A Nation Holds Its Breath

Omnimchannel!...while two TITANS fight for supremacy in this Brave New World of Digital Content.

WHO will win out in the quest for being the go-to phrase to describe what's going on (which is the ability to spread your content over several different platforms, including mobile, desktop, etc.)? Shall the phrase people throw around in an effort to sound like they know precisely what they are talking about be "TRANSMEDIA"? Or the spunky newcomer, which my brain can only say in a booming, drawn out, echo-ey announcer voice: "OMNICHANNEL"?

...And, perhaps even MORE IMPORTANT: WHO shall win the clip art battle to depict such a thing?

Oh, sure, you might think with everything ELSE going on in the world this would be low on the proverbial totem pole, but rest assured there is many an ad agency eagerly hoping that THEIR coinage will prevail, and even MORE hoping for a quick decision so they will look Knowledgable and Competent when they casually fling it out there along with "Social Media" and, uh, "Twitter". Because that's how sad and pathetic some people are.

How well I remember, in a former life, when a presenter at a conference I attended claimed, in all seriousness, that *THEY* had coined the word "synergy". I am not sure if they also invented the hand gesture of two hands with outspread fingers coming together in one intertwined entity that frequently accompanies speaking the word, possibly because I was too blown away by the claim to inquire further. They told me this in private before their talk, but rest assured it wound up being the main cornerstone of their PowerPoint presentation (you know, one of those REALLY SPECIAL ones, where they just click through the images and read the slides to you), complete with the de rigueur slide of a DILBERT cartoon making fun of said "synergy". They were particularly gushy and proud of this DILBERT mention, saying "You know you've made it when DILBERT is making fun of you!" despite the DILBERT reference being about as WILDLY UNCOMPLIMENTARY as one could possibly imagine on TOP of not giving them any credit for their utterly bogus claim.

Mojo is not by nature a confrontational person (*cough* coward *cough*), but this person practically led with this factoid as we were shaking hands--and, I suspect, when shaking hands with everyone else at the conference--and a number of things crossed my mind almost before our two hands completed their synergyesque ritual of social etiquette. Among them:

  1. Uh, no, I'm pretty sure you didn't;
  2. I'm guessing that word has been around since before both of us were born;
  3. You sound suspiciously like that "spork" fella;
  4. OMG considering ALL the things you could be lying about inventing, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU CHOOSE THIS

Back then it was just a gut feeling that I had heard the word many times in my life before this bozo came along to claim it, but I had no objective proof. Nowadays, of course, we have Google's handy-dandy ngram viewer that very clearly shows the word being used well over 100 years ago. But who has the time for silly old facts, anyway?

Personally, I think Martha Stewart had them both beat when she used the phrase "Omnimedia" in her business back in the 90s. I doubt that she coined it herself, though the ngram for "omnimedia" only has it first appearing in the 70s. Anyway, that's the phrase I personally would prefer (since apparently ye olde "multimedia" is no longer being used), since I think "omnimedia" sounds at least a HAIR less lame than the other two. But as we all know, my endorsement of something practically guarantees THE KISS OF DEATH, so, um, there's that.

So who will win out? Can the Creative Minds out there come up with something EVEN MORE LAME than "omnichannel"? Marge Simpson once came up with the name Compu-Global-Hyper-Meganet for Homer's internet company. Perhaps she can be drafted to fill this burning hole in the Job Security Via Confusing Jargon Lexicon...