Ian Daly — a “planning director and cultural strategist” at a marketing firm in New York called Anomaly — recently compiled a list of words and phrases that he titled “Shit I Never Said Before Working in Advertising.” A sampling:
Blow it out
Ladder it up
Tease it out
Bullet it out
Build it out
Share of mind
Are you tracking? I’m tracking.
And it goes on, reading a little like a weirdly intricate instruction manual, a little like half-baked inspirational literature, and maybe a little like… poetry?
We’re reminded of Robert Archambeau’s recent essay on the various ways that advertising has co-opted (unwittingly?) the language and approach of Symbolist poetry. Writing about Lexicon — the company behind such evocative product names as “Blackberry,” “Swiffer,” and “Pentium Chip” — Archambeau says:
The greatest of Symbolists Stéphane Mallarmé, in his Crise de vers describes the poetry he admires as… “verse that from its constituents makes up a total word, new, strange to the language and like an incantation”. For him, the poem itself was a single word. And like the words coined by the people at Lexicon, Mallarmé’s total word gives us “an array of specific, resonant meanings and associations” rather than something more defined and limited.