The adjective "banal" is associated with a lack of creativity. It expresses that something has died, or lost whatever drive to live that once pushed it onward.

In many contexts, the adjective "banal" has been linked to "mundane" or "ordinary". This is particularly true in fantasy writing, particularly stories where kids are swept away into some dreamworld, as in the manner of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The world that they leave behind, full of parents and day to day blah is banal.

In the movie The Matrix, the producers tried to make the world inside the computer simulation (the so-called "real world") look and feel banal to audiences by removing the color blue. They went through and digitally edited anything that was blue to be more green or red (the primary colors of light being red, green and blue). By doing this, they felt they created a more banal world.

The word "banal" is used heavily in the Changeling books by Whitewolf Publishing. Changelings are fairies. They exist in our world by the force of belief. Those who do not believe in magic and spirituality are dead. Such people typically find employment as accountants. The fairies refer to them as banal and fear their disbelieving touch.