Say What?

Gina Ive, Account Executive, Northwestern Region



Do you ever find that when you talk to people outside the advertising industry, they don’t understand you?  When you talk about cookies, organic content, and traffic, do they think you’re having a hard time getting to Whole Foods?


Technically, you’re speaking the same language—but the tricky double meanings of digital jargon are confusing!  No matter how you speak about digital, it’s important to be sure all parties understand each other to achieve the best results.  It’s easy to get hung up on the jargon and minutiae when all anyone really wants at the end of the day is to sell widgets.  Whether you’re a client, an agency, a vendor or a technology, choose partners who take the time to truly understand the needs and nuances of your campaign.  Otherwise, you might end up with a useless pile of “spam”!

 Here is a quick glossary of some common digital ad terms to remind you that there’s a whole other world out there!



Normal People: A delicious, sweet, and usually unhealthy treat

Ad People: Information about your web habits that is used for behavioral targeting



Normal People: Adjective (e.g., Look at those creative children painting with their fingers!)

Ad People: Noun (e.g., The creative is due on Friday and must not exceed 40K size!)



Normal People: Noun; A lovely place to have a barbeque, or verb; to punch someone (usually in the face)

Ad People: A PDF or PowerPoint presentation detailing a campaign pitch



Normal People: When UPS drops a package at your door

Ad People: Actually displaying purchased ads for a campaign onto websites



Normal People: When he puts a ring on it

Ad People: When a viewer interacts with an online or mobile ad, within the ad itself. Actions may include watching a video, navigating a product carousel, sharing on social media, finding a location, playing a game, etc.



Normal People: A brief, bright light, usually unexplained, and sometimes ending up on the news

Ad People: A type of animated picture for banner ads



Normal People: Bending something in half until it’s flatter and smaller

Ad People: The break at the bottom of a web page where you have to scroll down to see more content



Normal People: A preliminary idea or thought you create based on little actual information

Ad People: When an ad is served up on a website



Normal People: Food grown without the intervention of pesticides, chemicals, GMOs, or other unnatural processes

Ad People: Digital content that is usually user-generated



Normal People: An evil machine that displays numbers that just make you want to eat more dessert (see Cookie)

Ad People: The ability to maintain a constant display/response ratio while changing other aspects of the campaign; also to increase or decrease budget without affecting CPM



Normal People: A tall, tall building

Ad People: An antiquated digital ad size, which has all but been replaced by the 300×250 and the 300×600



Normal People: Every driver on the road except for you

Ad People: A measure of how many times a website has been visited


Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This quote, along with the rest of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, packs a major punch. Communicating clearly, asking lots of questions, and getting confirmations are key when the language of your industry changes so rapidly. One person’s programmatic may be another person’s ad network. One person’s rich media may be another person’s standard flash. One person’s click may be another person’s conversion. The key to a successful digital campaign is to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, and that everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them, and of the campaign.

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