Advertising Agency Lingo | EKR

A-Z: The Ad Agency Alphabet


Advertising terms can feel like learning a new language! There are plenty of words that aren’t typically used in daily language outside of a marketing team or advertising agency. Whether you’re a student, agency client or professional simply looking for clarity on that word your boss used, we’ve all come across confusing advertising lingo. This A-Z alphabet will help familiarize you with the advertising world and have you using the terms with confidence!


A is for Audience

In advertising, audience refers to the total number of people that could be exposed to an ad during a specific time period. While not everyone watches every Superbowl commercial, the number of household members who have the TV on during that ad makes up the audience. 


B is for Brand Identity

Brand identity is a company’s name, logo and tagline. It also includes the core values and how the brand portrays itself. Creating a brand identity helps you move forward in the business with an established vision. 


C is for CPM

CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand impressions, which is confusing. It is used to measure and price how many thousands of people have seen your advertising content.


D is for Display Ads

Display ads are online images and text that appear as advertisements on web pages. Examples of this are banner ads that appear on the sides of internet pages. 


E is for Email Marketing

Email marketing is a way to reach your customers through their email inboxes. You can build relationships with customers by letting them know about sales and new products. 


F is for Frequency

Frequency is the number of times one person sees the same ad. This is tracked by how many times an ad is delivered to a particular device. If you see an ad seven times, you’re much more likely to buy the product than the first time it catches your eye. 


G is for Geographic Targeting

Geographic targeting, also known as geotargeting, is showing ads based on users’ locations. This is especially useful for destination marketers to show local ads when visitors are in the area. 


H is for Hashtags

Hashtags are created using the pound sign (#) to add keywords on social posts to categorize and increase visibility. Currently, Instagram recommends adding 3-5 hashtags to the caption of your social post. #helpful


I is for Impressions

Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not. Impressions can include one person seeing content multiple times. 


J is for Jingle 

A jingle is a short song or slogan in advertising, usually in TV or radio ads. Jingles help quickly bring your company to mind. An example is “We are farmers. Bum ba-dum bum bum bum bum.” for Farmer’s Insurance.


K is for Keywords

Keywords are specific words that help your business show up in search engine results. When someone types “dentist near me” in Google, all the dentists around put bids on keywords that match the phrase. The result that best fits into Google’s specifications with a competitive bid gets the top result. Using keywords is also important in blog posts that link back to your website so users can find what they’re looking for through you.


L is for Landing Page

A landing page is the web page users are directed to when they click on an ad. If your landing page isn’t engaging or interesting, users will click out quickly and hurt the effectiveness of your ads. 


M is for Media Buying

Media buying is purchasing ad space for optimal placement, timing and price. This includes traditional and digital media space. 


N is for Native Advertising

Native advertising is paid ads that blend into the web page surroundings to look like original content. An example of this is Pinterest paid ads that look like regular pins. 


O is for Over-the-top

Over-the-top (OTT) media is video content streamed online without cable TV. Examples of this are Hulu or These OTT services can be free with ads, subscription-based or transactional. 


P is for Podcasts

Have you ever thought about what a podcast can do for your business? Starting a podcast lets you create your own audience. At EKR, we believe every organization should have its own podcast! Check out to find examples of the podcasts we help produce and find out how you can start one with us.


Q is for Qualitative Research

Qualitative research in advertising is gathering information through observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, social media comments and more. Rather than getting information from numbers, qualitative research dives more into how people feel about a product or service.


R is for Reach

Reach refers to the total number of people that have seen your content at least once. This should not be confused with impressions, which counts one person seeing the content each time they see it. Reach only counts individuals once, no matter how many times they see the content.


S is for Social Engagement

Social engagement is a way for brands to communicate with an online audience through social media. Engagement includes interactions including likes, comments or shares on posts. 


T is for Tagline

A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that reinforces a brand message. An example is Nike’s “Just Do It.”


U is for Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition or USP refers to the unique benefit your business has that makes it stand out from competitors. Having a USP helps differentiate your product from the crowd. 


V is for Vertical Video

Vertical video refers to video that is made specifically for mobile devices and social media. The video is shot in portrait orientation instead of the landscape orientation of films. As Reels and TikTok become more popular, vertical videos have increased in popularity because they fill more of the users’ screens.


W is for White Space

In design, white space, also called negative space, is the area around text or graphics in print media. White space can help direct the viewer’s eye to where advertisers want it to go.


X is for UX: User Experience 

User Experience or UX refers to how a person uses a website and how user-friendly or well-designed the application is. If a website or app has good UX, people are more likely to spend more time on that website. 


Y is for YouTube Ads

YouTube ads are short video ads, typically 15-60 seconds that play before a YouTube video. Most videos have the option to skip after a 5-second preview. Often, advertisements use attention-grabbing beginnings to keep the user from skipping ahead. 


Z is for Zero-cost Strategy 

A zero-cost strategy is a business decision that can be executed without any expense. An example of this is organic social media posting, using hashtags, public relations and earned media or asking for reviews. 

And there you have it! A full advertising agency, A-Z. If you’re looking for an advertising agency (or a job!) that can help you put these terms into action, give us a shout! Fill out the form on our contact page.