On 30 May adman Jon Holloway had a rant about the overuse of jargon by ad agencies when dealing with clients, called “Speak English, Morons”. It starts:
Plain English. Is it really that hard? As an industry we are obsessed with baffling, the whole one-upmanship of this crazy advertising and marketing world is making us all look like clowns.
Einstein was right; ‘if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it enough’. Does that sum up our industry; do we not care enough to actually understand what we are talking about?
It is so easy to become a social media guru, a marketing Jedi or a digital ninja by spending 10 minutes on twitter, reading a few blogs and some out dated books. Then vomiting them all back up in a random order over unsuspecting people who come to you for advice.
Then he gets really cross. Great stuff. Great comments too. One gives a brilliant parody of what Holloway is talking about:
This month we’re really going to break through the clutter with this campaign and deliver some paradigm-shifting news that, at the end of the day, should capitalize both on our core competencies and on your hunger for change.
Things in advertising lately have been all-business, all-the-time. So we’ve decided to spin-up a new communications initiative that I’m calling – and this is a real game-changer – Adwording.
Our messaging this month is all new and standards-based. It’s a bit of a thought experiment right now, but we’re going to run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it. If we can get buy-in from a majority of our 300,000 key stakeholders then we may just make Adwording a tentpole of our core messaging strategy and a key differentiator of our value proposition.
Make no mistake – this is some real blue-sky thinking here. We wanted to keep you in-the-loop so that, moving forward, we’re all singing from the same sheet music.
We hope to leverage your interest in what’s new at our organization and align that with our propensity to eat our own dog. FOOD! Dog food. Sorry, I’m still getting the hang of this.
See, that’s an example of what we call “pushing the envelope”. Also “bad business practice.” It’s really just a matter of us honing in on which levers we need to pull to enhance the end user experience, and which levers are really just avenues to fostering user detachment.
On the other hand, Holloway is a fine one to talk. He describes himself as a “strategy director”.