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 (www.hoovers.co.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' (www.deathbyjargon.com) urging professionals to communicate more
It also teamed up with the Plain English Campaign
(www.plainenglish.co.uk), 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
Industry leaders such as John Browning, founder of firsttuesday.com
('the global meeting-place and marketplace for start-ups') and John
Palmer, LetsBuyIt.com 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