Kitchen Sink Marketing

Andrew Stanten


Ever heard the phrase, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”? Works with just about everything—and marketing is no different.

So why wouldn’t you provide someone with every feature and benefit of your product or service? The more information, the better, right?

Wrong. We call it “kitchen sink marketing” – including every possible feature, benefit and technical detail into an ad, brochure or webpage without first thinking through how it will affect the overarching message of the marketing piece and the overall marketing strategy. Other distracting kitchen sink marketing tactics include using too many fonts, graphics and animation without considering whether or not they enhance the message you are trying to convey.

Even though we live in the information age, we all know that it’s easy to become frustrated or turned off when presented with too many options and too much information.

Marketing efforts that include too many elements, too much information or stray outside the brand’s perimeters are bound to cause consumer confusion and frustration.


For print or web ads, too much text destroys the visual impact of graphic elements, reducing the ad’s attention-grabbing power and obscuring the message. Keeping to a main call to action gives the consumer a clear message with one simple follow up action. Don’t bewilder consumers with extraneous information and they will be more likely to follow through on the ad’s call to action.

Mr. Know-It-All

Ads with fewer words tend to produce more leads. When provided with too much information, readers may feel they are informed enough to make a “no” decision without speaking to a salesperson. Taking your sales team out of the equation is a bad idea; many sales hinge on the personal messaging and touch that only a human can deliver.

The Dreaded Glazed Doughnut

This phenomenon — the glazed doughnut — happens when the consumer looks at an ad with too many visual elements and crowded text. Their eyes open into big wide Os and glaze right over. That’s right — information overload. We’ve all had that feeling before, and when we do, many of us shut down and completely tune out whatever information is trying to be conveyed. In the age of 140-character Tweets, attention spans are short and marketing needs to be visually impactful and succinct. Stick to your call to action and keep graphics clean to get your message across and avoid the danger of the glazed doughnut effect.

So from now on, leave the kitchen sink out of the marketing toolkit and rely on the essentials. Consistent branding and a clear call to action will get your message across way better than blinking text and paragraphs of details any day.
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Andrew Stanten

Andrew Stanten co-founded Altitude Marketing in 2004. As CEO, he ensures the right people are on board, delivering world-class marketing services to Altitude’s global client base, and staying true to Altitude’s mission, vision and values.
Andrew possesses an innate ability to process, organize and summarize massive volumes of client and market information and turn it into actionable, strategic thinking. This enables Team Altitude to get smart about a company quickly—and develop winning, integrated approaches that vault clients into a position of prominence and strength.
Andrew graduated from Syracuse University and earned his MBA from Lehigh University.