Back to Basics: Language Is Fundamental

It has been said that death and life are in the power of the tongue, that tiny agent upon which empires have risen and others felled. So what words can and should we use in consideration of this—the best of times and the worst of times?

Recalibrate. Just as our other senses adjust when one loses power, the tenor of ad-speak could stand to be sensitized to the needs of the newly spend-thrifty. With peril sounding from many a corner, community and conscience have risen at least a notch on Jane Q. Public’s radar. Conversely, consumerism and gratification may ring distastefully hollow—an unpleasant knell from the 90s.

Retool. Why not work with what you’ve got? Yes, we want them to buy, but don’t forget the value of memory. If nothing else, remind your base why you were their choice when it was theirs to make and why you will continue to be so when fiscal affairs become right again.

Recognize. Make it your business to seize any and all opportunities you have to empathize and extend yourself. Sheer circumstance has inspired a level of smarts many never knew before, so be prepared to satisfy the wise and wary.

Reconstitute. Perhaps it is high time your lexicon got a facelift. Are there old ideas or ways of doing in your organization? Are there phrases or words you can put to rest for a new approach? It is not unreasonable to imagine a certain segment that might just be tired of things as they were—after all, that was a major selling point for our new president.

Whether this bubble will yield extended gains in ad intelligentsia is a function of many things, but in the meantime, keeping an eye on the signs of the times is not a bad idea.

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