Give the ladies what they want

The marketing geniuses at Neutrogena, realizing how crowded the women’s skin care product sector is, have been selling vibrators. But not just any vibrator, a vibrator that a woman can, with head held high, take through airport security, buy at the drugstore, and leave in plain sight for the kids to find. Brilliant.

It’s the Neutrogena Wave, a sex toy with plausible deniability built-in.

Here’s to wiggle room:

Top secret Landor process document revealed

landor process

“Insert the proprietary Landor Naming Process Tool into the anal canal and twist until it grabs the membrane. Continue twisting another half turn, then steadily pull the proprietary Landor Naming Process Tool out of the canal. Extract 10 inches of membrane, tie the membrane off and cut.”

As with any process, the only true measure of success is what comes out the other end.

Blandor Says Blandor the Imponderable: “Oh deer! Perhaps I should butt out….No! My auricular has been opened, laid bare for all to observe! This time, no amount of blandiloquence will assuage this insolent corporate sabotage! And furthermore, we use a much larger mammal in our current work”

Bravo’s reality show “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley” will finally premier November 5

Via Upstart Business Journal:

The wait is almost over—though its questionable if anyone is actually waiting to watch the show or simply to rip it to shreds afterward.

Bravo’s reality show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley (previously titled just Silicon Valley) will finally premier November 5. The San Francisco Bay area tech community has been up in arms about the show since news got out about its existence, with the the tech world fearing the show will take the difficult and important work done in Silicon Valley and minimize it for dramatic effect.

Despite the objections, the show goes on and the six Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are preparing for their debut. They are:

Ben Way, 32, who made and lost millions by age 22 and is now trying to make it back to the top again.
Hermoine Way, 27, a trained journalist transitioning from covering tech to making it.
David Murray, 29, who was one missed mortgage payment away from losing everything, but remains set on bootstrapping the next big app.
Dwight Crow, 26, a programming savant, whose activities include partying with hacker buddies and solving complex algorithms while playing beer pong.
Kim Taylor, 30, who led a company to success, but struggles with having to trade the security and comfort she is used to with the discomfort of creating her own startup.
Sarah Austin, 30, a Silicon Valley native who live-broadcasts her entire life online.

Is the show a prime example of the negative consequences of turning entrepreneurs into celebrities, or does it show the rest of us a side of Silicon Valley that startup founders just don’t want us to know about?

Decide for yourself: Watch the three-minute preview here.

Homeless Hotspots. A new low, even for British PR.

This creepy PR salvo consists of turning homeless human beings into walking hotspots at SXSWi, and having them wear t-shirts identifying themselves as such. Much like hailing a cab, you flag down a homeless person and have them stand next to you while you feed your jones for sending pointless texts to you friends via human antennae – texts that probably read, “this is so cool. using homeless dude as as WiFi spot at SXSWi. not going to pay him LOL!”

Yep, they don’t necessarily get paid. There is a suggested donation of 2 dollars per 15 minutes.

Their dehumanization is complete. They are just part of the machinery now – Borgs.

Par for the course from what has become the soulless, self-indulgent juggernaut called SXSWi. This cruel novelty is brought to you by marketing firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty via BBH.

More on the manky, disfigured branch of the evolutionary tree upon which BBH perches its hooves, courtesy of Wired.

Udderly confusing

The children’s film & television series “Barnyard”, made a strange branding choice when developing the appearance of their characters. The main characters are cows, both male and female.

namingWhy do characters named Ben and Otis, voiced by Sam Elliot and Kevin James, sport udders??? In this film, cows of both genders do. The protagonist “Otis” is pictured here.

We can understand why they might not want to equip the bulls with their actual equipment, but why transgender them? Why not just do a Barbie and Ken-like omission on the bulls?

We don’t expect a kid’s film like this to be educational, just not bizarrely dis-informational.

Let’s stop feeding the fire. There are too many people out there trying to milk a bull as it is. No wonder they are turning purple.

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Building Equity in a Name

We’ve name a lot of buildings here at Igor: Wynn Las Vegas, Aria Resort, The Signature at MGM, The Address in Dubai, The Wit in Chicago. Here’s a well written piece on the naming of high rise buildings in Manhattan. Via the NY Times:

ONE afternoon over the summer, eight people gathered in an office at the Corcoran Group to brainstorm names for a 29-unit condominium scheduled for completion in mid-2012.

To get the ball rolling, Stephen Glascock, the president of the project’s developer, Anbau Enterprises, reminded the assembled team of sales agents and marketing consultants that the building, soon to rise on West 23rd Street off the Avenue of the Americas, would be in a “a fun location” near Chelsea and the High Line.

“Nexus,” suggested one attendee. “Crossroads,” suggested another.

Not quite.

The building will be energy-efficient, Mr. Glascock continued. It will have fresh filtered air and insulation that dampens noise. His wrap-up: “It’s a good building. It’s a positive participant in the community.”

“It’s a good citizen,” piped up Amy Frankel, a managing partner of the branding agency IF Studio.

“Citizen?”

“Citizen!”

“We all looked at each other and said, ‘What a great name,’ ” Mr. Glascock recollected. “Let’s call the building Citizen.”

A landmark prewar facade or the latest in high-end amenities may be at the top of a buyer’s must-have list, but a stirring or lyrical name can be a powerful selling tool, too. A clunker, on the other hand, can be at best a puzzle, at worst a punch line.

“It’s Branding 101,” said Allen P. Adamson, a managing director of Landor, a corporate identity consultant. “A name tells a story, and a good name can tell a very strong story.”

Read the rest of the article

Focus Groups & Naming

We have always insisted that focus grouping names has a negative effect on the outcome. Our favorite Steve Jobs quote conveys the same idea in terms of product creation.

Via the May 25, 1998, issue of Business Week:

…it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why a lot of people at Apple get paid a lot of money, because they’re supposed to be on top of these things.

It’s true, you either know what you’re doing or you don’t.

Named by Igor – DirecTV announces “Audience”, a new premium network

Via Reuters:

New Name, New Look, New Logo on Tap For DIRECTV’s Original Programming Network

Beginning June 1, DIRECTV’s The 101 Network will transform itself into the Audience Network and become the new home for DIRECTV’s exclusive programming, which includes some of the smartest, most daring entertainment on television. The Audience Network will be accessible in 19.4 million homes on channel number 239.

The newly-branded network will focus on maintaining DIRECTV’s growing commitment to providing subscribers with premium network programming that can’t be seen anywhere else…

…“We’ve spent the last six years building this network into something very special,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development at DIRECTV.

“DIRECTV is the only television operator who provides customers with a premium quality entertainment network for free and the new name perfectly captures who we are doing this for, specifically our demographic, the DIRECTV audience.

When we performed our competitive analysis, it became clear that all of the movie / original programing network names had names that were product-centric and they all contained common terms associated with performance and film: Showtime, Home Box Office, Cinemax, Starz, Bravo, Arts & Entertainment, etc. No one was naming and positioning themselves for the consumer – it was all one-note chest thumping – the names are all interchangeable. There was an opportunity to have a name that was different, a name that was about the audience rather than about the product.

Incredibly, though the word “Audience” appears in virtually every movie review and every article about a television network, it had never been used as a name in the TV / Film production industry or in the entertainment business. It had been hiding in plain sight, overlooked. “Audience”, the essential element of all entertainment.

More on the Audience Network at the DirecTV website.

Igor in today’s “Ward’s Auto”

Cerberus Instinct Letter-Perfect, by Eric Mayne February 18th, 2011

Like me, I’m sure you’ve wondered why Chrysler broke with convention by retaining “LX” as the codename for its new-generation fullsize car platform.

A Chrysler insider recently spells it out for me.

“This vehicle should have been reclassified as LY,” he says of the ‘11 Chrysler 300, the disputed platform’s flagship. “The original vision was that it would gravitate to LY.”

So what happened?

“There was an emotional attachment to LX with our past management, which was Cerberus,” the insider explains. “They wanted to stay with LX.”

Understandable. Especially because LX earned widespread industry acclaim.

It was the foundation of the ‘05 300, a car that rejuvenated American design. Why not keep the original designation? What could happen?

“Frankly, it’s been wreaking havoc with us internally because all of our production-control systems and everything,” the insider says. “It’s been very difficult.”

Separating the old program from the new required “shadow systems and all sorts of crazy things,” he adds.

His disdain for Cerberus is glaring. Like a typo on resume.

But the private-equity firm wasn’t completely wrong to write off the time-honored naming protocol. So suggests California-based branding guru Steve Manning.

“‘X’ is associated with anything that’s experimental or extra,” says Manning, co-founder of Igor, a leading corporate-naming consultancy.

Not to mention sexy, “as in triple-X,” he adds.

“It’s a very uncommon letter in the alphabet so it tends to stand out and has a certain look and sound. Everybody uses ‘X.’ It has a certain cool factor.”

And ‘L’ often is associated with luxury, Manning reminds.

Nothing wrong with that. But what does ‘LY’ communicate?

“’LY is no good,” he says. “‘Y’ is just deadly. Combined with ‘L,’ it’s just something that you put at the end of a word. Like slowly. There’s nothing going on with ‘LY.’”

Forget that platform codes have no market value. Cerberus did at least one thing right.

Give it an ‘E’ for effort.

Kevin Costner’s oil spill clean up machine & patent

At Igor we deal with intellectual property rights every week as we search thousands of trademarks while naming products for our clients. It’s not enough to have a good idea, you need one you can legally own.

Kevin Costner’s much publicized Ocean Therapy Solutions company developed a soon-to-be-implemented oil and water separation machine. BP has ordered 32 of them thus far to help deal with their latest environmental disaster.

You can view the patent filing, description and drawings for Costner’s oil spill clean up machine here. Click on the pic in the upper right corner to see the full diagrams.

Patent Search Box for blogs / sites

ip.com (as in “intellectual property”) just launched a feature where you can add a Patent Search Box to your blog sidebar, so your visitors can search patents right from your site.

Search Box code available here.

You can do full searches for US Patents, US Patent Applications, Prior Art, PRC (China) Patents and PRC Patents in translation.

So that’s kinda cool.

Xfinity – a Dunder Mifflin idea

There has been much speculation and pontification on whence the name Xfinity came, but look no further than the looming Comcast-NBC merger. Whilst kicking the NBC tires, surely even a beast as slow-witted as Comcast fumbled across the NBC property ‘The Office”.

Dunder Mifflin logo

The Dunder Mifflin logo sports an infinity symbol

Xfinity is meant to signal Comcast’s foray into the future of high tech possibilities, while at Dunder Mifflin, “Infinity” is the name of the internal initiative to bring technology to the failing paper company.

Why would the comedy writers of “The Office” chose the name “Dunder Mifflin Infinity” for the high tech effort? Because it is silly, obvious, pitiful and ridiculous, in keeping with ambiance of the show.

The name was such a hit that DunderMifflinInfinity.com is the show’s official fansite.

In the second episode of the fourth season titled “Dunder Mifflin Infinity”, regional manager Michael Scott best summed up the idea of “Infinity” (or Xfinity, for that matter):

“Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me, the choice is easy.”

“Comcast Xfinity. The possibilities are mindless”

SANDRA ACEVEDO

“Boogie Board” and “Improv” debut, both named by Igor

We named a new consumer product company “Improv Electronics”. We also named Improv’s first product, “Boogie Board“, which went on sale last week.

Via Gizmodo:

If you thought a boogie board was a salt-water vessel that lets you skim the waves, think again. Improv Electronics’ Boogie Board is a pressure-sensitive tablet that uses a watch battery for power. It’s like a digital blackboard!

The Reflex LCD doesn’t need any power to keep the scribbles and drawings on the screen, with the watch battery only being put into use when the screen is erased. The watch battery will last for 50,000 erases, which makes the $29.97 board cost 15 times less for each erase than a normal sheet of paper. It’s ideal for kids, or perhaps artists who care about the long-term saving associated with the Boogie Board.

More bad news for Starbucks

There is an old Indian saying, “When life hands you cows, make teapee”.
cow-bottom
Via The Times:

India to launch cow urine as soft drink

Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? India’s Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink made from cow urine.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”…

…He insisted, however, that it would be able to compete with the American cola brands, even with their enormous advertising budgets. “We’re going to give them good competition as our drink is good for mankind,” he said. “We may also think of exporting it.”

Spoon Me

Via Dom Nozzi:

Ben & Jerry created “Yes Pecan!” ice cream flavor for Obama.
They then asked people to fill in the blank for the following:

For George W. they created “_________”.

Here are some of their favorite responses:

– Grape Depression
– Abu Grape
– Cluster Fudge
– Nut’n Accomplished
– Iraqi Road
– Chock ‘n Awe
– WireTapioca
– Impeach Cobbler
– Guantanmallow
– imPeachmint
– Good Riddance You Lousy Motherfucker… Swirl
– Heck of a Job, Brownie!
– Neocon Politan
– RockyRoad to Fascism
– The Reese’s-cession
– Cookie D’oh!
– The Housing Crunch
– Nougalar Proliferation
– Death by Chocolate… and Torture
– Freedom Vanilla Ice Cream
– Chocolate Chip On My Shoulder
– “You’re Shitting In My Mouth And Calling It A” Sundae
– Credit Crunch
– Mission Pecanplished
– Country Pumpkin
– Chunky Monkey in Chief
– George Bush Doesn’t Care About Dark Chocolate
– WMDelicious
– Chocolate Chimp
– Bloody Sundae
– Caramel Preemptive Stripe
– I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of thousands…with nuts

But who is Dom Nozzi? If it is true that you can judge a man by the company he keeps, then Dom can be summed up by this list of his friends as of 1966.

Of course, you may just want to judge him based on the fact that he maintains a list of his friends from kindergarten.

He is obviously quite mad.