We addies like to use quite a number of words in our day-to-day hustle and bustle. But do we know what they really mean?

If I were to ask you the definition of the word “Concept”, would you be able to answer me from the top of your head? (No Googling now, please). I bet that not many of us will be able to clearly define the word “Strategy” either, yet we are so fond of using it like a superlative. Or how about the word “Copy”? I am always amused at how the plural term for copy can become ‘copies’… alamak!

Behold the death of ad-ignorance!

So allow me to set a few things straight. Let’s get Ad-ucated!


A concept is “an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances” … what!? Okay, that’s just one of the many definitions of concepts out there. Granted, it was not a good one, but the point is there are possibly hundreds of ways to define “Concept”; be it in general or under the context of advertising. For me, a concept is an idea that engages, then inspires and finally compels action. And concepts are not just limited to creative ideas; novel execution or delivery ideas can also be regarded as concepts too. Basically, a concept is as unique as the problem it is trying to solve. So the next time you hear someone regurgitating dictionary-like definitions, permission to smack em’ granted.


This is a simple one, due to its military origins. A strategy is a plan to WIN. It’s basically the actions taken to outdo, outwit and outperform the competition. I’ve always believed strategies are tactical and require actionable methods. Meaning, it cannot be NATO (No Action, Talk Only). For a strategy to work it has to be in the battlefield: provoking the competition, taking no prisoners and advancing market share. Strategies are also great as a holistic plan, where some battles can be lost in view of winning the war.


Like seriously people, there is no such this as “copies” or worse still “copys”… period! If there were, it would be more accurate to call me a Copieswriter for the sheer amount of copy that I write. “Copy” in terms of advertising, editorial and/or publishing is an irregular noun, which has the same singular and plural form. Which means, it’s okay to say something like “The copy for project A and B has to be summarised”.  But there’s one exception to this rule, a very important one at that. The word “copy” ideally should not be followed by one and/or a combination of the following: now, ASAP, urgent, today, revise, amend or change.


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