May 09, 2011

Brand Babble Battles Back

So far, 2011 has been a very good year for web-monkey jargonistas. But we've been uncharacteristically short on brand babble.

As a matter of fact, I was starting to think that under the relentless pressure of social media claptrap, the whole art of brand babble was losing steam.

I am happy to report, however, that a treasure trove of recent brand babble has been unearthed by an ever-vigilant ad contra. It's an article called "10 Ways Your Brand Can Be Meaningful" -- and everything about it is delicious.

First of all, it's located at the perfect spot -- a website called You couldn't ask for better provenance than that.

Second, it's written by someone who's a partner in Emotive Brand. Now, to be honest here, I have no idea who or what Emotive Brand is. For all I know, they're a fine group of wonderful people. But if the name doesn't make you cringe, you've been in marketing way too long.

And third, it provides us with an excellent vision of the future of marketing jargon. It manages to create a lovely amalgam of classical brand babble, sociological double-talk, and new age digi-drivel.

The article is deeply concerned with the "meaning" of brands. In a true tour de force, using just two short pages, it manages to incorporate the word "meaning," or some derivative of it, 53 times. 

Among the plenitude of platitudes, we are exhorted to...
"Take in more. Grow. Pursue new paths. Climb new mountains. Swim new seas. Cross new deserts. Plow new fields..."
Yup, I'll get right on that.
"It behooves your brand to move people to a new level of consciousness--about your brand, their own lives, and the connection between the two."
Really? Can't we just sell them shit? Exactly what new level of consciousness has Bud Light taken us to? Or Victoria's Secret? Or Toaster Strudel?
"The pursuit of meaning consolidates what's already there in the abstract into something more tangible, more understood, more usable. With an agreed meaning, a brand starts to evolve into a meaningful brand."
Would someone please notify the tautology police.
"You are on the road to meaning. You roll down the windows and let fresh air replace the old, stagnant ways of the past. You put down the convertible top and see the big sky above. You step on the gas and feel how much easier it is now to move forward..." put a loaded gun to your head and say, what in the world has this business come to?

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