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‘Thumb-Stopping.’ ‘Humaning.’ ‘B4H.’ The Strange Language of Modern Marketing.

Purpose-driven lifestyle brand: Blue Apron, Chipotle, Goop and Godiva have described themselves with this phrase. It’s meant to suggest that customers don’t just want the products sold by a particular company, but seek a deeper connection with it and wear it “as a badge,” as Christopher Brandt, the chief marketing officer of Chipotle, put it.

Snackable content: Short promotional videos made for smartphones and other devices.

Solutioning: Marketers love making one part of speech into another. A slogan from Hyundai — “However you family” — turns a noun into a verb. Toyota turned an adjective into a noun with “Start your impossible.” So it should come as no surprise that many marketers have taken a perfectly good noun, solution, and made it into a verb to describe the process of solving a knotty problem.

Storytelling: Companies once hired ad agencies for a simple job: conveying the appeal of their products, usually in a punchy manner. Now they want creative teams to immerse potential customers in narratives that practically mythologize their brands, and storytelling is perhaps the industry’s No. 1 buzzword. AdWeak, an advertising studio that also runs a parody Twitter account, has sold a tongue-in-cheek coffee mug emblazoned with the line: “For the last time, I’m not a copywriter, I’m a [expletive] brand storyteller.” (And even storytelling may not be enough, it seems. Mondelez says that “humaning” happens when “storytelling becomes storydoing.”)

Thumb-stopping: A descriptor for online content, made especially for mobile devices, that captures someone’s attention enough to stop them from scrolling. Pinterest, Shutterstock and Samsung have all promoted themselves as services that help users to create “thumb-stopping” material.

TLA: The ad industry loves acronyms. OTT stands for “over-the-top” streaming content delivered over the internet. PDOOH is short for “programmatic digital out-of-home” (that is, ads placed through an automated bidding process on digital billboards and others signs). And TLA? It’s an acronym for a type of acronym. Specifically, “three-letter acronyms.”

Top-of-funnel: Remember the customer’s journey (see entry above)? Top-of-funnel (also known as TOFU) describes a special part of it, the moment when a potential buyer becomes aware of a product or service.

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