We used to play it in our office, and I haven’t gone looking for game cards in years because we don’t tend to get so much full on buzzword events these days!
However, Emma on the phone yesterday could have aced me a game of Buzzword and got a full house (had I not been driving the car and desperate not to laugh) as she started the corporate psycho-babble!
What is Buzzword Bingo?
Wikipedia defines it as:
Buzzword bingo is a game sometimes played in relaxed team meetings. The rules resemble those of bingo and housie, but instead of a Matrix of numbers, each player’s card is a matrix of buzzwords. When players hear any of their buzzwords spoken in the meeting, they cross it off their cards. The winner is the player who crosses a full line first and exclaims, “Bingo!” Part of the game, unlike in regular bingo, is having sufficient courage to yell out “Bingo!” in the middle of the meeting, especially as the winning buzzwords are likely to have been uttered by “the boss”.
They also go on to discuss Bullshit Bingo, a game I’m unfamiliar with – but can probably grasp the basics of just from the name.
For those wanting to play, there’s a few Buzzword Bingo random card generators around try Tom Davis or Karl Geiger‘s sites and knock up 3 or 4 cards for your next department meeting and see how you get on! Karl also goes on to discuss the game in more detail here.
In the quest to find out whether the game is still actively played I searched out a few bloggers playing the one true game for meetings:
- Steve has created his own version to stop him falling asleep in meetings (a worthy idea).
- Chris looks at this on a different level and finds along with Jamie (and a bottle of scotch) that playing buzzword bingo only shows how shallow this language is, and how business should strive to get employees to feel a sense of belonging. I found this discussion quite interesting (and the Scotch!).
- Her Royal Macgirl, has been playing it at conference, well the alternative version of “bullshit bingo” anyway!
So the game does still get played!
My questions are these:
- Is this corporate marketing rubbish worth it?
- Do you use it?
- What’s your fastest “full house” card score? 🙂
What’s this got to do with Internet Marketing?
I see all these sales letters pages, you know the sort, red, blue and yellow splashed all over them and only valid today only with 18,000 bonus products for spending your hard earned cash?
They are pages long, normally for ebook products, what do you do? Personally I scroll straight to the bottom for the price!
If I’ve clicked the link, I know I’m probably interested in the product, hence I want to know the price – ignore all the rubbish in the middle (I’m pretty sure most of them would fill a buzzword or a bullshit card, but I really don’t want to know!), I want to know it:
- Contains the information I need?
- Is in a price range I find agreeable?
Nothing more, nothing less! If it’s got a few bonuses I might be interested, but you’re probably going to add me to your mailing list and force those down my neck for the next 12 weeks anyway!!
- Do you use these “Sales Letters”?
- Do they work for you?
- Could you be responsible for somebody getting a full house whilst reading your sales letter or blog page?
Let me know!
Thanks for the shout out. I’ve come to particularly enjoy Karl Geiger’s link to make my own custom bingo cards.
No worries! Customised cards might cause chaos in my office, there’s be a fight about who got to choose the words!
I just find the marketing speak hilarious, and working for corporate I used to see it everyday, thankfully we’ve toned it down now, but it appears my other half’s company are just starting it – save me!
I definitely enjoyed reading some of those posts you linked to 😉
I vote that it is about time for a new post!
LOL – I didn’t realise my writings and ramblings were so eagerly awaited!
reminds me of my first Buzzword bingo, lol
two of my teammates can’t shout bingo even if they got full house coz boss was there, so they lost their chance, while i was so lucky that the boss was interrupted by a very important call, and i got a bingo.. lol i won
Please use your own name in future if you want the link to your site remaining (I’ve removed it on this occasion)
Greetings Mr. Keiron:
Thanks so much for mentioning buzzword bingo code on your site.
USC has booted buzzword bingo off its servers and reduced my account there to simple email service (email@example.com still works). The link to isd.usc.edu/~karl/Bingo is no longer available.
Please find the new hosting at
A link can be put from the new site back to your site as well. Please let me know.