I picked out an ad by the mining company Vale as example, pointing out how the ad followed the conventions of this hoary genre.
Well, I see in Bloomberg BusinessWeek a new version of the Vale ad and – yes, bitchiness eschewed – I think this one is better. The new picture is warmer and more engaging, the scribbled word "sustainability" has more topical relevance than the previous "future," the body text is not inane (I hope the other copywriter is doing well – dude, it wasn't personal!), and a strong headline replaces the block of white text on muddy background.
I still despise and decry corporate image ads, though investors and employees may enjoy seeing their logo displayed next to breezy articles on marketing jeans and exploiting wind power.
So: well done, Vale team. My petty sniping had nothing to do with your improvements in corporate-image-ad-2.0. But as long as you are competing for eyeballs against Deutschebank and Hitachi, you might as well put your best face forward.