October 29, 2010 | No Comments | Filed Under: Ahmadinejad, Branding, Daily Show, Human Rights, Iran, Iran180, Marketing, Naming, Puppet, The Twitter Effect
It’s true – that is, in fact, me under the giant Ahmadinejad puppet being interviewed by Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Protesters Give Rally Advice|
No joke, it’s true. Perhaps out of false modesty, I’ll describe it towards the end of this post.
But first, here’s a fascinating and thoughtful analysis of trends in naming companies written by Eric Spitznagel, called The Twitter Effect: The struggle to create the next perfectly weird company name.
A lot of quotable language from well credentialed experts sharing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (extra credit if you can tell me where that line comes from) about the challenges of finding the right name and the contortions we put ourselves through to land it. Here’s an example:
“A weird name with an idea behind it, however, can stand out: take hairyLemon, for instance, a Web development company in Christchurch, New Zealand. Graham Dockrill, hairyLemon’s co-founder, explains that the name comes from cockney slang for “here at eleven” — as in 11 a.m., when pubs typically open in New Zealand.”
They seem like smart guys, and don’t get me wrong I loved my trip to New Zealand, such friendly people, but do we always have to try that hard?
Can we sometimes just go back to “it is what it is” and be deliberately descriptive if not downright generic.
Yes, the IP lawyers tell us not to because then the name’s harder to protect, and finding an available URL is a royal pain, but with a new batch of url suffixes coming out, maybe we’ll see a retro like return to utter simplicity – that mocks itself along with those names that force themselves to be so weird.
I got on The Daily Show last night representing an organization I named and “taglined” in less than 24 hours, Iran180 – yes the domains were ripe for the picking and available. The organization is a coalition of NGOs and people demanding a total change (hence the 180 degrees) from Iran’s government and unveiled at the start of United Nations General Assembly. (Credit to my former colleagues at Burson-Marsteller’s Proof for a powerful logo and constructing a Website in just days.)
My point, is that finding a name doesn’t always need to be so hard, and the result doesn’t have to be weird, sometimes it can be super direct, to the point and prescriptive. With our friends from guerilla marketing firm, Street Attack (case in point) and actors from the Fantastic Nobodies, Thunder11 pushed the envelope plenty with street theatre, a mock trial, and a ten foot back pack puppet of Ahamadinejad – and then we were lucky enough to land the ultimate PR knock out punch: the puppet photographed lying alone, decked out on its back, on the front page of New York Times on September 24.
Jon Stewart and his team have enough creative genius to instantly create an industry leading side business for naming companies, organizations, TV shows, not to mention new born babies, but notice that they decided to name their show a deliberate and, some might say, dull throw back, and let the content speak for itself.
We might not be as smooth and funny as Jon Stewart, but let’s hope some of his charming wit and endearing honesty and nonchalance can wear off on us all. Not to say I don’t like, and often recommend, wild and funky names, but when the content is wild and funky enough, you might be advised to pick a name that’s more mainstream.