All Advertising Problems Are Translation Problems

We talk (usually) the same language and use the same terms in the advertising agencies. Still we often cannot understand each other.

Every agency should try to minimize these unfortunate and time-consuming translation arguments by creating:

Agreed definition on the basic advertising terms

Concept, idea, creative route, insight, big idea, exploration, strategy, social, proposition, …

Here are some terms that quite often have as many interpretations as there are people in the room. I have seen the most trivial & obvious things stated as an insight that they have made me want to jump from the window. Every agency should have agreed written definitions of all the common terms used when doing the work. Every single member of the agency should be instructed to go it through and learn it by heart. When different people would have dispute about the work, these definitions would serve as the basis of the discussion. Maybe company should also have translators to solve the conflicts?

All of the new clients would be taken through these definitions in the beginning of the relationship. This would reduce the probability of misinterpretation and ensure that everyone is in the same page.

Translation problems naturally do not stop there. When you have written something down, it is easier to understand in wrong way. That is why the nitpicking on copy can take totally absurd levels.

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