The Most Annoying Buzzwords of 2014

09 Jan,2015


We asked the industry’s finest for buzzwords they grew heartily sick off in 2014. Big Data and Viral were the big losers. Read on for the rest:


Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands

1. Talent

2. Compensation

3. Digital

4. Television measurement and

5. Analytics were annoying as the more people spoke, the less they did anything about these things.


For 2015, for starters, I have high hopes from the new TV measurement which Barc will put out, media agencies getting into content production, collaboration between all constituents of the ad ecosystem, budgets which will hopefully be at landmark levels and the World Cup which we should win again.



Viral – Most of the time it is just an ad that runs way too long. Get some scissors, people


Big Data – The ultimate Brahma Astra for the advertising charlatan


The only viral I know of is the one that requires the intervention of a doctor

Perhaps the most, abused & misused terminology in the year. Runs the danger of being called ‘Pig Data’.

It’s just analytics. People have been doing this ever since humankind stepped on this planet.


Malvika Mehra, National Creative Director and Executive Vice President, Grey

The 5 most oft used words in 2014 were 1. Guys 2. Let’s 3. Make 4. A 5. Viral.


Also ‘Take your time (4-5 minutes is great), but please don’t take my money. No budgets this year. And while you are at it, make it so stunning that it is ‘organic’ (unpaid distribution)’. Ji Sirji. ‘But ultimately make me a TVC. And I want a ‘BIG, LAUNCHY’ feel for our product in 30 seconds or less. Chal, paanch second aur le lo’. Ji sirji.


The Pitch Bitch: ‘Of course we love you guys! We are just opening it up to 10 other agencies to inject some freshness into the brand (and test how much lower will they drop their price vis a vis yours for the same or more amount of work)’. Par Sirji?


Femvertising: From soap brands, to makers of shampoos, sanitary towels, watches to home appliances and mobile network providers, everybody suddenly wanted to ’empower the woman’. I get the noble intent, but wish the brands would really ‘walk the talk’. Else it’s just a ‘token’ gesture. And consumers see through that inauthenticity.


Interactive Pre-rolls: With stern warnings of ‘If you skip this ad, I will have to kill not only Jack and Jill and Mary and her little lamb, but also Old MacDonald along with all the cute animals on his farm’.


Research: Gut instinct is officially dead. It got replaced by the R word. Heard about ‘No guts. No glory’? Not lately.


Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Executive Creative Director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather

Native Advertising: I imagine people wearing grass skirts and clapper boards singing jingles.


Vlog: At times we Bengalis mix up our Vs and Bs. That’s what I thought this was all about!


Content: As in, ads vs. content, content marketing. Like ‘traditional’ advertising has no content? I’m content to pass on this one.


Social: Yeah, why not? Let’s party. And get paid for it! That’s what I say.


Seamless: Every element has to seamlessly work with everything else. Imagine if our clothes were like that too! Now that would be some fashion trend.


Santosh Padhi, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India

Pitch: If you do not respect yourself nobody will.


Research: Like sex determination, it should be banned


Low Budget: Instead of 300 insertions can we do 280 and improve the quality of the creative?


Urgent: Premature babies forcefully welcomed will always run a risk


Celebrity: They are the super highly paid creative directors, why do you need one more creative agency?


Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman, Dentsu India and CEO, Dentsu Asia Pacific (South)

Integrated: Integration is the process, co-creation is the magic.


360: 360 degree campaigns are consumer conversations in bursts, 365 is everyday relevance.


Alignment: Alignment is passionless, belief runs deep.


Structure: Structure constrains, open source liberates.


Procurement: Vegetables are procured, ideas are partnered.


Meenakshi Menon, Chairman, Spatial Access

Big Data: That has to be on the top of my list. It’s just analytics. People have been doing this ever since humankind stepped on this planet.


Twitterati: Everybody has become an instant expert on Twitter. I’d replace the term with ‘scum.’


ISIS: ‘Isis’ is supposed to be the goddess worshipped as ideal mother and wife. Our vocabulary keeps evolving, sometimes not in the right direction. I’d call the group as a distortion than assigning them the name of a goddess.


Homechef: Where mothers cooking for their families had some dignity to it, now we have a whole new concept of women cooking for complete strangers that they invite at home. The food is charged, of course. It’s just a little pretentious a term. Just call them plain old cook, maybe?


Climate Change: It only gets talked about. Never acted upon. Perhaps replace it with – learn to breathe under water? Or ‘Grow gills?’


Anil Nair, CEO and Managing Partner, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi

Integration: The term liberally used when you don’t have a clue of what to do with your brand. It’s been institutionalised now. We will have Chief Integration Officers everywhere in no time. Put an end to this painful word. Replace it with ‘We need to have an idea,’ Sirjee.


Social Listening: It’s something that our good old researchers have been doing for ages. It’s nothing more than trend analytics, only instead of taking a dictaphone out to record voices, you’re recording them off Facebook and Twitter. Just call it ‘consumer understanding’ and do not make an unnecessary tool out of it, please?


Viral: The only viral I know of is the one that requires the intervention of a doctor and loads of medicine to go away. I don’t care where this term came from, it needs to disappear. It’s an epidemic that needs an antidote.


SEO, SEM: Why are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Can we not get caught up in the process and its terminology and revert to a simple non-jargonised world?


Big Data: For God’s sake, the database just got bigger. But it always existed. The most successful political campaign of this year was based on pure emotional advertising and not big data. Let’s stop jargonising information. Call it what it is (read: information).


Mallikarjun Das, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group (India)

Big Data: A phrase bandied too easily and too much, especially by those who pay scant regard to rationality. The ultimate Brahma Astra for the advertising charlatan.


Programmatics: A term used in context with media buying, especially on digital, when what they are doing is just using the optimiser.


Fragmentation: The only problem with using the said buzzword is that it’s often used in a wrong way to strike some sort of terror in a client.


Storytelling: Need I say more?


360 degree: This term is like that sugarcane that’s passed through the machine 300 times. There’s no juice left in it and yet it’s being rolled one last time.


Dhunji Wadia, President, Rediffusion Y&R

Big Data: Perhaps the most, used, abused and misused terminology of the year. It runs the danger of being called ‘Pig Data’. There are questions regarding the implications of the approach and also the way it is currently done. It needs to look at data holistically – Total Information.


Digital Evangelists: Don’t need them as you cannot preach to the converted.


The ‘Selfie’ Contest/Promotion: Replace it with better imagination.


E-commerce ‘Discount for the Day’: That runs for years together.


Free App Download: With more and more retailers and brands reaching for e- and m-commerce, there is an explosion of apps to be downloaded. Begs the question, ‘Why would anyone pay to download such an app?’


Ajay Kakar, CMO, Aditya Birla Group – Financial Services

“Isse viral kar do!”: Which is what every client says. It’s content, not viral, please.


“Facebook has 50 million visitors!”: So what? VT station has more people visiting, does that mean we put all our ads there?


New media: Let’s just say ‘customer’ as opposed to new, old, traditional, or any other kind of media. Creative awards: Awards should be for creatives that work.


Pitches: Here a pitch, there a pitch, everywhere clients flirting. Serial pitching must end. Let’s call them ‘Brand Custodians’ and not pitchers, shall we? Clients and agencies must stop playing the blame game. If one is the crutch to your success there’s no way one should let go.


Bobby Pawar, Director and Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Worldwide

Viral: For the love of likes, it’s just a video until lots of people see and share it. Most of the time it is just an ad that runs way too long. Get some scissors, people.


ATL/BTL: It implies a caste system of ideas. The good ones go above, the so-called ‘hard working’ ones slide under. It shouldn’t matter where the idea lives, it must be good enough to move your audience. People don’t care, therefore you must.


But: This is phaasi ka phanda for ideas. It is crueler that a blunt ‘no’. Why? Because it is preceded by some waffling words that give hope to the creative, then ‘but’ shows up and yanks the handle.


Deadline: Nothing induces a creative butt-clenching moment like this word. Yes sir, three bags full sir, our work is time bound, but does it have to sound so, erm, deadly?


Purchase: It’s the leading cause of hair-loss among agency CEOs.


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2015, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Licensed to republish




Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Today's Top Stories