What those advertising terms really mean

Last issue, we promoted better inter-agency/client communications by publishing a glossary of what all those marketing terms really mean (with marketerspeak-to-agencylingo translations courtesy of JWT).

Last issue, we promoted better inter-agency/client communications by publishing a glossary of what all those marketing terms really mean (with marketerspeak-to-agencylingo translations courtesy of JWT).

This issue we’re tackling this glossary project from the other side of the table. Over time, certain phrases used to frame the brilliance of creative concepts have become code for something else, so we’ve asked a marketer who currently works in brand management at a large CPG manufacturer to define some of those terms agencies float around. Prepare for elucidation courtesy of Rob Linden’s real-world dictionary.

This idea is simple
Just what it says. One. Simple. Thing. Is it easy to digest and unmistakable? Maybe. Did time run out before the presentation and the ‘creatives’ still haven’t figured out what the heck they wanna do ‘creatively,’ even with all the ‘creativity-stimulating’ afternoon trips to the movies, ventures into the beer fridge and lunch-time foosball tournaments at the agency? Definitely.
(I still don’t understand why our offices can’t look as nice as the agency’s.)

We can fix it in post

Usually uttered by the creative director, writer or account person. This could mean the creative people didn’t foresee that the talent had a lazy eye or that the snow-fall effect looks more like dandruff than a blizzard and they’ll try to cover their asses with the latest technology and editing tricks (which of course are not within the original budget). OR it could mean the creative team couldn’t agree with the photographer/director and are hoping to go behind their backs to get what they originally wanted. Come on kids – let’s get on the same page! Didn’t we have a pre-pro for a reason?

The image is FPO and the music is just a placeholder
This is an obvious one. The team has decided to get our hopes up with the latest Moby track or David LaChapelle pic. I know I can’t afford either. If I could I would’ve included it in the brief, in which case the team would’ve been complaining about being put into a box creatively. This project is just a placeholder until we all become independently wealthy.

Integrated Ideas/Full-Service Agency

I know you guys are vertically integrated out the wazoo, and that you have offices in all corners of the world, but all I asked for was a statement stuffer. Why on earth did you insist on coming back with a seven-part miniseries, rickshaw advertising and some skywriting?!

I get it, but I just don’t get it. Yeah, it’s good creative. And it’s for sure the best chance at winning a decent award. Unfortunately, it’s got the least chance of winning a CASSIE (or even coming close to the modest 8% market share growth I need to hit in order to get my bonus).

This line works really hard

Let’s call a spade a spade. The team read the brief and liked all but 98% of it. The 2% they did like has been distilled down to a URL. That’s it? Six months of research and three weeks of creative development and I get www.ownonetoday.ca? This line works as hard as the focus group member who burped it out six months ago after shotgunning a warm Coke.

The campaign idea has legs
Translation: Come on baby! Daddy needs a new pair of shoes! Let’s see how far we can milk these guys!

It’s not about ROI

I get it. This isn’t an investment for the immediate. It’s about building the brand for life, and making the target feel good about the product. I’m all for that, but I don’t foresee myself working on diet shakes for the next 10 years. Nobody looks that far down the line. Let’s just move 8,000 units before next quarter is done and call it a day (and don’t forget to stay ‘on-equity’).

We feel really strong about this one
After all the other buzzwords and clichés have been said, this is the line that brings the meeting to a head. It’s because of all these other sayings that the agency feels ‘really strong about this one.’ It’s a real catch-22. On one hand you want the agency to present some options, or at the very least, the paths not taken. But this utterance is kinda like when a used car salesman says: ‘Trust me.’ It’s the little push that the work didn’t need. All things being equal, shouldn’t the work and the original presentation speak for which one is strongest?