Monday, April 26, 2010

Look both ways before you name that thing.

So I was driving along this weekend listening to NPR and I heard the following:

"This program was made possible by Barnes & Noble, makers of the Nookie reader."

Christ, I thought, aren't there enough compendia of nookie in the world already?

Two minutes online set me straight: Nook® E-Reader.

A suggestion to anyone in the business of naming stuff, especially stuff whose modifier or descriptor ("E-reader") is not common parlance yet:

Put it in a sentence. Read it out loud. Sometimes the word right in front or right in back of your brand name can combine in unpleasant and unexpected ways.

Friday, April 09, 2010

What Nike and the Catholic Church have in common.

Well, for one thing they both exploit children.

For another, they are both so hermetically sealed off from the world of their constituents that it can lead them to say and do stupid and hateful things.

The Nike Tiger spot: mea culpa? Teachable moment? B-roll of a news item no longer news? Orville Deadenbacher II?

Who cares? It's the fact that Nike thought it was OK to leverage this miserable behavior in any way that's so galling.

You have to actually believe that preserving the millions of dollar of equity Nike built up through Tiger trumps simple human decency, in order to do an ad like this.

Sort of like you have to think the reputation of the organization is more important than the sufferings of individuals in order to compare criticism by its victims to anti-Semitism.

As the Semites would say, it's a shonda.