Friday, March 30, 2007

Love this name

Namewire features the travails of a Michigan restaurant originally named Mother Cluckers. William Lozito of Name Development labels this name as distasteful. I disagree. Mother Cluckers rocks. It's got spice and is suitably controversial. It's an either you like it or hate it kinda name. Unfortunately the owner didn't see the potential in the name. He dropped it for a much watered down Smokin' Chicken. I think the man made a mistake. He lost a hen that could have laid golden eggs.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Which bi-monthly mag is named after this man?

Luerzer's Archive named after Walter Luerzer.

Image courtesy:

Monday, March 26, 2007

The logo that changed the brand name

This is a unique case study. I bet you've never read anything like this before. Here's the beef: Fujitsu has a global brand of air conditioners named General. The brand is sold in India through their partner ETA, who never spends a pie doing good advertising. ETA didn't teach its customers to pronounce the brand name right - using radio spots. Instead all they did was to spend money on shop signages & glow signs. So a lot of people got to see the logo, which looks like this:

People saw the logo and confused the reverse 'g' with letter 'o'. As a result of this confusion, they started referring to 'General' as 'Ogeneral'. Seeing the average Joe's mispronunciation, what did the chaps at ETA do? They started calling their global brand OGeneral. They even chose that domain name for their Indian website. What an irony! Why is Fujitsu silent about this?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A game named Trylateral

This post is a shameless plug for my latest game & name. The game is about connecting the unconnected. It's about linking three seemingly unrelated clues to a person, animal, bird or thing. As the game is a celebration of lateral thinking and it involves 3 clues, I've called it Trylateral. To play the game, go here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Man's Land - Tamil Brand Names

In our country, people have no qualms about coining names in English, Sanskrit & Latin. But very few namers muster enthu for coinages in other regional languages. Take the Tamil names for instance. I can hardly count 20 popular brands that have opted to use a patchai tamizh peyar. Here's my pattiyal:

1. Dinathanthi (A newspaper name that means 'The Daily Telegraph')
2. Dinamalar (A newspaper name that means 'The Daily Blossom')
3. Dinamani (A newspaper name that means 'The Daily Bell')
4. Kungumam (A mag name that means 'The Vermillion' mark used by women)
5. Kumudam (A mag name that means 'A Flower')
6. Ananda Vikadan (A mag name that means the 'Merry Magazine')
7. Suriyan FM (A radio station name that means 'Sun FM')
8. Murasoli (A newspaper name that means 'The Drumbeat')
9. Makkal TV (A TV channel name that means 'People TV')
10. Mangaiyar Malar (A mag name that means 'Woman's Blossom')
11. Ponvandu (A washing soap name that means 'Golden Bee')
12. Maan Mark Kudaigal (A brand name that means 'Deer Mark Umbrellas')
13. Jamaai (An ice cream brand name that means 'Enjoy')
14. (A website name that means '')
15. Koothuppattarai (A theater group name that means 'Theater factory')
16. Cavin Kare (A cosmetics company name that means 'Beauty Care')
17. Cholayil (A cosmetics company name that means 'In the Garden')
18. Idhayam (An edible oil brand name that means 'Heart')
19. Aachi (A masala brand name that means 'Grandma')
20. Udhavum Karangal (An NGO name that means 'Helping Hands')

Can anyone tell me why people are ashamed to coin names in their own language? Is it because they think it sounds uncool? Or is it because of a preference for anything anniyan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A brand named 1431 Pyorrhea Palpodi

Any eighties kid who grew up in Tamil Nadu will recognise this name. When I first heard it on a radio spot as a lil boy, I had a classic waddafukwazdat expression on my face. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out what could have been the logic behind the name. I haven't yet found a convincing explanation. But I think I am somewhat there. Let's examine the elements that make up the name. Pyorrhea is a severe gum inflamation disease. Palpodi means tooth powder in Tamil. But what about 1431? This proved to be the tricky bit. Is it a reference to the atomic weights of Nitrogen & Phosphorus? Or a cue for molar tooth # 14 & 31? I did some googling to choose between these two hypotheses. All I got was a third hypothesis. It seems in a standard dentistry course DHYG 1431 refers to pre-clinical dental hygiene treatment. So was it an allusion to that? I dunno. But of the three guessplanations, this seems to be the best. Anyone with a better theory?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Branding Blunders

If not for Namewire, I'd have given this piece a miss. The IBM Grafitti experiment quoted in 'Corporate Branding Oops' is an eye-opener for the creative ilk. Another interesting case study featured is Wal Mart's Metro 7 conundrum.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A brand named The Skinny Cow

A delicious name choice for a low fat ice cream. Some would say, the name sounds similar to Happy Cow. But I would disregard that. This is a gutsy choice. The visualisation of the logo has neutralised any possible negatives associated with the name. For Nestle to have approved this, the brand manager must have been really bold.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Murphy's Law of Naming

When you present 100 name options, the client asks for the 101st.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Research would have killed this.

"Founded in 1895 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, OshKosh B'Gosh, Inc. has grown from a small-town manufacturer of adult workwear into a global marketer of children's clothing and accessories." If the head honchos of OshKosh had done a research before taking their brand global, they would've discovered that many find their name a tongue twister. A name like Kidorable would have notched up better scores than OshKosh. Thankfully OshKosh didn't press the research button...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Names of Searchbots

Created by search engines, searchbots are programs that scour the world wide web to get what you want. Every search engine has a different name for its searchbots. Here's my Top 10 selection picked with the brandnama searchbot:

For data search by - Kilroy (great choice)
Northern Light - Gulliver
Goodlookingcooking - Muncher
Alta Vista - Scooter
German search engine Nathan - Tarantula
For - ParaSite
Planet Search - Fido
Diggit search engine - Digger
Hotbot - Slurp
Lisa search engine - Voyager

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Name change for a cause

This nugget is quite dated. Nevertheless interesting. Christopher Garnett, a PETA volunteer, actually changed his name to, for a short period to turn the spotlight on animal abuse to chickens. Methinks, it's an ingenious tactic. So I wasn't surprised when I read that the campaign did really well.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Which coffee brand is named after this gentleman?

The Italian coffee brand Lavazza. The gentleman is the founder Luigi Lavazza. Brand Lavazza just picked up Barista and Fresh&Honest in India. Picture courtesy: Sovrana.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A galaxy-sized naming scam

There's a company called International Star Registry. For a few dollars, they let you name a star after your mom, girl friend, boss, child or ex-flame. They'll even gift you a certificate for your efforts. The International Astronomical Union has deplored this as a despicable 'act of commercial trickery'. Wikipedia gives us a neat lowdown on ISR here. The success of ISR has probably emboldened others to widen their canvas. A new site now promises to let you name galaxies for free. Wonder what's the catch there.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mafia & other celebrity pet names

Are celebrities creative in their name choice? Well, find out by poring over this list extracted from the net.

Audrey Hepburn - Mr. Famous (A Yorkshire terrier)
Gwyneth Paltrow - Holden (A Black Labrador). CITR lover?
Clark Gable - Commissioner (A Daschund)
Sigourney Weaver - Petals (A Greyhound)
Shahrukh Khan - Chewbacca (A dog)
Salman Khan - My Son & My Jaan (French Mastiffs)
Charles Dickens - Turk (A Mastiff)
Isaac Newton - Diamond (A dog)
George Washington - Vulcan (a Hound dog)
Celina Jetley - Heineken (A Cocker Spaniel)
Hillary Clinton - Socks (A cat)
Bill Clinton - Monica (A Pussy). Nah! Just kidding.
George Dubya Bush - India (A cat)
Edgar Allen Poe - Catarina (A cat)
Snoop Dogg - Miles Davis & Frank Sinatra (2 cats)
Cameron Diaz - Little Man (A cat)
Nicholas Cage - Moby & Sheeba (2 King Cobras)

And Mafia was Frank Sinatra's gift to Marilyn Monroe!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Interesting Blog Address # 1

Most people use their blog name as the blog address. But some go further. They pack a little touch of intrigue into their location descriptor. Shyam of Whatdreamsmaycome has chosen madatadam as his address. It sounds like My Data Dam. And if you look closer it's a palindrome. Good one, maan!

Monday, March 05, 2007

A t-shirt brand named Nogunarmy

"Nogunarmy are two people who live in dirty London town. Simon, an English gentleman and Rebecca a Brazillian gentlelady. They live together and are expecting a child of some sort in the summer. Simon is a graphic designer who also works on TV programmes and Rebecca is a financial wizard, weaving number magic out of incomprehensible data." The brand name is evocative. The designs are classy. I see this brand going places.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

YourDictionary now dishes out YourBrandnames

While I was scouring the net for rhyming names, I stumbled upon this page. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover the naming venture of YourDictionary. Their nameroll didn't look that hot though. No. I am not being a namebitch. Check it out, yourself. Metafiction, Dr. Language, Polyplay & Nonesuch Publications were the only stand outs.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Whistler, Longhorn & the works.

Microsofties have this habit of coining imaginative code names for rather pedestrian products. Take the case of Windows XP. The code name was Whistler. Longhorn was the cryptic version for Vista. And Memphis was the covert choice for Windows 98. Looking at some of these names, I feel Microsoft is needlessly cling on to Windows. Let go, Steve Balmer.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Which softdrink is named after this bloke?

The bloke is Dr. Charles T. Pepper. And the drink is Dr. Pepper. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Here comes the Air Indian

Air India has formally merged with Indian (formerly Indian Airlines). What will the new entity be called? Air Indian? Indian Air? Air India? Or is it going to be a totally new name? The rational part in me says Air India is what it should be as everyone's familiar with the name. The namer in me feels this a great opportunity to choose a distinctive name and identity. Pushpak might be a good starter. There are plenty of other mythological names to choose from. But knowing the 'secular' lobby, they might shoot down anything remotely Hindu and opt for something sterile like Air India.