Thursday, December 26, 2013

Year-end venting, bad acronyms and brand fails

It's that time of year again - for well wishes? For glad tidings? New Year's resolutions? Of course not, silly. It's time for me to vent again about how crazy this world of branding has become.

Adweek's 25 biggest brand fails of 2013 is an entertaining look back at a bunch of blunders - some obvious and others much more subjective - by marketers such as JC Penny, Hyundai, Barilla and others.

The sidebar on this is the most revealing misuse of the English language by so-called marketers - "fail." I guess if we accept the use of the word "leverage" as a verb, then why not drag a few verbs down the same linguistic rabbit hole? The comments thread on this one is priceless.

Along the same lines, Valerie Pritchard's 12/18 item on Health Care Communication News was a great summary of pesky jargon that we could really do without in the New Year.

Valeria, I agree whole-heartedly that "learnings" is not a real word, and "tent pole" is a horrible, almost painful metaphor.

I also got a chuckle out of her "worst acronym" example - PANK. Having done a bit of work in two industries that use far too many acronyms - healthcare and telecommunications - I can tell you this was a spot-on example of a genuinely stupid acronym. Go to the story to see what "PANK" stands for.

Happy New Year. Let's hope it's one with fewer acronyms and more learnings.

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