Ad Agency Speak
September 12, 2017 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm starting to freelance for the first time next week at a large ad agency. I've worked in post-production for a few years but new to the agency world. I need to catch up on lingo.

The producer said I'll be editing "rips", which I now know are pitches. Are there anything other terms I should know about so I don't feel like a complete noob? Any other insider tips for working in the video dept of an agency?
posted by monologish to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What is your role, just editing?
posted by greta simone at 3:29 PM on September 12, 2017

Yes mostly editing with some graphics
posted by monologish at 3:39 PM on September 12, 2017

This book, Dictionary of Marketing Communications, is one of the better examples of its kind. That it's from 2004 shouldn't matter much.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:14 PM on September 12, 2017

I think this is pretty location-specific for this kind of thing.

Like, I've never heard of a pitch being called a "rip," and I've been doing this for like... 13 years?

I think if you're a video editor (ish) by trade, then you have the lingo! Cuts... WIP... time stamps... paper edits.. VO.. SFX... whatever. (Unless those are location specific too?)

But on the "working for an ad agency side," a few things...

+ walk the fine line between being bossy with your opinions and just doing whatever the creative wants. Have a POV. Share it. Debate. But don't argue -- cuz at the end of the day it's the Creative's real job. Under no circumstances do you tell the Head of Creative to "put his big boy pants on and make a decision." Lolol, like you would... but yeah. Guess who we fired.

+ Have a sense of storytelling. If I walk into an edit room and the Editor has already taken a stab on the edit and the story told is actually *good*? I could cry and will probably call you magical, and hire you for a million other jobs. Cuz you just saved me so many hours!

+ Read the room. Is it just you and the creative? Are they the egotistical "my way or the highway" type? Go with it -- but still provide your view.

If you're with a creative like me? Joke with me. Let's eat snacks. Let's make fun of the weird facial expression you paused on. Collaborate with me. My baby is in your hands, let's raise it.

If you have Account people in the room (ugh) just basically be a house plant -- but back up your creative if they need it. (The Producer should be doing this too).

+ Never let on that you think a project is stupid. I, personally, feel so awkward coming into edit. The Editor is coming in totally cold, and MAN does it feel weird to see all my footage laid bare. Be encouraging if you can!

+ Be ready for unreasonable requests. Creatives make them. Account people make them. Producers make them. It's ridiculous, I know. But this shit isn't (mostly) our fault. If you have good solutions and workarounds... again. I will love you. Godsend.

Anyway, you're gonna do great. Sorry for the rambling, I'm on my phone.
posted by functionequalsform at 4:14 PM on September 12, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think this is pretty location-specific for this kind of thing. Like, I've never heard of a pitch being called a "rip," and I've been doing this for like... 13 years?

"Rip," which is short for "ripomatic" (or "rip-o-matic"), refers to the pitching of a video project. A rip-o-matic is a not-for-production mockup combining found graphics or video with sketches or storyboards to give the client (or your boss) an idea of what you propose to do before you launch into the expensive, time-consuming work. So, it is a pitch of a sort. The term is at least 30 years old. Similar terms are "stealomatic," "photomatic," and "animatic."
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:21 PM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Huh! I guess we just call that a "pitch video." :) Learn something new every day!
posted by functionequalsform at 5:48 PM on September 12, 2017

I was popping in to say 'animatic'. Which is basically a rip with like creepy floating illustrations characters and a crappy VO sometimes. Like animated boards basically. Super-basics in the case you aren't familiar: CW is copy writer. AD is art director. CD is creative director, ECD is executive creative director, GCD is group creative director. These guys work on a team together (CW, AD, and some variation of CD) to create the concept for the client. B2B is business-to-business, meaning the product/service is being marketed to another business, not to a consumer like you or me.
posted by greta simone at 6:07 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Be prepared that you may be up on the lingo yet still not understand it at this company. I took a year off, then started at a different mega agency to find a whole new vernacular I'd never heard of before. I was thinking, wow, a lot changes in a year before someone clued me in on the fact that this place has its own language and acronyms which I had to learn specific to their accounts.

Oh, and try your best but remember, no matter how life and death and up against the clock they make it, and the world will end if it doesn't happen now now now, it's just an ad. Really.
posted by Jubey at 8:25 PM on September 12, 2017

I started cold at an ad agency a while back and my best strategy was to "take notes" on my laptop with the screen turned so only I could see it. That allowed me to google unfamiliar words as they came up. Fake it til you make it!

Here are a few terms I remember madly googling when I first encountered them:

YouTube Prerolls are those short ads that auto-play before the video you actually wanted to watch. Their durations can vary but 15-30 seconds is standard. Viewers can sometimes skip these after 5 seconds so it can make sense to start with a catchy hook or front-load the content.

A full-page takeover (FPTO) is when an ad is splashed all over a webpage- including the leaderboard (horizontal ad banner across the top), skyscraper (tall skinny ads along the sides), and possibly in other places- just google if you hear a term you don't know. Sometimes the ads will have synced animations and possibly a video component.

The CTA is the call-to-action - what should the viewer DO? (Enter today! Click here! Sign up! Vote now! Ask your doctor! Visit this URL!). All ads need a strong CTA, usually near the end. Usually the CTA is linked to the client's website.

Also- newer producers may forget to think about video file backups so make sure to ask for extra drives as needed and back up your work properly, while in progress and also as an archive.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:39 AM on September 13, 2017

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