Monday, November 20, 2006

New client: Crocs!

In case you're been under a rock, Crocs are the funky, super comfy shoes that have become international phenomenon. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when they called me from Colorado, gushed about our clever work, and hired us on the spot. I still don't know who to thank, so if you're the person who told Crocs about us, please let me know so we can reward you handsomely.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

New Tagline for Oregon Hazelnuts

We can finally let the cat out of the bag on this one... our new tagline for Oregon Hazelnuts is "Indulgence in a Nutshell." We worked on this through Schiedermayer & Associates in Portland, the same ad agency we work with on Alaska Seafood and Boyds Coffee.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jelly Belly Class Field Trip

My copywriting students have been working on ads for Jelly Belly Sport Beans, so naturally we had to go to on the Jelly Belly factory tour (about an hour from SF) to see how they are made. In addition to getting free samples, we enjoyed looking at the Jelly Belly portraits of Ronald Reagan and the Pope. Here I am with some of my students in front of the Jelly Belly VW bug.

Talk Dirty to Me

One of my students, Jesse, emailed me and said, "We're working on a project for this new company that comes to your house and cleans up your dog poop for you. Their name is "For Poop Sake," and their tagline is We're #1 in the #2 business." I thought this was something their teacher made up, but Jesse sent me the URL,, and it is indeed for real. Love the name but think it would be better as For Poops Sake and if the tagline simply said, "We're #1 in #2." BTW, my friends often say "You have the best job in the world!" I don't think these guys hear that very often.

Friday, November 17, 2006

An Award in Sex Talk

No, I didn't really win an award in sex talk. But that is an anagram of my name, Alexandra Watkins. I swear. (You know I swear because I have an award in sex talk.) Seriously, do the math:

Alexandra Watkins = An Award in Sex Talk

Here's another one:

Alexandra Watkins = Drink a Sealant Wax

More fun anagrams from the Internet Anagram Server:

Clint Eastwood = Old West Action
David Letterman = Nerd Amid Late TV
Howard Stern = Retard Shown
Dormitory = Dirty Room
Elvis = Lives
Evangelist = Evil's Agent
Desperation = A Rope Ends It
Slot Machines = Cash Lost in'em
Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler
The Check is in the Mail = Claim "Heck, I sent it (heh)"
Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z's
Semolina = Is No Meal
Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
Admirer = Married
New York Times = Monkeys Write
Debit card = Bad Credit
B. Obama for president = Probe: Bona-fide smart!
Democrats win house = A true wisdom chosen

What are some anagrams of your name? Find out at the Internet Anagram Server, then post them here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

This wouldn't fit on a drive-thru menu

I love reading the blog of Tom Colicchio, the sexy Top Chef judge who just opened 'WichCraft near the new Bloomies. Here he perfectly sums up why I have absolutely no interest in writing restaurant menus...

"The other night I ate a great dish: Napoleon of Sourdough Brioche, Artisan Cheddar and minced, aged Hereford, garnished with a Preserve of Cucumber and Dill, and finished with Heirloom Tomato Coulis.

A.k.a.: A Cheeseburger.

I don’t have patience for over-the-top food descriptions, mostly because they seem to say, “look at how fancy this dish is!” and I’m not a big fan of fancy food. I’m OK with food that requires a high level of skill to prepare. And I don’t have a problem with fine dining -- provided I’m in the mood for it. But the word “fancy” speaks to me of pretension, embellishment, the need to impress. About presentation over substance."

Thursday, November 9, 2006

The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs

My namer pal Amy Sherman sent this to me and I had to share it... When naming a company, it's crucial that you look at the domain name selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn’t give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name is...

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website:

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No One Ditches My Copy Class

For the second year in a row, every Monday night this Fall I'm teaching Copy I at the Academy of Art University. My 18 students have already shown great promise, even those who want to be art directors. Right now we're working on ads and taglines to get tourists to come back to The French Quarter in New Orleans. (Best tagline so far: "Do you really need a reason?") I have lots of fun surprises in store for my students including a field trip to a real client (Mani Pedi Nail Spa), and guest speaker Sherry Treitler the hot shot 24-year old with a killer NYC agency pedigree and portfolio who I now use as my sous chef on nearly every naming project.

New Client: Anthem

Even with my adorable pink business cards, Eat My Words mints, witty emails, and repeated endorsements from Toby Sudduth and Rob Desino, getting my foot in the door at Anthem took more than a year. When they finally did call with a gig a few months ago, it was to write packaging copy for sanitary pads. We held out for something food related, and sure enough, they called with a juicy Safeway project. Now I can write off all my groceries.

New Client: Oregon Hazelnuts

I'm working with my favorite ad agency, Schiedermayer & Associates in Portland, to create a new tagline and ads for Oregon Hazelnuts. I love when product research involves eating Godiva Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream and writing it off as a deduction!

Two new naming clients....

Thanks to a gushing referal from Landor, I'm now doing naming work for Hub Strategy, the ad agency behind those hysterical Lombari Sports billboards.

I also picked up two fun naming gigs from TrueBrand, whose offices are in the old Studio Moon offices on DeBoom where I worked for a few months after the dot com crash. Still a few ghosts in there...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Client: Clif Bar

After eating my body weight in free Peanut Butter Clif Bars on the AIDS Ride a few years back, I had a real affinity for the company. So I was thrilled when Clif Bar hired me to generate some names for a new product. Of course I'm sworn to secrecy and yes, you'll be the first to know when it hits the shelves.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Thinking About Retirement

I don't know whether to laugh or cry... two times in the last 72 hours, two different clients have told us that a few of the names we've submitted "sound like retirement homes." (One assignment was to name place where they raise animals that we eat, the other project was to name a $12 wine from New Zealand, a country where I've traveled for nearly 2 months.) The following sentence is verbatim from the "animal farm" focus group report; "The name 'Harmony Estates,' was ridiculed for sounding like a mental institution, rest home, or even a cemetery." Both clients had hundreds of other non-ridiculed names to choose from, so we're not quitting our day jobs.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mudpuppies - happiness is a warm brownie

Austin brownie baker and caterer, Joel Haro asked Eat My Words to rename his line of Texas-size brownies - talk about a dream job! Formerly called Bombs," e.g. Toffee Bomb, Chocolate Bomb, Tejas Bomb, the brownies, which are "best served warm," are incredibly delicious but the names weren't as appetizing. The new brand name, tagline and flavor names that we created are much more fun...

happiness is a warm brownie™


Who Cares About Dinner, MINT™
You MOCHA Me Crazy™
Wake Up & Smell the TOFFEE™

There’s Something About CHERRY™


(made with with ground guajillo peppers)

The gift box of mixed flavors is called.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer Party Photo Album

Thanks to global warming, the weather was perfect for the Eat My Words Summer Party. Guests included clients and friends from Charles Chocolates, Peas of Mind, Artesa Winery, Del Monte, Brand New Brands, and nearly every branding agency in town including Landor, Philippe Becker Design, Addis, Bedrock Branding, and Brand Engine. See more photos of people you know here...

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Catering Company Names

Austin caterer and MudPuppies man Joel Haro, also hired me to come up with a creative name for his business, which is currently called Haro Kitchens. He wanted a name that was short, hip and communicated affordable food. PINCH Catering was his first choice. My party caterer fell in love with the runner up name,SCRATCH Catering, which I happily gave to her. These are placeholder logos that I used in my party slideshow. Stay tuned for the real ones...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Meet my latest naming client...

Man's best friend may be a dog, but my best friend is an art director named Ron Werthmann. When he brought home a rescue dog, he was nice enough to let me submit few hundred name ideas. Since little Miss Thing has a whole-lotta-shakin' going on, the name Ron chose was "Hula." I like it because when she's naughty and runs away (which is like, all the time), he can yell, "Here Hula girl, here Hula."

Monday, June 19, 2006

When It Says Libby's Libby's Libby's...

What I can tell you is that my new client says Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label. What I can't tell you is what the new products are that I'm naming. As usual, when I can let the cat out of the bag in December, you'll be the first to know.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Save the Date - July 20th - Eat My Words PARTY

The first annual Eat My Words Summer Cocktail Party & Open House will be held on Thursday, July 20th from 6-8pm. Anna Delorefice, who catered the party here after the Fancy Food Show, will be back by popular demand serving her yummy mini burgers and other retro favorites. Clients, watch your email for more 411...

New Client: Omega Farms

Nishihara/Wilkinson Design always has fun work for me. My newest gig is to come up with a clever tagline for their client, Omega Farms. I love the logo, which N/W designed.

Friday, June 9, 2006

What... No Chocolate River?

Joyce Guan from Charles Chocolates invited me to a tasting at the factory in Emeryville, where founder Chuck Siegel wowed journalists with his confections including a sublime lavender honey truffle. I asked Chuck to talk about his retail test store, which I thought was a brilliant concept... he had the opportunity to test a retail space in Laurel Village for 7 weeks. In that short time, they:
  • established the brand & created a loyal following
  • learned what sold best & got ideas for new products
  • gained valuable insights from speaking with customers
This crash course taught them A LOT and if and when they do decide to take the plunge and open a permanent retail store, they'll know what to expect. Smart! Read about what we tasted that evening in Shuna & Kim's delicious behind-the-scenes report on KQED's Bay Area Bites. Above photo of Chuck (with me taking copious notes) by Jason Jao.

New Client: Dunkin Donuts!

Dunkin Donuts has hired me to name a new product for them. Sweet! This is a dream brand for me. It's a good thing that they don't have stores in California, otherwise I might have asked to be paid in trade.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Cool Business Tool: LinkedIn

I was invited to join LinkedIn by Axel Albin, the Director of Verbal Branding at Addis and I now have a direct network 60 clients and freelancers. It truly is a fantastic tool for networking and I've discovered lots of new clients (Dunkin Donuts & Charles Chocolates) and potential clients through my own contacts and using the advanced search feature. Love it.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Food Addiction: Top Chef

If you missed the awesome reality series Top Chef, the "Project Runway" of the culinary world, check out the reruns on BRAVO. Every week the contestants are challenged with everything from a preparing a gourmet meal using only convenience store items, to catering a gay wedding overnight, to to having to make monkfish appetizing to picky school kids. The contestants run the gamut from uptight to unwound and the villian of the show is beyond redemption. If you're already a fan, the best line on the show, "I'm Not Your Bitch, Bitch" which Dave "Crying Chef" Martin says in his cattiest voice to Tiffani "The Snake" Faison, is now available as a t-shirt. And if you already know who the final Top Chef is, here's the Food & Wine article on the winner. The series was filmed at restaurants all over San Francisco from Aqua to Fleur de Lys and is hosted by the charming Tom Colicchio. It also features celebrity chefs including Hubert Keller and Elizabeth Faulkner. Let me know if you become hooked.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Work for Torani

Torani's new breakthough product, Pure Flavor, "gives chefs, bartenders and baristas the freedom to create with sophisticated flavors." Unfortunately, package designers don't always give me the freedom to write volumes of copy. So here are the 23 words that I wrote for the back of the bottles: Create sweet and savory sauces, soups, dressings, desserts and beverages with Torani’s Pure Flavor, a concentrated infusion of fresh herbs, spices and botanicals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Do You Want My Autograph?

I was at the Square One Vodka launch party at Frisson on Monday and Julie Kim came up to me and said she recognized me from my appearance on HGTV's Small Space, Big Style which has just re-aired a few nights before. I've gotten a lot of fan mail from the show, but that was my first in-person celebrity sighting. Major ego boost.

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Work: Vodka Names

Square One Organic Vodka asked me to create drink names for three of their new honey infused martinis. While they didn't go for "Honey, I'm Drunk" or "Honey, I'm Horny," the winning names are stilll really fun to order from a cute bartender or to buy for someone you fancy. Kudos to owner Allison Evanow and publicist Kimberly Charles for choosing these cheeky names:

HONEY, I'M SEXY (orange-fennel)
HONEY, I'M FRISKY (lemon-rosemary)
HONEY, I'M SPICY (ginger-lemongrass)

See Recipes

Friday, May 5, 2006

Back from Bali

I'm back from my second trip to Bali and have fully recharged my batteries by playing with naughty monkeys, eating 100% organic food for two weeks straight, and indulging in no less than six massages and facials including one on the beach with a free sand exfoliant. Ouch. Check out my slideshow featuring beautiful photos of vibrant green rice fields, giant paper mache monsters, and my cheeky friends in the Monkey Forest.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

New Naming Client: Del Monte

Del Monte has hired me to create names for two new products. They are on the hush-hush of course, but you'll be the first to know when I can let the cat out of the bag.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Strange Things I've Put in My Mouth

See a fun slideshow of some of the strange foods I've encountered on my trips abroad including banana beer, barbequed squirrel and camel meat . WARNING: Not for the faint of heart or vegetarians.

"The World is My Cookie"

Cackling Hen's cookies split from the agency I was working with, but they kept my tagline, "The World is My Cookie," which was inspired by the backstory of the Cackling Hen traveling the world in search of the best ingredients.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Eat My Words on HGTV's "Small Space, Big Style"

As many of you know, HGTV's new hit show, "Small Space, Big Style," filmed a segment here for their show last year. Highlights of the show include my 1950's diner booth office, stuffed animal sofa, pink fridge bookshelf, 17' x 17' indoor mural, and my collection of 600+ floaty pens from my world travels. If you missed it, here's a link to the clip (which takes awhile to download, even with a fast connection).

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Party Here After Fancy Food Show

The big bash that my pimp Cici & I hosted here after the Fancy Food Show was a huge success, with 70 people showing up. Thanks to everyone who came, especially those of you we met that day working the Show. See you next year!