Does this make you think of the Ad Industry?
It's so true about TV news stories. They are formulaic, highly scripted and structured and easily predictable.
The same formula applies to the majority of advertisements we see today. There are, of course, variations. The 'funny ad'. The 'sad ad'. The 'dramatic ad'. The 'sell you stuff ad'. And, my personal favorite, the 'I want a viral internet video ad'.
Formula's are impossible to get away from at times. Why? Because when you see something that works it makes it easier to justify. "It's just like the Apple Think Different spot" you hear yourself saying to the client. Or, "Burger King did this on Facebook and it won at Cannes". Suddenly your evaluating creative ideas based on other work and that leads you down the slippery slope towards failed campaigns.
The tough part is that most people know the formula's off by heart. We're used to them because everyone does them. If you've got a TV budget and you're a client, chances are your brief starts out by using existing work and Frankensteining it together:
"It should be emotive and inspiring like an Apple spot, but funny and irreverent like Skittles work. If you can figure out a way to combine the two, that would be brilliant!"
Everyone should be aware of ad 'formula's' and existing structures. And everyone should think about how breaking them, changing them and mashing them together can lead to better work.
Anyone can follow a script and existing structure. It's safe. It's easy. It's predictable.
Sadly, though, it's been done before.
Thanks to Adam for the link via FB.