ABC of Advertising Abbreviations: Part 1

There are numerous abbreviations the ad-world uses in day to day chit chatter. But what do they actually stand for again…? From ACD to Zip. We’ve got you covered! Part 1

Associate Creative Director
A person who is almost the boss but still needs just a couple of years of experience to get there.

Art Director
Part of the creative team that comes up with ideas. Mostly visual.

Illustrator File
Yay you just received an Illustrator file! This means that it’s probably a logo from the client or a vector graphic which you can scale as big or small as you wish.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is intelligence shown by machines. Any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal e.g. understanding human speech, competing at a high level in strategic game systems, self-driving cars, and interpreting complex data.

Attention Interest Decision Action
AIDA describes the stages that consumers face from the time when they first become aware of a brand/product to when they make a purchase decision.

Account Manager
People who can make your life a living hell or a dream come true. They communicate with the clients.

Application Programming Interface
API is a computer programming term meaning a series of rules. APIs allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information in their own application, or sometimes for data analysis. APIs facilitate the data needed to provide solutions to customer problems.

Augmented Reality
A technology that lays a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, often seen through user’s mobile camera. Think PokemonGo.

Above the Line advertising.
Above the Line (ATL) advertising reaches out to the mass as consumer audience. ATL encapsulates all the classic advertising mediums: TV/Cinema, radio, print (sometimes outdoor billboard is counted as well).
Opposite: BTL (See B for BTL)

B | B2B
Business To Business
Companies that sell to other businesses. Examples: Slack, Google.

Business To Consumer
Companies that sell directly to consumers. Examples: Apple, Nike, Amazon.

Below The Line
Below the line (BTL) advertising is more one to one/direct marketing to reach smaller, more targeted audiences. BTL includes mediums like PR, Social Media marketing, content marketing, events, paid search and search engine marketing.
Opposite: ATL (See A for ATL)

Chief Creative Officer
The big boss.

Creative Director
The boss.

Chief Executive Officer
A Chief Executive Officer is the most senior corporate officer, executive or leader in charge of managing the agency.

Computer-generated imagery
CGI is mostly used to refer to 3D computer graphics used for creating scenes or special effects in films and television. Many will argue that the original will always be better than CGI.

Chief Marketing Officer
See C for CEO but responsible for marketing.

Customer Relationship Management
CRM is a strategy for managing all of a company’s relationships and interactions with (potential) customers.

A link, button or image that encourages a viewer to take an action on that website/video/ad. A CTA can be placed anywhere in an ad but is often placed at the end.
Example: “Download this”, “sign up for that”, “get this offer”, “attend an event”, and so on.

Chief Technology Officer/Chief Technical Officer
See C for CEO but focused on scientific and technological issues within an organisation/agency.

Curriculum Vitae
A curriculum vitae, commonly known as a CV, is a piece of paper or pdf (See P for pdf) which one needs to apply for a job. A CV often contains information on one’s academic, skill and business background.

Part of the creative team that comes up with ideas. Mostly words.

D | DM
Direct Mail or Direct Message
Direct Mail: Direct Advertising material to recipients, also often called “junk mail” by its recipients – can be physical mail and email.
Direct Message: A message on social media channels like Twitter or Instagram used to get in touch with their followers directly. Most social accounts only allow DMs from their followers

Word Document.
Generally a copywriter’s file.

Digital Out Of Home
See O for OOH but with digital displays, often interactive.

Dots Per Inch
300dpi = print
72dpi = web
144dpi = weird retina displays


Executive Creative Director
Between the big boss and the boss.

End of Play/Day
A deadline that can be interpreted very vaguely. Usually it should mean end of the day (so about 6pm) but it often isn’t 6pm.

F | fx
Sound effects are created or enhanced sounds used to emphasise certain content of films, TV shows, live performance, animation, video games, music, or other media.

Group Creative Director
Also between the big boss and the boss, usually found in larger agencies.

Graphics Interchange Format
If a picture says more than thousand words, a gif basically says it all.

Hyper-Text Markup Language
The original language used to build a website, landing pages, and emails.

Human Resource
These are the people who recruit, screening, interview and place you. They might also help with training and pay roll, so you should always try to be on their good side.

I | .INDD/idml
INDesign Document /Idml is the new InDesign Interchange (INX)
An InDesign file, probably a brand guideline or leaflet or some other multiple page document.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
“The IPA is widely recognised as the world’s most influential professional body for practitioners in advertising and marketing communications.”

Job Cost Accounting
JCAs is a way to track the costs and revenues by “job” and enables standardised reporting of profitability by job.

Junior Art Director/Copywriter
See A for AD and C for CW, but the Junior version.

Key Performance Indicator
A quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organisation, employee, etc. in meeting objectives for performance.

L | Lic
A license gives you/the agency the authorisation to use the licensed material e.g. music, film and images.

Laugh Out Loud
LOL can literally mean that someone laughed out loud. It’s also interchangeable with “Haha” or various emojis. (Forbes said 2015 that LOL was outdated. What a shame)

LTV (also CLV or CLTV)
(Customer) Lifetime Value
In marketing and advertising, customer lifetime value is a prognosis of the profit assigned to the entire future relationship with a certain customer.

To be continued (tomorrow)…