Advertising, like any industry, has its own unique lingo. Since advertising is a business based on creativity, it only stands to reason that our terms are sometimes quite imaginative. Here then, is a collection of the most common advertising phraseology, with a brief translation of each.
“Can you make the logo bigger?” Roughly translated, this means “We have nothing of any importance or value to say in this ad.”
“They buried my ad.” This means “I know I spend barely enough on advertising to get a few drops of ink on the newsprint, but does that mean I can't expect to be on the front page?”
“We're the oldest/biggest/best. . .” In other words, “Our products are outdated, our pricing archaic and our customer base is rapidly being depleted by the grim reaper.”
“Service is our specialty.” What they're saying is, “You'll need our service because our products are totally unreliable.”
“It doesn't do anything for me.” Usually means, “I'm spending a fortune on this ad and I'm going to get my money's worth. Give me the Mona Lisa.”
“What we really need is some publicity.” This means “I don’t want to pay for my advertising.”
“Its just not us.” Translated: “Where's the picture of me, my family and my factory?”
“Advertising just doesn’t work for us.” This indicates that the company once ran a two-inch classified ad in a free circulation supermarket newspaper on a Friday in 1993, before leaving for a three-week vacation.
Listen to yourself carefully the next time you are working with your ad agency. If you hear any of these phrases, stop and back away. Before the agency turns and runs.