No Gimmicks! (And Gimmicks)

By Jaylin Paschal

‘No gimmicks’ is a gimmick,” my dad told me.

And he’s right, of course. It’s arguable that every element of branding is inherently gimmicky, even in the most authentic of circumstances.

Associating my blog, Creative Liberation, with “No Gimmicks” helps establish what I stand for in journalism, content creation and my creative/professional life in general.

A gimmick is defined as a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business. Also known as a “publicity stunt,” “contrivance,” “scheme,” “stratagem,” or “ploy.” It’s non-coincidental that all of these words have negative connotations, or that almost all of them are used when detailing career-ending travesties of artists.

“No gimmicks” asserts that this is not a clickbait-driven website or an article rooted in groupthink; that I am not motivated by advertisement or attention. It reminds both readers and myself of my creative principles. It’s an omnipresent guideline I’ve established for myself; a constant governing moral.

“No gimmicks” also embodies my appreciation for creative authenticity. I want to be genuine, and I want to welcome genuine writers, creatives and other readers; to create a safe space of sorts for people who just want to be. To be, simply, without censorship or compromise or the need to “sell yourself.”

And yet, as soon as I turned “no gimmicks” from a principle to a tagline, it became just that. It’s not so much ironic as it is contradictory.

But is this contradiction counterproductive? Does it negate from the message; cancel out that pretentious-sounding assertion previously mentioned? Does a gimmick based around no gimmicks still work?

I guess that depends on you, the reader, and how “real” you think I am — or I’m not.

Jaylin PaschalComment