What Do Rodney Dangerfield and B2B Advertising have in common?

Effective B2B Advertising for Your Business

Some of my friends are among the rudest people ever. We were talking about advertising in general and one of them says, Business-to-business advertising is the most boring advertising ever. And everyone  -except me, I think – agreed.


Almost everyone has heard Rodney Dangerfield’s famous complaint that he couldn’t get any respect.

So, how does a $4 billion-plus industry get to be the Rodney Dangerfield of advertising? And, more importantly, is B2B really that different?

Forget about what B2B used to be. The term “B2B marketing” now covers a dizzying array of advertisers, environments and disciplines, including traditional online, search, magazine, email, trade shows, direct marketing, sales support, social networks and much more.

And yes, a lot of B2B’s reputation for being boring is well earned. Take these two ads, for example:


In advertising, there is an old adage: “If you have nothing to say, sing it.” In print, of course, if you have nothing to say, put a flag on it. Or, as Samuel Johnson put it, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” This ad for Mutual of America could be for anything: insurance, student loans, Jeeps, U.S. savings bonds, a construction company, a shipbuilder. You name it; the ad can cover it.

And, as a result, it is bland, cliché and probably will not get much in the way of results.