November 01, 2009

The Enduring Power Of Piffle

Just when you think the "conversation" crowd can't possibly devise any more preposterous nonsense about their precious conversations, up pops something so ridiculous that it restores your faith in the enduring power of piffle.

A new record in jargon-hurling and language-torturing was reached last week when the writer of an Ad Age article entitled "How to Develop the Right Communications Strategy for a Conversation Economy" managed to use the word "conversation," or some derivative of it, 31 times in a brief article.

As impressive as this accomplishment is, however, you really can't judge this achievement by the numbers. You have to behold the content.

Within the article, we learn the following awesomely awesome things about "the conversation."
"'re no longer marketing products or services -- you're marketing conversations."
So let me get this straight. The "conversation" is the means by which we market a product, the product itself, and according to the title of the piece, the basis of the economy.
"...meaningful conversations is the big challenge of marketing today."
"Meaningful conversations is...?" IS? What fricking language are that?
"A multimedia mix framed to spark conversations requires a compelling message concept that can work across a multimedia platform."
Fabulous sentence. A true mini-cornucopia of cliches and buzzwords. Nice use of the double "multimedia." You don't often find it twice in one sentence. But the best part is the "compelling message concept." I would like to suggest, however, that it could have been made even more jargon-forward if it had been "compelling messag-ing concept." See what I mean? Using the gratuitous gerundive form is always a nice way to take a tautology and make it sound like it means something -- a must for today's busy marketing professional.
"Conversation is mankind's natural search engine."
What can I say? This would make a perfect title slide in the marketing hokum hall-of-fame Powerpoint presentation.
"Content themed to your target's daily passions, routines or rituals are great for habituating conversations."
"Content...are great...?" ARE? ARE? ARE? Is you fricking kidding me?

If This Isn't Depressing Enough... the congratulatory comments that follow the article. If this doesn't convince you that the whole profession of marketing is becoming one big poisonous feedback loop of nonsense and double-talk, I don't know what will.

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