“Same same, but different!” Anyone who has travelled to Thailand heard that short sentence dozens of times. It is what the sellers in the street shops will tell you to explain that what they are selling is the same thing as what’s in the next shop (which is obvious), but a little better.

This sentence has become a kind of ongoing joke for tourists and thai people themselves, there is even t-shirts printed with that slogan. This short story could just sound like a funny anecdote, but to me it reveals something about the advertising industry: big brands tend to act just like these street shop owners.

Don’t you ever get the feeling that ads are all the same? By ads, don’t understand the cool ads that bloggers put in their creative commercials lists to hit the front page on Digg, I am talking about 98% of commercials that are thrown at you everywhere on daily basis. The overall impression I get when walking in the streets, looking at ads or reading print ads, is that advertisers are all yelling at me: “Same same, but different”.

Do you also get that feeling? What do you think of the general level of advertising?

Example: The car industry is one of the best to demonstrate my point. Almost every car ad I ever saw was trying to show me some (pick the appropriate word): excitment, power, success, speed, romance, toughness, adventure.

Following are some ads showing some speed and trying to add a natural, adventurous, powerful feel to it.