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Holidays are still taking hits: there’s not going to be a St. Paddy’s parade. The Easter Bunny will have to mask up before it drops off eggs. And April Fools’ Day will take a backseat to April Fools’ All-the-time.

But there’s one under-the-radar day that actually prioritizes anti-social paranoia: March 15 AKA the Ides of March! (You know, the day Brutus and Cassius shanked J. Caes.)

Not sure how to celebrate? Well, obviously, start by beware-ing them Ides.

And keep an eye out for these common mistakes when planning your next campaign, lest they return to stab you in the back.

Having too broad an audience.

If your target audience is “everyone,” you’ll pretty much be shouting into a creative void. It’s kind of counterintuitive, but targeting a niche group allows the work to become more specific, shareable, and effective. After all, you can’t come up with an out-of-the-box idea if there’s no box—or dry-cleaning bag—to start with.

Saying too many things at once.

Cramming every “reason to believe” into a banner ad or video script will overwhelm your audience and dilute your message. Focus on just one amazing point, and allow it to really shine with clever and concise creative. Remember: like you, consumers are smart—if they like what they see, they know more info is just a Google away.

Not doing your research.

Learning is a major (and majorly overlooked) part of the creative process. Dive into a brand’s history, successes, failures, and competitors. When you wriggle down weird rabbit holes, you can often emerge on the other side with a perfect nugget of insight. Like how everyone associates Heinz with ketchup. Everyone!

Not customizing messaging to media.

Knowing where creative work will live helps shape its look and tone. You wouldn’t just transpose a six-second Snapchat video into a full-page newspaper ad. Each channel has its own unique audience and best practices for content creation, so getting specific will give you better results.

Don’t do what Burger King did.

OK, maybe this isn’t the most common mistake—but it does reflect our industry’s tone-deaf penchant for mistaking one-off shock value for real substance. Just…please don’t do this.

We hope you’ll enjoy(?) celebrating March 15 by both looking forward and, of course, over your shoulder (looking et tu, Brute).

If nothing else, it gives you a reason to take a half-day.

Have a not-stabby weekend, everybody!

—Your back-having friends at Brokaw

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