Strongly recommended

Let’s just say that if there isn’t a rule that a mark or company name should not begin with or comprise the element “vag,” there should be:

Consider pronunciation, for example.  Hard g or soft?  I think I’ve said enough.


Holiday Cheer

There is simply no equivalence between Chanukah and Christmas.  I don’t consider Chanukah a major holiday; it’s one I’d never consider traveling for and frankly, my sisters and I often ignore it because it’s only about presents and our kids have more than enough.  So to me, while it is a holiday season, it’s not about holidays that I spend a lot of time on. 

That said, it’s always a treat to watch how others observe – specifically, how people observe Christmas.  The holiday sweater craze is one that just doesn’t get enough attention, and a company called Skedouche is looking to change all that.  Take a gander:


Yep, not only do they have a delightfully obnoxious name, they also have new spins on the old tacky Christmas sweaters, like the above “Reindeer Threesome,” and one called “Excited Snowman,” that I’ll just leave you to peruse on their site

Cheers to this local company!

A trip to H Mart; or, how we spent our fall break.

H Mart is the Asian supermarket in nearby Aurora.  It’s to Denver what Uwajimaya is to Seattle.  The girls and I stopped by today to enjoy some delicious challah-like pastries, and to browse unusual items.


Unusual they were: full pig’s legs and the infamous durian  were probably the most exotic items we saw.  I also could’ve stocked up on My Shaldan air freshener, as they had plenty in stock.  But this product name stopped us dead in our tracks: 




Okay, I get it.  It looks like a screw.  Nothing wrong with it as a descriptive mark.  But did nobody involved in the selection of the name consider the implications?  I’ve said it before and I’ll give you a variation of it again: no matter where you are, it always helps to find out if the word you’re plucking from a language in which you are not fluent has another meaning that’s possibly slang or derogatory.

On the other hand, perhaps they just thought it was gut-bustingly funny calling a pink phallic popsicle “Screw.”  Who am I to judge – after all, my daughters and I thought it was pretty damn hilarious ourselves!

When slang hurts you

Tillamook cheese is great.  I’ve enjoyed it since I first discovered it in Seattle and am happy to be able to enjoy it in Colorado.  In a nationwide publicity push, Tillamook is promoting its Loaf Love Tour – they’re “bringing tasty cheese to the people!”




Hey, I can hardly complain.  Cheese is good.  Tillamook cheese is good.  I need to eat cheese and other protein to help my fusion to take.  But “Loaf Love”?  “Loaf Photos”?  “Who’s sharing the most Loaf Love?”

When you’re preparing an ad campaign, it can never hurt to run the terms you’re considering through Urbandictionary.com.  And then ask a teenager, or 20-something guy a question like “What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘loaf’?”  Because if that unfortunate alternate definition came to the mind of this 40-something, I promise you there’s a good percentage of the public that’s thinking the same thing.  So, ick.

Or it’s just me and the drugs.  You be the judge.

A happy and healthy 5771 to those counting that way; me, I am hopeful that the new year brings continued improvement to my back, which should lead to more time upright and blogging!

NSFW!!!!

NSFW means “not safe for work,” for those not in the know.  So that means you may not want to click on this link to Lelo, a site that offers “the world’s best pleasure objects.”


So how did I get there, you may ask?  Well, Lelo was advertised on Carnal Nation, from which an article on the dirty minds of thirteen year-old boys was featured on Jezebel.  I am all for awareness of what’s going on in the minds of my daughters’ friends, so I read the article and checked out its source.

So why am I interested in Lelo? Do you remember how I drone on and on about how companies should determine if possible whether their proposed trademark has an undesired meaning in a foreign language?  Yep, “lelo,” in Spanish, means “stupid” or “idiot.”  I have to wonder how the name goes over in the Spanish-speaking countries where Lelo does business.

On the other hand, I’d love it if their stock retort were “Don’t call me stupid.”  


Thinking of something positive to say . . .

On the bright side, they came up with an excellent descriptor:  



“Visual privacy undergarment” – you just can’t beat that as a product descriptor.  Apart from that, I’m kind of speechless.  Though in the era of Spanx for men and modesty petals, I guess I shouldn’t underestimate the ability of marketers to convince us that our bodies are as distorted and horrifying as images in a midway funhouse mirror, hence the burgeoning visual privacy undergarment product sector.


Thanks to Adam – I think – for the tip.  And to my buddy Dan, without whom I’d never have been able to visit this hideous earworm of a video on you.

Please release me, let me go!

When it comes to women and cleaning products, Sarah Haskins hits the nail on the head illuminating the ways in which marketers attempt to “create a romance” between women and these products in order to promote them.  I give you this fantastic video presented on Jezebel as Exhibit A.  

So when my dear friend Leslie blogged today about the virtues of Reynolds Wrap Release Non-Stick Foil, I couldn’t help thinking that this was yet another product named and marketed to women, hinting at a release they might not encounter elsewhere, if you get my drift.  And I’m sure you do.

I mean, come on: the italics, the arrows?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what kind of release those rockets are suggesting.

Or is it just me?  Still twelve?  Sorry . . . 

  

Because I am twelve

My favorite piece of swag from the INTA annual meeting:





Had a great time in Boston and only regret that I couldn’t join the gang at Meet the Bloggers.  When you’re one half of a two trademark lawyer couple, there are necessary tradeoffs.  Next year in San Francisco!

The Family Jewels

Sometimes, the risk of ridicule should override pride in the family name.  You can see why here.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the coffee-meets-keyboard incident du jour.

And in case you forgot . . .

 

(Yes, believe it or not, Onan is a surname.  And today the company is called Cummins Onan.  I’m getting the vapors.)

Mea culpa

I have been slacking, and my number one fan (Hi again Dad!) is complaining about the blogging drought.  And since he’s snowbound today, I’m going to have to pull a rabbit out of my hat to come up with a blog post.  But it’s going to be random, I warn you.  (I clearly don’t have Nancy’s celestial connections.)

First, a great band name: We Were Promised Jetpacks.  Pretty much the halcyon cry of resentment over what the 21st century has failed to provide us.  And pretty awesome Scottish rock, for a bunch of 21 year-olds.

Second, in the perfume strip deathmatch between Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, and Flora by Gucci, Flora wins by a nose.  But I find the music on the Viktor & Rolf site curiously enchanting. On to more of what’s in this month’s InStyle . . .

Nancy already raised the pharmaceutical naming issue today and in the past, but there’s yet another name that’s been gnawing at me – Pristiq.  Although it’s an antidepressant, I can’t help thinking that it sounds a helluva lot more like a feminine hygiene product.  Imagine the cross-marketing opportunities: “Feeling blue and not so fresh? Pristiq, now with intimate wipes.”  Okay, maybe not.  I’ll move on.

But not far.  So maybe it’s just me, or maybe I exaggerate for effect, but I get so confused when I hear the Brits talk about “loo rolls.”  I always think “isn’t that the guy who sings ‘You’ll Never Find’?”  But it’s not, and in fact, Jezebel is reporting that the British have clearly achieved new heights in loo roll – i.e., toilet paper – luxury.  That’s right, the Waitrose supermarket chain is now offering loo rolls with cashmere fiber.  With the world in an economic downturn, I hardly think that ultra-premium toilet paper is what Britain needs now, but I can also hardly say that I understand European toilet paper marketing concepts

And finally, as this post is already in the toilet, I will leave you with some examples from FailBlog of how education has failed our country, or at least deprived people of the ability to recognize double entendres.

Rocky and Bullwinkle pic courtesy of Photobucket.

Miscellany from all around

Apologies for the blogging drought.  Thanksgiving and ski season, not to mention Chanukah (for which I’m woefully ill-prepared) are keeping me hopping already.  So let’s just call this post a potpourri of things that have flitted across the radar screen recently.

1.     Noted, in Plantation, FL, by my cousin Craig: a lawn service company truck bearing the name “Lawn Order.” 

2.     I’ve been agonizing over the new slogan adopted by the IFC movie channel, “Always, Uncut” for two reasons.  First, the comma: Not needed and frankly, confusing.  Because that brings me to the second point: Sorry, but given some of the offerings on IFC, “uncut” suggests a particular genre of movie that I am not entirely certain the channel wished to emphasize.  Basically, are we talking editing, commercial interruptions, or circumcision here – and whatever it may be, why the damn comma?

Thank you for your patience.  I have enough trouble with the idiotically-spelled Syfy channel’s moronic “Imagine Greater” slogan; this one serves only to reinforce my conviction that television naming is the opposite of reasoned.

3.     When I first exercised my urge to write about trademarks.

4.     Speaking of slogans, I’m not always a curmudgeon about them.  This weekend we’re heading off to ski at Beaver Creek, where their slogan is “Not exactly roughing it.”  If ever a phrase expressed my philosophy of life, that’s the one.

Photo of grooming cats from Beaver Creek website.

I don’t get it

I am going to have to give Lancome a big thumbs-down on the branding of its new anti-aging serum.  Yes, I know, it’s meant to be suggestive of the exciting! discovery! of a product that “boosts the activity of genes,” whatever that means (and I’ll let folks like Rebecca Tushnet or the other Levy lawyer sort out the issues with such advertising).  But I just don’t think that “geni-” followed by a consonant is a good prefix, and I don’t think there’s any way you can see Lancome’s new Genifique or pronounce the mark without thinking “genitals.”  I don’t think their accent aigu helps (and my apologies for omitting my accents, but I know my blogging software will balk if I insert them).

Anyway, it’s another example of my twelve year-old inner voice’s speaking, but I just can’t shut her up!

Did they think before naming?

Skiing at Steamboat Springs is awesome – lots of powder, and sun after a frigid start.  But two landmarks on our blizzardy trip up here couldn’t fail to catch my eye: First, what we’ve now found is a chain of gas station/mini-marts called Kum & Go; and second, a sign for Master Bait and Tackle.

A point of maternal pride to report for a change of pace from the smut: When my husband was reminding us to ski wide “s” turns in the powder, the littlest Levy said, “You know, a Sephora S.”  Oy, I’m kvelling!