Page 6 - AdNews Magazine Jan-Feb 2021
P. 6

                 Editor’s Letter
  The humaning headline
Welcome to 2021. It took its time but we made it past the cliff-like drop in business, the con- traction in media bookings, the enforced lock- downs, worry over health and the future, and which way went the mute button.
The Australian industry innovated on the run, talked to clients and staff, and listened, acted and emerged stronger.
Along the way, change accelerated — the importance of digital; remote working; office real estate hierarchy became meaningless; that transparency engenders trust.
We struggled to find ways to describe what was happening. In the process, we kept invent- ing buzzwords. COVID-19 created a series of phrases and words now in common usage, many of them descriptive of what was happening, such as social distancing, lockdown and elbow bump.
The New York Times lists:
“brand heat”, a phrase to use
when buzz sounds weak; “cus-
tomer journey” as a way of
saying buying stuff; and “hypertelling” when storytelling goes ballistic.
Globally, the word “humaning” emerged quietly as a marketing-speak creation as the year crawled along, a few weeks to closing.
It came from Mondelez International, the snack maker with brands including Ritz crackers and Philadelphia cream cheese. Reports reaching Australia say Ogilvy may have an influence in this word.
Humaning became a focal point of derision,
ranking at the top of a list of shame phrases alongside others such as “unprecedented” and “new normal”, plus “now more than ever”.
Bob Sutton, professor and organisational psychologist at Stanford University: “It is kind of wonderful, and kind of ter- rible, to see the birth of new corporate jargon monoxide
before our very eyes.” Mondelez: “Humaning is
a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connec- tions with purpose ... we are no longer marketing to con- sumers, but creating connec- tions with humans.”
The sentiment — connect- ing people with people — is a good one. And the ad indus- try loves the in-talk, the jargon, as if there is a law that we must have words unknown to outsiders to take the place of many.
Does it really matter what words are used as long as meaning is conveyed?
The Macquarie Dictionary adds words each year. “Doomscrolling” was its Word of the Year 2020, meaning to read news online despite the fact it is
negative and often upsetting.
This is to the point, descriptive and describes an
addiction to digital devices, another trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s discard some buzzwords, keep the ones we need, and push on.
And watch for 2021 events, such as AdNews LIVE! Adelaide Amplified, on Thursday, March 4.
   CHRIS PASH | January/February2021 6

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