CAMPAIGNS: Brand Building - 'Anti-jargon' site supports Hoover's UK

Client: Hoover's Online Europe (HOE)

PR Team: Gnash Communications

Campaign: Death By Jargon

Timescale: March 2001 - ongoing

Budget: pounds 10,000

Hoover's Online launched in the UK ( last October as a

specialist in providing biographical company information. Gnash was

hired to come up with a memorable brand personality.


To raise awareness for Hoover's in the UK as 'the straight talking

alternative to other sources of company information'.

Strategy and Plan

Gnash developed Hoover's core message by tapping into Hoover's Austin,

Texas, heritage where people are renowned for their plain-speaking


Opting for a viral campaign, Gnash developed a game called 'Death By

Jargon' ( urging professionals to communicate more


It also teamed up with the Plain English Campaign

(, which discovered that around pounds 125m was

wasted in marketing expenditure every year because of nonsensical


Designed to entertain professionals by showing how ridiculous much of

their jargon sounds, Death by Jargon punishes jargon offenders with a

grisly online death. A landing site also allows them to send in their

pet hates, and name and shame colleagues for using phrases like, 'drool

proof, low-hanging fruit, getting your ducks in a row and sticking to

the knitting.'

Industry leaders such as John Browning, founder of

('the global meeting-place and marketplace for start-ups') and John

Palmer, CEO have backed the campaign.

Measurement and Evaluation

Since launch there has been a threefold increase in the number of new

users to Hoover's site.The Guardian, FT and The Independent among others

have embraced the campaign.


Within 48 hours of launch, Death By Jargon had circulated across the

globe. Gnash tracking software has picked it up in Holland, Japan and


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