Marketing Masala for the Digital Age
The advertising dictionary is useful for both adn00bs and adknowing and everyone in between.
Note: this ad dictionary was hosted in another place where you could add words before our redesign, created in 2001. I figure I’d simply repost it as a regular blog post now since submissions declined.
AstroTurf Marketing: Astroturf marketing is what you do when you post anything in a very (very!) popular blog and/or community blog simply to spread the word, like how great Pepsi Blue is, or how you like Terry Tate the office linebacker (with links) or whatever else you want to go ‘viral’.
See also Astroturf – From Disinfopedia, the encyclopedia of propaganda. :”Senator Lloyd Bentsen, himself a long-time Washington and Wall Street insider, is credited with coining the term “astroturf lobbying”.” In other words, astroturf began in the political arena and seeped out to the consumer arena…
Account Consecutive: These AE’s use the same dang plan and media mix for each and every one of their clients, no matter if they’re a small skateboard manufacturer or a national supplemental health insurance group for senior citizens. Also known as Coasters.
(an) Add: To add is what you learned in early math class, as in 2+2=5. It’s also how dyslexic copywriters and people who do not work in advertising thinks one spells “ad” as in “advert”. Well, it’s wrong, just to clear that up. Besides, in advertising we think 1+1=3, so you really shouldn’t be talking math with us.
Adland: this is common term for this website, including the subsites/subsections such as Badland, the Commercial Archive, the adforums and so on. We’ve called it that since 1996 and old habits die hard. I should know, I still smoke.
Adgrunt: I coined the expression here as a way to describe the audience that arrives, we are the sick twisted souls that use the remote control in order to find the commercials, rather than avoid them.
Borelancer: A freelance creative who spends his or her entire time talking about who they’ve worked with, what they’ve learned and how you could use it to become better at your job.
Blogaganda: Exactly what you think it is, propaganda in blogs or blogs created specifically in order to spew propaganda. Term coined here 2004
Buzzard: You know this type – uses “utilize” instead of “use,” “proactive” in every other sentence, etc. Matter of fact, this type of person is so into it that they can use “paradigm” as a noun, verb and/or adjective.
Choppywriter: A jerkwad (usually a part-owner of the agency) who spends mebbe half a minute pretending to think deeply about a client, writes down three or four random words* on a piece of paper, and hands it down for somebody else to try and flesh it out into an actual concept – and of course takes full credit for the concept if the underlings actually develop anything from it.
*examples of word chop clusters…. “peanut, breasts, green, hair,” “boxers, hat, bananas, awning,” or “mutton, gremlin, ointment, eraser.”
Copy Wanker (Courtesy I am kidding.Really.) – the writer who sneaks sexual innuendo into anything including ads for laundry detergents, prescription drugs and disposable nappies with the motto “sex sells”.
Copywronger: An account manager who insists on telling people his or her embarrassingly bad copy ideas. See also Management Copywriter.
Clue by Four: unknown origin : something you’d like to smack a certain mediabuyer – who bought Mercedes newspaper ad space in conjunction with Princess Di’s death being reported – over the head with.
Creative Departed (Courtesy mochazina): a CD who is rumored to once have been creative but these days rides firmly on the shoulders of the creative department.
Demi-production head: A senior producer who refuses to be on the set before noon
Donuts: donuts – a prefab tv shell with the same ol’ beginning and end where you plop whatever the current promo is in the middle and call it a day. Completely forgettable lazy crap.
Do a Mahir: The Mahir phenomenon, aptly described in this article [salon], immediatly spawned a million “viral” Internet campaigns trying to ride a similar wave of “pass it on” hype. “Doing a Mahir” is to in essence, build a page equally naivly funny as Mahir’s, or in other closely related traits try to harness the same morbid curiosity of internet viewers. In other words, this is now the officially oldest viral advertising tactic, on par with traditional ad cliché propositions like “for all your [roast beef] needs.”
This is not to be confused with another type of “viral” campaign , which could be anything from the “use hotmail now” link at the bottom of each one of your sent hotmails, to a site that offers elaborate Ecards that you send your friends in order for the site to get traffic, to sneaky places like Ecrush that send out “someone has a crush on you” and make you type in a large amounts of friends real emails before they reveal who it is, if it even is anybody but their own email-harvesting machine…
Dupliclaims: it’s the word Tim cheif sloganmaven (r.i.p.) from adslogans.co.uk invented to describe Badland lookalike ads. The word stuck.
Endline : see strapline.
Fart Director: A staff designer who’s managed to parlay the last 12 years of a burnt-out career shuffling from design firm to design firm doing nothing but bitch about the coffee and the bathrooms and how the clients will NEVER PAY FOR A SHOOT AROUND HERE!
Friday: It’s not casual in adland. Friday is pink slip day. [friday is also silly link day on adlist.]
Hoaz: A hoax-person purposely designed in order to get net-wide and/or pressattention.
The press [legit] attention can be it’s only goal, the more elaborate one use the pressattention to flog a product. See examples such as Netochka Nezvanova [salon article link]. Bot? Person? Artgang? Software engineer? Troll?.
Expression coined to separate an elaborate Hoax-person/entity on the net from an elaborate Troll on the net with which a Hoaz shares many traits.
Hoarse Whisperer: An executive who read the intro to one of those body language books and speed-read through the rest, who now makes an ass of himself in every meeting with overexaggerated winks, eyebrow wiggles, staredowns, hand and arm gestures, and intentional intrusion of personal zones to display how “alpha” he is.
Junior Assistant Account Coordinator Planner Executive: Gopher
Layout – never an idea: The layout itself can do most of the ideas job, where it is placed, how it looks communicates more than its given credit. But a layout is not an idea. Stating “I used blurry fonts first – they nicked my idea!“, is better said as: “I used blurry fonts first – they nicked my design style“.
If blurred out fonts are used in order to communicate the need for new glasses and a visit to the optrician, the fonts are expressing the idea, but blurry fonts on their own aren’t an idea.
Otherwise, a layout carries the idea but it is never the idea on it’s own.
Viral ad (related to Mahir, umbrella-term.): When first coined – Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper are credited with the term Viral Marketing in 1997 – the phrase “viral” was anything from those little sigfiles at the bottom of a hotmail mail to any other “wildfire” word of mouth.
These days the term Viral is more often used in regards to actual commercials that spread like wildfire across the web, some agencies make “made for web only” commercials specifically. Anything too raunchy, sexy or anything that was “banned from TV” (has the potential of becoming a viral film. Viral sites are the best way of promoting them, a great example was the Fanta Shokata website which allowed punters to create their own films and spread them to friends – thus both allowing users to create a film and email their friends.
Famous film examples: Lee & Rubberburner leaked films on the net via “Losers.org”and for us adgrunts Truth In Advertising tickled our funnbone extra much, both in 2000. Fred & Farid’s Xbox “champagne” 2002, Monster spoof “when I grow up” 2002, Ford Ka cat decapitation in 2004, the BIG ad and suicide vw bomber ad by Lee & Dan, 2005 – just to name a few.
Master Bait: An older suit with a once notable past in a certain industry who is hired and paraded around to increase the chances of successfully wooing a client in that same industry. Unfortunately, the wooing fails, so the agency is stuck with a disinterested, expensive and grizzled grumpbucket until the contract runs out.
Plannager : An account manager who really wanted to be a planner and who is constantly trying to prove that he or she would make a good one.
Posse Galore: When an agency principal goes on a long distance trip to meet with a potential client who happens to be male, there’s usually at least two from this group, typically female, young and attractive, who find out that their experience is required to make the visitation go smoothly as well as ensure success. Oh, and they have to giggle on cue and only speak when spoken to.
ROI???: Return Of Investment. Numbers for the number chrunching guys. DM – that is, Direct Marketing – are the media fellows that have the best track record in proving their ROI – they know exactly who they mailed and how many responded after all.
Rounder: Primary responsibility is taking the edgy elements out of an ad that make the account executive and/or client and/or focus group uncomfortable.
Sarchasm: – The gulf between the author of sarcasm and the recipient who doesn’t get it. Some people reckon we’re overly hash with our opinions here, but relax, it’s only advertising….
Senior Guinea Pig: The poor soul whose first task in the morning is to test the brown office beverage and find out if the caffeinated swill is palatable.
Slogan : see Endline.
SpaSMS: expression coined here back on 2000 regarding the SMS advertising/marketing messages texted to mobile phones to more accurately describe them.
Spamvertise: Expression coined eons ago, frequently used by places such as Spamcop to describe unsolicited bulk email advertising. There is no real marketing or skill or actual “targeting” to a specific group at play when peoplespamvertise just a million pissed off people who soon desert their email addresses in the vain hope that a new one, might stay spam free. In Dabitch’s humble opinion, any marketing on the net not expressively asked for should be banned and the fuckwads responsible flogged in public. Many share it since the receiver actually pays the bill for these “ads” in form of wasted resources, wasted time, and more often that you’d think, phonebill costs or “account is over the limit” bills. As far as I know, this is the only form of advertising where the receiver pays to receive something they didn’t ask for. [So did the now illegal Fax ads, that wasted away millions of rolls of fax paper and tied up office faxes all night long, but the cost of paper is usually smaller.]
SPIM: Spam sent over instant messaging systems IM. Could be a bot that just spews a short “conversation” before telling you about a URL that you must visit – could be a cruder bot that just says “Hi” and then SPIMs you immediately. Worse, it could be a bot trying to trick you into downloading adware or a virus. In any case, it’s annoying.
Strapline: positioning statement.
SudS: Many ads around the world are simply dubbed to fit into a new market without much consideration for how different different markets actually are. Getting an “adaptation brief” usually means that you’ll be translating and dubbing a soap advert or washing powder commercial . Now you know what they mean when they say “I’m working on SudS all week.” It means they’re bored.
Tagline : see slogan.
Tart Director (courtesy caffeinegoddess): AD whose sole goal is to work with the hottest chicks possible and try to nail them too.
Wardrobe Wench: Primary duty of this stereotypically female staffer is, whenever a PLC (potentially lucrative client) is to be in the agency within the next day or two, to make sure (via email, voicemail, post-its, group meetings and one-on-ones) that every creative in the shop knows that they are supposed to wear clothes and underbritches that are clean, relatively inoffensive and in tolerably good condition (by executive standards) on that particular day. In case of failure, she has a stock of button-down shirts and pullovers embroidered with the agency name and/or logo to throw on the worst offenders at the last possible minute.
White space : White space does not communicate. But it sure is purdy.
Usage rights : Legal permission to reproduce copy, photos, logos or other intellectual property. Nobody understands this these days so everyone yells “fair use” at the top of their lungs instead.