Survey Reveals Creative Industry's Most Overused Lingo

Jan 4, 2007

MENLO PARK, CA -- Creative professionals who tout “outside-the-box” or “synergistic” thinking and promise to deliver “the big idea” to increase “ROI” may want to rethink their personal messaging in 2007.  While these terms might have resonated with audiences in the past, they were listed among the most annoying industry buzzwords by advertising and marketing executives in a recent survey.

The national poll includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis.

Executives were asked, “In your opinion, what is the most annoying or overused buzzword in the creative/marketing industry today?”  Top responses included:

  • “Outside-the-box”
  • “Synergy”
  • “The big idea”
  • “ROI”
  • “Paradigm shift”
  • “Strategy”
  • “Integrated solution”
  • “CRM” (Customer relationship management)
  • “Customer-centric”
  • “Voice of the customer”
  • “Critical mass”
  • “Buzz”
  • “Make it pop”
  • “Break through the clutter”
  • “Take it to the next level”
  • “Innovation”
  • “Free value”
  • “Organic growth”
  • “Low-hanging fruit”
  • “It is what it is”

“Because buzzwords are so prevalent, it’s easy for people to incorporate them into their vocabularies,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group.  “When words or phrases become overused, however, they can lose their impact and appear clichéd.”

Willmer noted that the strongest communicators keep the message simple.  “Direct, concrete statements typically are the most powerful and persuasive.  When professionals find their communications laden with buzzwords, they should consider how they might convey their thoughts more clearly.”

The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada, and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.

print Print   email Email   rss RSS