How Taboo Made Me Think of Marketing

By Ian Fernando

Last night I was chilling with some of my girls and we had a 'game night'. I never been to one of these and my best girl told me to stop being old and get off the PC and just bring my old ass along. If you were following me via twitter, I posted pics and text on what was going on last night. I admit it was a good time playing around with child games and not going to the strip bar or clubs. I didn't any money and the night was entertaining.

But anyways, I never played Taboo before and it was strange for me to go and play such a game. I am usually out spending money in a club or in front of my PC. It was relaxing that I didn't do any of that last night. So anyways what is Taboo? What is the basis of the game?

This is the game where you try to get your team to guess the secret word, without using the five Taboo clues. So if the secret word is "kitten," you can't say "meow", "cat", "purr", "furry", or "animal". If you do, you'll be unceremoniously "buzzed" by the opposing team. You've got 60 seconds to get your team to guess as many words as possible. But choose your clues carefully because they might be Taboo.


So basically you are giving a word and you have to describe the word without naming or mentioning or acting or rephrasing the 5 words that are used most often. The game was definitely interesting and guess what while I was there I thought of Internet Marketing! Keywords! I was thinking wow, this is a good exercise to think of alternative keywords or descriptive keywords that may be used.

Think about it. You are giving a generic keyword but you can think of the generic terms, you need to think of alternatives. What about when you are researching a market audience, you need to think of alternative sources besides the generic.


So you are given a generic keyword 'affiliate marketing'. You would have to think of ways or other alternative that maybe related to affiliate marketing. The challenge would be not to use generic terms like 'make money online' or 'affiliate network' or using the word 'affiliate' or 'marketing' because it is part of the word. How would you describe such a keyword when you are limited? This basically opens up your mind to think harder and think more widely. We need to think harder and stop thinking generic to find the right keywords and other keyword variations.

Describing a Niche:

What about finding or describing a niche? This is very similar to keywords above because you can not use the word itself but describe it so much that those description can potentially become keywords. For example, lets take the niche 'weight loss'. Describe weight loss in a way so others know what you are saying is all about weight loss with out using obvious keywords. You may come up with 'big people and treadmills' that can be a potential description for weight loss!

What are the Obvious Keywords?

Well with some people you need a list of words that are obvious keywords. With Taboo, you are given a set of 5 words that you can not use or even describe within the game 'so lets say one of the obvious keywords was 'cat' you can't say 'meow' 'purr' 'kitten' etc. It is challenging you to think more. But if you want to get a list of your keywords that are obvious just use the google keyword tool and all those keywords are obvious because they are used daily! Why not come up with new keywords!

But Taboo was a very interesting game and I definitely enjoyed it alot! Well I mean I used it for my benefit and it will probably help me with my marketing, thinking wise. I challenge you to play Taboo and see how many creative ways you can think of the given word with out being so taboo!

They need a marketing niche Taboo game! (patent pending!)

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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