Home > blogging for Britain, marketing ramblings > Disruption across all touchpoints

Disruption across all touchpoints

Over the course of my life sentence in advertising long and illustrious career, I’ve seen many trends and fads come and go, as trends and fads are obliged to do.

Some – hello ‘industry jargon’ – are not so much fads as facts of life, constantly evolving (are you a big fan of the word ‘ideation’? Is your thinking ‘disruptive’?) to test the bullshit-tolerance of each generation. Others are more transient, and it was one of these (hopefully) shorter-lived trends that this Guardian article examined today. (It takes about 60 seconds to read this piece so don’t be shy of clicking on the link.)

I recently read a piece by someone mistakenly correcting Apple’s famous line to ‘Think Differently’ in an attempt to bestow posthumous grammatical accuracy on the tagline that changed the world, but ‘Think Different’ it was, and if we are to lay the blame at any endline’s door than that’s as good a choice as any.

However, the structure of that line is a little different (ha!) to those excoriated in the article. To my mind, it was ‘Impossible is nothing’ from Adidas that started this staccato linguistic trend; not quite the legacy they were hoping for, I suspect, when they put their minds towards finding a line with the longevity and inconclastic impact of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’.

Tony Blair’s unique, verbless mangling of the English language may also have to shoulder some of the blame, with a generation of tyro copywriters hearing him sloganize the language into submission (“Hope. Opportunity. For our young people, a brighter future…”). Maybe we should be grateful for Donald Trump, whose limited vocabulary (“bigly”) makes him an unlikely champion to those who seek to resist this purge of adverbs.

Professionally, this trend is quite beguiling, as it permits put-upon copywriters to staple together random, vaguely relevant words with little thought apparently given to how they might be combined in an elegant, precise way. Ironically, the only line I have written which follows this trend owes its existence to a brief that requested something easy to comprehend when translated.

The line in question, “Find Your Rooster”, for our client Rooster Rojo tequila, is going ahead. Apart from in Russia, where ‘Rooster’ is a slang term for the paedophile victims of same-sex assaults in male prisons. Apparently that’s not something you want associated with your product, according to our brand manager. Honestly, clients can be so sensitive sometimes…

 

 

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  1. June 4, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    ‘Rooster’ LOL!!…I came up against industry jargon this week at a freelance interview…4 people from an agency in London torn me apart with industry jargon I hadn’t previously associated with what I do…it was an absolute joke – at the time I felt a little embarrassed…now I look back and think…knobs.

    I enjoy your ramblings sir.
    Laurie

    • neilchappell
      June 11, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hi Laurie. Thanks for your comments; I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I once found myself in a meeting with a very senior ad industry person who listened to two of my colleagues come out with all sorts of jargon. When they finished talking, he said, “I heard a lot of words there but I haven’t the first idea what on earth you’re talking about.” What he was almost ceertainly thinking was “knobs”…

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