RXM Creative is targeting the strategic positioning of marketers and the language they deploy as they execute campaigns.
Six words in that sentence would be identified by the creative agency’s search engine Warlingo, which draws attention to the use of war terminology that marketers use, said Mihai Botarel, the firm’s cofounder and creative director.
“You’re transforming your partners, business and clients into opponents,” he said. “It makes the whole atmosphere of doing a project more combative.”
Developed with software company Code Caste, Warlingo takes any URL fed into its search bar and analyses that webpage for war terms like “guerilla,” “launch” and “target.” For each word it finds, it suggests a $10 donation to a Ukrainian foundation including Come Back Alive, United24 and Nova Ukraine.
RXM created a glossary of the nearly 50 combat terms that marketers commonly use, then spent a few days combing through marketing websites and blogs, as well as articles about the use of warspeak, to find out which terms are most common.
Warlingo can be used for any website and industry, but RXM chose to focus on marketing to keep its messaging focused.
The intent of the search engine isn’t to accuse other agencies of using harmful language but instead to start a conversation about the effects of language and ways marketing can improve.
“It would be great if we could all sit together,” Botarel said. “Maybe we can start having seminars or workshops to come up with alternative language.”
“We understand that probably people won’t switch to other terms,” said Ihor Tulub, a Ukrainian-based creative. “While you use them, remember about actual wars that are going on.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, dramatically escalating the Russo-Ukrainian conflict that began in 2014. In August, 26 Western countries pledged over $1.5 billion in money, equipment and training to Ukraine, during a conference in Copenhagen. As of late August, nearly 6,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, according to The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Around 9,000 Ukranian soldiers have been killed as of the same date, according to Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed forces.
RXM created Warlingo because of fears that interest in the war and donations to Ukraine are declining, Mandru said.
RXM is planning to update its glossary with more terms and perhaps offer synonyms for peaceful language as its project progresses.
“We’d love the industry to talk more about it and look inside their own companies,” Mandru said.