The Jargon Trap

White man surrounded with arrows thinking about HR consultancy in Dubai

The Jargon Trap

Rajesh Khanna in and as ‘Anand’ got it right in the eponymous movie…why confuse everyone with terminology that sounds like an admixture of Greek, Latin, and Mayan, that too on steroids? While his intent might have been to hide the truth and/or allay fears, he simplified the truth to make it palpable and potentially believable.

In the business of advertising, especially digital, there is a deep need to bamboozle people by inundating them with jargon. Often the jargon is just a handy excuse to explain delays or convey one’s inability to deliver a solution, or just a neat way to kick the problem up. Imagine telling someone that the idea can’t be adapted to a skyscraper banner because of the size limit of 100KB or the fact that the said banner is 900 x 45 pixels and therefore cannot accommodate a creative. I could think of better examples but am sure you get the gist.

While working with Interactive Avenues out of their Delhi office, was called to Bangalore to work on a presentation that was to be to the senior management of the Tata’s watches and jewellery business – Titan and Tanishq. Apparently, our one-of-a-kind Brand Manager, Ruchir Falodiya, had requested the CEO for a hearing and had promised to ‘Simplify Digital’. The brief went against the grain of our training. All our lives we had hidden behind jargon and technicalities to make digital seem a lot more intelligent and hardworking as compared to the bigger, more famous ‘offline’ advertising. We were now to explain to a distinguished panel the nitty-gritty of ‘digital marketing’ without the protection of jargon…purely using words from the English lexicon, that too only those that would not need explanation. 

After many stops and starts, much coffee and cursing, we did put together a fantastic presentation…one that holds true even after the 6-7 years that have elapsed, even if the data is dated. I still believe that the presentation holds up to scrutiny and can be handed out to people without too much need of a presenter to handhold the latest digital newbie…although am not sure one exists in the pantheon of marketers.

Here’s the link to the presentation:

And once again, thanks Ruchir, Aparna, Srinath, and the rest of the Tanishq team at IA Bangalore.