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Not "Shock and Awe"
December 25, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

What's the term - I think it's military - for overwhelming an opposing force through sheer quantity of techniques used/people deployed? "Shock and awe" is not the term I'm looking for.

Mass something or saturation or something along those lines. It's the opposite of pinpoint targeting. I'm trying to apply the term to the way advertising firms now operate: television ads, magazine ads, and billboards, but also guerilla marketing techniques, viral marketing, brand loyalty, the employment of "experts" and spokespeople, political lobbying, spamming chatboards, "fixing" wikipedia entries, etc.
posted by outlandishmarxist to Writing & Language (37 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Isn't that a "blitz"?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:01 AM on December 25, 2010


saturation bombing? Blitzkrieg?
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:02 AM on December 25, 2010


carpet bombing?
posted by ctmf at 11:03 AM on December 25, 2010


brute force?
posted by jameslavelle3 at 11:03 AM on December 25, 2010


Blitz isn't the term I'm looking for, either. I think they also use the term in encryption, when someone uses massive processing power to run through possible passwords rather than more subtle methods.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 11:03 AM on December 25, 2010


Spray & pray?

rhyme is key
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 11:03 AM on December 25, 2010


DoS attacks would be another example.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 11:04 AM on December 25, 2010


It might be "brute force," but I'm going to leave this open for a bit longer, because I feel like there was a better term.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 11:04 AM on December 25, 2010


I like "brute force" but how about "full frontal assault?'
posted by Max Power at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2010


Attrition?
posted by Merzbau at 11:07 AM on December 25, 2010


Zerg Rush?
posted by Benjy at 11:07 AM on December 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Overwhelming firepower?
posted by procrastination at 11:11 AM on December 25, 2010


I think they also use the term in encryption, when someone uses massive processing power to run through possible passwords rather than more subtle methods.

In that case, it most certainly is "brute force", but I don't know that I've every heard that phrase used to refer to military action.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:13 AM on December 25, 2010


Brute force and sheer numbers is how I have commonly read this.
Overrun by sheer numbers, etc...
posted by zephyr_words at 11:14 AM on December 25, 2010


Mongolian Hordes (aka Chinese Army) technique?

Has kind of a low-tech "brute force and ignorance" connotation, though.
posted by ctmf at 11:19 AM on December 25, 2010


In cryptology, that is definitely known as a brute force attack or dictionary attack.
posted by ctmf at 11:20 AM on December 25, 2010


Overwhelming force.
posted by Paris Hilton at 11:23 AM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's the Powell doctrine in military planning.

Brute force for passwords.

"flooding the zone?"
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:29 AM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Overwhelming force, human wave attack?

The encryption one is definitely brute force.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:29 AM on December 25, 2010


"Force concentration is the practice of concentrating a military force, so as to bring to bear such overwhelming force against a portion of an enemy force that the disparity between the two forces alone acts as a force multiplier, in favour of the concentrated forces."

"Saturation attack is a military tactic in which the attacking side hopes to gain an advantage by overwhelming the defending sides technological, physical and mental ability to respond effectively."
posted by gemmy at 11:32 AM on December 25, 2010


I thought you called that the shotgun effect or shotgun approach.
posted by cda at 11:32 AM on December 25, 2010


Strafing? Admittedly idk if I have ever heard this in regards to anything computery related.
posted by elizardbits at 11:33 AM on December 25, 2010


Asymmetric warfare/assault and war of attrition also spring to mind. Blitzkrieg is more about speed of assault and manouvers, resulting in local superiority and not giving your opponent time to react rather than overall superiority.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:36 AM on December 25, 2010


Scorched earth?
posted by tetralix at 11:43 AM on December 25, 2010


Carpet bombing ?
I've heard it used to describe advertising but never anything computer related.
posted by colophon at 11:46 AM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blitz? The "Surge?"
posted by zeek321 at 12:25 PM on December 25, 2010


There's a name for when you concentrate all your firepower at one point, annihilate it, then switch to a new point, as opposed to averaging your firepower continuously across the entire theater of battle.
posted by zeek321 at 12:27 PM on December 25, 2010


Full spectrum dominance
posted by mjb at 12:56 PM on December 25, 2010


Attacking on all fronts.
posted by astrochimp at 1:18 PM on December 25, 2010


In marketing, "stuffing the channel" refers to a means of inflating sales figures to its advantage by releasing an overwhelming amount of product.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:40 PM on December 25, 2010


"scorched earth" is denying the enemy resources by destroying them as you advance or retreat. Literally, to burn crops, houses, etc. as you get out of (or go through) Dodge.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:07 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't read the OP's mind, but "overwhelming force" is the common term I would associate with military or law enforcement applications.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:08 PM on December 25, 2010


As mjb mentions, what comes to mind for me is Full Spectrum Dominance of the battlespace - "the ability to control any situation or defeat any adversary across the range of military operations."
posted by XMLicious at 3:29 PM on December 25, 2010


Overwhelming force. But maybe the OP is thinking of force multiplier?
posted by muirne81 at 7:34 PM on December 25, 2010


Yes, I think mjb has got it nailed: 'full spectrum dominance".
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:48 PM on December 25, 2010


another vote for full spectrum dominance.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:40 AM on December 26, 2010


The term total warfare would seem to apply.
posted by dhartung at 2:01 PM on December 26, 2010


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