Empowering millennials, one ‘disruptive’ line of tosh at a time. By @RobynHFrost

Robyn Frost

By Robyn Frost



Empowering millennials, one ‘disruptive’ line of tosh at a time.









Hands up if you’ve heard the word “disruptive” this week. Ooh, that’s a lot of you. Wait – all of you.


I visited three brilliant agencies last week, but in one day, I heard the word thirteen times. THIRTEEN. It’s the itch everyone has to scratch; Adland greats, startups, and everyone in between. We’re all labelling ourselves as ‘disruptive’. I don’t want to get too meta, but if everyone’s off disrupting things, is anyone really disruptive? We’ve become desensitised – we hear it, accept it, then regurgitate it.


I suspect it’s simply a handy, trendy word to make something hella dull seem cutting edge.


Picture your favourite campaign. Was it the insufferable number of buzzwords that got you hooked? While there are thousands of fantastic ads out there, with them come so many terrible ones – and I believe it’s down to, ironically, poor communication. I don’t think you can create something truly powerful built on a foundation of jargon. It gets confusing – ultimately an obstacle to creating great work. Crucially, if we don’t get it, do the clients?


Don’t get me wrong, I really love words. But alongside ‘disruptive’, there are few that are equally misused and overused, and ‘get all up in my grill’, (thanks Lucy MiC):



Millennial – the buzzword epicentre. Apparently, I am one, but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to stand for, wear, do, think – do I even like anything? Perhaps millennials are the ideal consumer dreamt up by a corporation attempting to target every young, ‘fresh’ person around?


Passionate – traditionally saturates UCAS personal statements. To me, it’s a lazy way of saying you’re interested in something.


Ideate – another way of saying ‘think’. Bets on a university launching ‘Ideating’ as a BA within 5 years.


Diversity – Say this every now and again to cover your tracks. In all seriousness, if you claim to be an equal opportunities employer, please provide us with some stats.


Viral – died in 2011. Do not resuscitate.


Engagement – Ew. Pastel bunting and tulle skirts spring to mind.


Curator – Stick this on your LinkedIn if you have ever regurgitated something on the internet.


Influencers – Used to describe (typically) under 30s who flog micellar water and pretend to like it for £££.


Think outside the box – this poor box has spent years being distorted and exploited, and wants to end its life at the recycling plant.


Organic (growth) – let’s put in zero effort and hope people talk about it.


“Let’s put a QR code on it!” – let’s not.


Can’t bring myself to write anything about these:



Age agnostic




Big Ideas



If you really want to be disruptive, don’t succumb to the herd mentality.


We’re at the School of Communication Arts. Communication is an art. When we use jargon, what are we communicating? Maybe we haven’t perfected the Art.


It’s Stoptober. Stop with the buzzwords.

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