This is a useful term coined by a client I had about two years ago. He was a Russian working for a company setting up a new mobile brand in Belgium (No1, Carrefour’s MVNO). When he briefed us for the brand identity project he put a couple of competitor’s brochures on the table and gave a simple direction in a confident tone:
It was very clear what he meant. No pictures of people jumping for joy.
What is it with the irregular amount of people jumping for joy for no apparent reason in some brand communications? Are we to suppose their lives have been transformed by choosing a mobile operator? How often does one rejoice over these things?
Jumpology is an annoying symptom of one of the advertising industry’s greatest sins - Emotional fundamentalism (a phrase coined by Greg Rowlands). There was a period around the late 90s when it was all over the place, and especially common with telecom and financial brands, perhaps because so many of their benefits are quite abstract.
There is no sense in trying to over-amplify the implications of your offering. It doesn’t even get to the over-promising stage, it just makes your brand look pretentious and artificial. Additionally, it immediately refers to a soulless, passé, generic corporate tone of voice – which is probably the opposite of every service branding effort.
And yet, so many brands default to it, especially with below the line communications and collateral. If you are a brand manager or marcom manager, take a hard look at your materials. Any Jumpology? It’s time you brought back some true meaning into your communications.
Incidentally, Jumpology is often a symptom of what could be the world’s most fatal (and quite common) marketing strategy error, which I intend to discuss soon.