kotex (Kimberly-Clarke). And it’s marketing to women that inspires Koller. In a June TEDx talk in Scotch Plains, N.J., Koller described herself as a swimmer, illustrator, daughter, tennis player, and wife who pays keen attention to the content and subtext of brand messages aimed at women.

You said brands need to move beyond the “sea of clichéd visual codes” if they want to connect with real women. Can you give examples of the “tired tropes,” as you call them?

I think the most clichéd codes present women as perfect—no flaws allowed. By presenting women without imperfections, we’ve set up an unrealistic standard where women can’t get real. There’s no sweat or blemishes, no aging, and perfectly run households. There are no individuals with real […]

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