One of the biggest perks to being a graphic designer has always been the cool creative culture at advertising agencies. Unlike other professions, we enjoy invaluable perks like being able to wear flip flops every day and having afternoon bouncy ball tournaments. But over the past few years, I've noticed a disturbing trend: many agencies are losing their "coolness" and falling victim to cliches normally reserved for the corporate world. Their biggest offense? The overuse of corporate buzzwords.
Last time I checked, the entire point of advertising (or effective communications, in general) was to make your message as clear and concise as possible. This means using good ol' plain English for the common folk, not words better suited for a doctoral theseus. Seriously, people... you may think your expansive vocab makes you sound smart, but it really just makes you sound like a pompous elitist. (Did you like those big words I used there?)
Now that I'm an official "solopreneur," here is my list of the top 20 most annoying corporate buzzwords (ahem:: bullshit phrases) that I promise NEVER to use. And if by some freak of nature I accidentally slip up, you have permission to slap me.
- Moment ("This is a great opportunity to embrace the moment.")
- Ping ("Mike is ready in the conference room; he said to ping him whenever you're ready.")
- Bandwidth ("I know you're busy, so I want to make sure I don't overload your bandwidth with these new projects.")
- Touchpoint ("You have a great opportunity to reach your audience at this touchpoint."
- Augment ("This additional creative will effectively augment your existing strategy.")
- Talk Offline ("That's a great point you brought up, but our meeting is almost over; let's talk about it offline this afternoon.")
- Engage ("Sending out an e-newsletter will be a great way to engage with past customers.")
- Insights ("These new findings will provide some great insights into your business.")
- Methodology ("You'll see in our report that the methodology behind the proposed strategy is sound.")
- Initiatives ("Your new branding initiatives will most certainly provide a solid return on investment.")
- Onus ("The onus is on the client to provide the background information needed for this project.")
- Value proposition ("The key to distinguishing your business is to identify your unique value proposition in the marketplace.")
- Resonate ("This ad is perfect... it will really resonate with your customers.")
- Hard stop ("I have a phone call at 4 p.m., so we'll have to have a hard stop on this meeting at 3:45 p.m.)
- High level ("Right now we're dealing with high level concepts; we'll get into specifics at a later date.)
- Facilitate ("Since my boss is gone, I will facilitate today's presentation.)
- Ideate ("We're going to have a meeting to ideate new creative concepts.")
- Leverage ("We can leverage your current assets as a springboard to move forward.")
- Synergy ("The synergy between your regular and seasonal campaigns will result in increased sales.")
- Streamline ("Combining the processes will really streamline your operations.")
So that's my list, but I know there are MANY other good phrases out there worthy of shame. Leave your favorite (or least favorite, I guess) corporate buzzwords in the comments section so we can all have a good laugh!