Ad Agency Coins Fake Word To Highlight The Importance Of Print Dictionaries

Ad Agency Coins Fake Word To Highlight The Importance Of Print Dictionaries

Marquarie Dictionary created the word "Phubbing" to spread a powerful social message.

Serena Chu
  • 9 october 2013

What is the word to describe the phenomena of ignoring people in front you to pay attention to your phone instead? The answer is…”Phubbing.”

Australian ad agency McCann Melbourne, with a team of poets, authors, and lexicographers, introduced the word as part of its marketing campaign for the Marquarie Dictionary. The campaign was meant to reintroduce the value of print dictionaries and highlight the importance of words.

Following the birth event of “Phubbing” at University of Sydney last May, McCann created, a Facebook page, and devised a PR plan to spread the ideas of the Australian publisher. Since then, “Phubbing” has become a worldwide sensation, spreading to the UK, Mexico, Latin America and the U.S.

phubbing 1

The Marquarie publication believes dictionaries play a crucial role in capturing the evolution of words. Furthermore, the publication wanted to emphasize the social problems linked to mobile devices and how detached we are from one another because of it.

McCann will be introducing an online film which documents the entire “Phubbing” campaign. “A Word is Born” can be viewed starting October 8 on Youtube.



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