MASH’s Bullsh*t Detector: Mal translates ‘Ideation’

“This is where we get to the real crux of the problem, these words make anyone that uses them sound like a massive, massive w*nker.”

Real talk. We like it. Cutting through jargon and speaking ‘human’- it’s one of the things our MASHers do very well. So who better than one of our own to pull apart the current buzz-word dictionary. Meet Mal. 

We know a good human when we meet one.  We met Mal at The Other Art Fair while we were handling their sponsorship arm, and found out that he’s both a heavyweight award-winning creative director- and an artist. Serious talent. Mal’s been designing and writing really bloody good work for over 20 years. With credentials including Adidas, Mercedes Benz and ANZ, he’s straight-up ‘get stuff done- and no b*llshit.

Let’s ideate…

Ideation. The origins of this non-word are unclear but somewhere – and this could only happen in advertising and marketing – someone thought that the term ‘thinking’ had become passé. After all, David Abbott, John Hegarty and Bill Bernbach ‘thought’ of ideas – how old school is that? Yup, time for a new ‘buzzier’ word alright.

‘Ideation’ is problematic on a number of levels. Say it out loud, ‘eye-dee-ay-shon’. Notice something? Yes, in order to create a larger structure around the word ‘idea’, we have to clumsily mispronounce the most important 3 syllables within it. And that’s just the start.

The word takes the product and tries to make it into the process in order to give it a more technical sound. How would that approach work if we employed it in non-marketing, human-speak?

Rather than enjoy your lunch perhaps it’s time to engage in ‘mealification’. Playing football? No Mr Messi, I think you’ll find you’re ‘goalifying’ now. Perhaps the trip to Coles would seem a whole lot sexier if we gave it the handle ‘grocerification’?

This is where we get to the real crux of the problem, it makes anyone that uses it sound like a massive, massive wanker.

Research, ponder, ruminate and generate, but above all think and be proud of that process. Don’t hide behind non-words. After all, as Henry Ford said “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few people engage in it”.

More Bullsh*t Buzzwords Translations

Can we take this offline? – I have no idea what you’re talking about

That’s interesting – You have no idea what you’re talking about

Content – Stuff

User generated content – Other people’s stuff

Agile/Nimble – Our agency will never ask you to make a decision. Ever. We will accede to your every whim, every time and if that’s not good enough, we can change. 

Ideation – This non-word has gained popularity because in marketing we assume the word ‘thinking’ is passé 

Pivot – sackings

Transition – sackings

Let’s unpack that – I will keep talking until you submit

Always on – never ending

Unprecedented (also see: in these difficult times) – someone is going to pretend to care at you pretty hard right now, then ask you to buy a Ford

‘Have we thought of using Tik Tok?’ Translation: do I sound young now?

Copy of Mal_Profile_Image - Mal Chambers
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