Dog days of summer

Already it’s a scorcher, especially back east where my kids are at camp. But I’ve got people all over the country braving the heat to leave their air-conditioned cars to snag me photos of entertaining shop names. This one’s from Bethesda, MD:

Dog stuff and a French pun? Love it!

I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it

Can someone please help me out with this one? I’m having a bit of difficulty here:

It’s a pet food/stuff brand that I found at Sprouts. I see from probing around that the brand name is the title of an Avett Brothers song (You may recognize it better by the refrain “Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in.” Or not.) The company’s website makes it even more complicated by saying “We’re ‘I and love and you.'” To me it sounds like reading a teenager’s text message out loud.

My verdict: as a song title, “I and love and you” is clunky enough; as a brand name, it’s just confusing.

(And yes, I’ve used this post title before. But the wisdom of Lucille Bluth cannot be invoked often enough.)

Cleaning out my battery drawer

Could a less enticing headline exist anywhere? I think not. But one thing that did grab me was that Duracell really knows how to protect its trade dress. And just now, you’re probably thinking “the coppertop battery,” right? Well, so are they:

The battery has a copper top, so “coppertop” would be descriptive as a trademark and thus not registrable. But the copper top serves no function for the battery, so the result is that the copper top serves to identify Duracell as the source of batteries with copper tops. How does Duracell reinforce the recognition of that trade dress? With its constant repetition of “the coppertop battery” in its television ads, and with the legend in the photo above pointing out that copper top. That’s how you protect trade dress.

TV overload

Game of Thrones has ended for the season, and while I enjoy it, I confess that I don’t really understand everything that’s going on – and I made a half-hearted attempt to read the books! Still, it’s gripping TV, and having read the books, I’m fascinated by the naming conventions George R.R. Martin uses to identify the characters in his fictional worlds, and I’m not the only one. So when I saw this drug ad, 

all I could think was “Xarelto … Is he Dothraki, or from Qarth?”

No thank you

Seriously, would you? 

I mean, really. “Honey, what do we have for a snack?” “How about some raw balls?” That’s what I thought.  

June Birchbox

Thanks once again to Birchbox, I’ve got something to blog about. This month there are a couple of marks that rankle.

First, we have Mirenesse:

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE lip pencils, and expect a cage match over this one with my daughter. However, the name troubles me because it looks like a line extension of Mirena, the intrauterine birth control device. I know they’re not related goods, and I see no likelihood of confusion whatsoever. I just know that with my fertile (heh) mind, I see Mirenesse and think of Mirena.

But this one really irks me:

That’s right, it’s “100% Pure.” Where on earth do I begin with this? Let’s start: If the product is indeed, 100% pure, whatever that means, then 100% PURE is descriptive and therefore unprotectable as a trademark. It is also therefore a lousy trademark, because you cannot prevent competitors who have products that are equally 100% pure from asserting that same fact.

And yet this raises another question, one for the false advertising attorneys among us: What does 100% pure mean? For that matter, what do “100% natural” and “100% vegan” mean? Does the latter mean I can eat this? It’s vanilla bean and coconut, after all. This company alleges that its products contain no toxins, but the lengthy list of floral, fruit, and nut extracts contained in the creams, for example, could be highly allergenic, if not toxic, to one sensitive to those ingredients. I once used a cocoa butter skin oil that contained the admittedly all-natural Brazil nut oil – and broke out in a ferocious rash, natural or not.

So enough of that. Let’s move on to the less inflammatory items. Here we have Suki:

It’s “exfoliate foaming cleanser,” and shouldn’t that be “exfoliant”? Seems that way to me.

Next, another Color Club nail polish:

Cute color, but I don’t do matte. And this makes THREE of these!

Finally, a well-established brand:

Dry shampoo (or shampooing sec, en francais) is something I tend not to bother with because I have such short hair that it takes no more than an extra minute to wash it in the shower. I guess it’d be good for overnight travel … but maybe I’ll just give it to the kids.

That’s all for this month’s haul!

Those who understand, will understand

Let me give a shout-out to all my fellow members of the tribe with this one:

Yes, some people may find unlimited excitement and fun in the Chumash. In the words of the Jewish sage Ben Bag Bag, “turn it and turn it, for everything is in it.” Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not talking about a casino – I’m talking about the Torah, the Five Books of Moses … ALSO KNOWN AS THE “CHUMASH.”

Is it possible that not one person involved with this venture had any idea of the meaning of “chumash” to a small percentage of the US population? I was simply speechless when I saw this ad. Why didn’t the guy playing the slots, with his curly hair and receding hairline, say anything? Are they closed on Saturday or something?

Also, the underline of the “u” and then saying “we’re all about u”? Labored.

OMG Omnaris!

Spring, summer … whatever you call it, it’s come very late to Colorado. I thought I’d escaped without being felled by seasonal allergies, but instead, it seems I’ve been kneecapped by them.

Enter a sample of this from a benevolent medical provider:

LOVE the name. It hints at “nasal” via the “-naris” element, without being, shall I say, snotty about it. All I can say otherwise is that I hope it works. I need more than six hours of consciousness per day!