A deep dive into the game-changing words everyone should stop leveraging in 2022

There was an article on LinkedIn the other day arguing agencies should stop calling their creative ‘brave’. Why? Because while going to war is brave, a piece of marketing can never be. We disagree.

Brave isn’t just about being ‘ready to face and endure danger or pain’, it’s also about ‘showing courage’. As French artist Henri Matisse put it ‘another word for creativity is courage’.

And there are times when marketing is brave.  Take Guinness. Back in 2019 they launched Guinness Clear to tie in with the Six Nations. It wasn’t a new drink, simply a pint of water to remind us to adopt a healthier attitude towards drinking. They put health and public safety above potential sales – brave idea.

But all this talk about whether creative can be ‘brave or not’ got us thinking about other words which now proliferate marketing. Those words that really have no place in business, are mostly pretentious ways of saying something simple and are only fit for corporate bingo and the bin.

These are our prime candidates for the axe in 2022.


Imagine an over-sentimental piece of music, a soft-focus filter, someone looking wistfully into the distance and dulcet tones telling you it’s not the destination but the journey that counts.

Let’s face it, the only reason people use ‘journey’ instead of ‘strategy’ is because it’s inoffensive, wishy-washy and gives you the perfect excuse for not actually getting things done. ‘Sorry, we didn’t sell anything this month, but we’ve just started on this journey’.

Oh, and even worse it’s the fastest-growing corporate buzzword in recent times. Reason enough to stop using it immediately.


Organic means ‘relating to or derived from living matter’ unless you work in marketing when it refers to ‘marketing that occurs naturally as you build your brand’.

Again, it just sounds like the perfect excuse for not having any kind of business strategy in place and the perfect justification for when your brand doesn’t grow as expected.


Basically, a poncy way of saying ‘all-encompassing’. We suggest you leave holistic where it belongs, with a doctor.

A 360 campaign

If something is going to be marketed everywhere, here’s a novel thought, just say so. 360 makes it sound like you’re just going round in circles.


‘A seamless process’ – what’s wrong with saying an easy process? Purposefully vague and very much over-used.


‘Consisting of or appearing to consist of granules’ – so gravy then?

When did it become unacceptable to simply ‘go into detail’ or, in extreme circumstances, go into ‘fine detail’?


Really? How often are new products or companies actually game-changing? And, just to be pedantic, what game are they actually changing?  If you look at this list of ’42 game-changing products’  aren’t they all more about making your life a little bit easier?


No, just no. It used to refer to the agile methodologies adopted by software companies for product development, but sadly it’s started to infiltrate marketing with teams claiming they are now ‘agile’. The thing is, they aren’t, as they don’t actual understand what agile means in terms of project management and are basically using it to say, ‘we can be flexible’.

A hard agree

Isn’t that just an agree?

Deep dive

We refer you back to granular. It basically means going into a lot of detail.

Put skin into the game

Basically, it’s a client’s way of asking an agency to do stuff for free. The answer is, and always should be, no.


Did you know that leverage ‘is the use of debt (borrowed capital) in order to undertake an investment or project’? And yet, most of us have been guilty of ‘leveraging the situation’ at one time or another. Basically, it’s just a fancy way of saying ‘use’. 

Reaching out

The only people who should ever be doing any kind of reaching out are the Four Tops.

Why can’t we just contact people and have done with it?

So, that’s our deep dive into some of game-changing words, we particularly hate. There are a lot more words and phrases that could be included, but we hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with us.  Obviously if you do want to reach out to us, please do!