Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not a good Valentine's Day gift: Fat Pig Chocolate

Mik spotted this little piggy...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A not very lady-like name...

Another bad name submitted by my friend, humor columnist Mary Hanna... unbelievably, this company is owned by 3 women.

I am not making this up!

My friend, humor columnist Mary Hanna sent me this photo of a new lens cleaner that she spotted. Mary reports that she asked the clerk why they called the product "Cat Crap" and the clerk said, "Well, it made you look at it!"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pet Names We Love.... Cowboy & Trowser

Pets are much more fun to name than companies, products or babies. You don't have to trademark the name, and pets are easier to please than clients. This sweet dog, is my fairy dog child, Cowboy. What makes that name so adorable is Cowboy is a girl. As her owner, identity designer Tracy Moon of StudioMoon says, "Cowgirl wouldn't be nearly as cute." Cowboy, also known as "Cowby," is one half of my fairy dog children, the other being her sister, Trowser also known as The Trowse, (pictured below). I have nicknamed Cowboy & Trowser "The Little Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" because they are spoiled rotten.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Eat My Dust cleans up in Big Success Business Contest

Congratulations to Eat My Words' client Russ Goldin of Eat My Dust™ who is one of five finalists in the Comcast Big Success Business Pitch, taking place this Thursday night at the Westin in San Francisco. As you may know, Eat My Dust is the first green commercial janitorial company in Northern California with fundamentally different approach to cleaning. They utilize a science-based cleaning system that removes up to five times more dirt and pollutants than traditional housekeeping. They are competitively priced and 100% sustainable for both the environment and the cleaning worker.
The 5 entrepreneurs will compete in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished judges consisting of seasoned entrepreneurs and angel investors. The winner will receive a grand prize of being featured by the local CBS news in an exclusive 5-minute interview. Judges include:

Thursday, March 26th
6:15 – 8:30 p.m
Westin San Francisco Market Street
50 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Purchase Tickets Here

We hope to see you there and help Eat My Dust sweep the competition!

Two Mo' Eye Sore Head Scratchers

Picture 3
A newspaper in South Santa Clara, California has created a web design company called ISOARS. Ouch. What's really a shame is they actually have some nice looking web design and a playful personality. But their name is an eye sore and no one wants to have a site that makes their eyes hurt. I mean really, who wants to say their website was designed by what sounds exactly like "Eye Sores"?

It gets worse.

ISOARS created a digital coupon service with an even more cringe-worthy name:

Picture 4
I don't know where to begin with Mo-Quepons. It violates the most important rules of naming. It's hard to spell, pronounce, and downright annoying. And what's with the hyphen? You mean to tell me that www.moquepons.com was taken?!

Please guys, you need to spend mo' time evaluating names and less time thinking you hit the naming jackpot because the domain was available on GoDaddy for $9.95. That is not a good reason to choose a name. We suggest using the Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH Test (as seen in The Wall Street Journal), which is based on our philosophy that a name should make you smile, instead of scratch your head.

SMILE - the qualities of a powerful name:
Simple – one easy-to-understand concept
Meaningful – your customers instantly "get it"
Imagery – visually evocative - creates a mental picture
Legs – carries the brand, lends itself to wordplay
Emotional – e.g. empowers, entertains, engages, enlightens

SCRATCH it off the list if it has any of these deal-breakers:
Spelling-challenged – you have to tell people how to spell it
Copycat – similar to competitor's names
Random – disconnected from the brand
Annoying – hidden meaning, forced
Tame – flat, uninspired, boring, non-emotional
Curse of Knowledge – only insiders get it
Hard-to-pronounce – not obvious, relies on punctuation

If you'd like to see some great names that past the test, check out the names created by Eat My Words - now these are a site for sore eyes!
Thanks to my NSA ProTrack buddy Jim Carrillo for tipping me off to theses two doozies...

"Notorious A.I.G." Creates New Name To Avoid PR Disaster

Thanks to our colleague Anthony Shore for tipping us off to this breaking news about those sneaky bastards at AIG.

Following up Ryan Grim's report from Congress last week that AIG chief Edward Liddy was looking to change the company's "thoroughly wounded and disgraced" name, it appears as though words are being put into action.

The massive insurance operation will henceforth be known as AIU Holdings, Ltd., a process that began this past weekend with the removal of the large, front-end AIG sign from the its Manhattan office.

According to Reuters:

The signage is outside the company's Water Street offices, around the corner from AIG's Pine Street headquarters, which has long only been marked by an understated brass plaque inscribed "American International Building."

AIG has said it may sell the headquarter building, as part of its drive to raise funds to repay its debt to the U.S. government.


We think AIG should change their name to GAG. They will only have to buy one vowel, which is about all they can afford.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The onomatopoeia for a phlegmy cough

Mik was in the hippie health section of the grocery store yesterday and came across this Head Scratcher, Umcka. I believe "umcka" is the sound one makes when trying to clear phlegm from their throat, making this irritating name an onomatopoeia, or what is also called imitative harmony (or in this case, an irritative
harmony). An onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it is describing, such as noises like "oink," "meow," and in this case, "umcka."

Umcka is "new to the US," from Germany, the same country that brought us "Obama Fingers" and Wienerschnitzel.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Scientists need to stop naming things

The latest entry into the Eat My Words Name Shame Hall of fame is a Scitable, new elearning portal from the prestigious Nature Publishing Group, the world's leading publisher of science. Created by mad scientists, this name was tested on lab rats.

Thanks to Igal for alerting us to this unfortunate blunder.

Shut Up & Spoon Me - Now Available Online

It seemed as if Hell would freeze over in frozen yogurt before this happened, but after months of anticipation, Spoon Me loot is finally for sale online. Now you can buy your own "Shut Up and Spoon Me" t-shirt and stop trying to steal mine. As most of you know (because we talk about it every chance we get), Eat My Words named Spoon Me, which has become the hottest frozen yogurt franchise on the planet.

Spoon Me has turned their name into cold hard cash by slapping it on everything from bumper stickers to booty shorts. We love making our clients rich and are proud to be the only naming firm that monetizes names through merchandise. (How many t-shirts do you think Spoon Me would have sold if they stuck with their original name, Zenyo?)

Check out the Spoon Me store to see all of the stylish fashions.

Tender, Juicy Obama Fingers Hit the Shelves

Our friend and fellow namer Anthony Shore tipped us off to this unfortunately-named new product, as reported in the dishy German blog Spiegel Online International:

Tender, Juicy Obama Fingers Hit the Shelves

By Charles Hawley

A German frozen food company hopes to raise sales with a new product: Obama fingers. The tender, fried chicken bits come with a tasty curry sauce. The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.

Selling products has, of course, become a bit more difficult than usual these days. No wonder then that companies everywhere are turning to optimistic marketing messages in an effort to counteract the steady drum beat of negativity coming from front page headlines around the globe.

Many sales executives have drawn the same conclusion: What better poster child for hope than US President Barack Obama? There are Obama dolls, Obama T-shirts, Obama soap-on-a-rope. There is even Obama thong underwear on offer.

Not wanting to miss the boat, a German food company has now gotten into the act. Sprehe, a company that has all manner of frozen delicacies on offer, has come up with a new product it calls "Obama Fingers." Far from being real digits, though, the "fingers" in question are "tender, juicy pieces of chicken breast, coated and fried," as the product packaging claims.

Fried chicken, in other words. With a curry dip.

"We noticed that American products and the American way of eating are trendy at the moment," Judith Witting, sales manager for Sprehe, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Americans are more relaxed. Not like us stiff Germans, like (Chancellor Angela) Merkel."

The idea, she claimed, was to get in on the Obama-mania which is continuing to grip Germany. The word "fingers" in the name refers to the fact that it is a finger food. "It's like hotdogs," Witting said. "No one would ever think they are actually from dogs."

For Americans in Germany, though, there is a risk that the product might be seen as racially insensitive. Fried chicken has long been associated with African-Americans in the US -- naming strips of fried chicken after the first black president could cause some furrowing of brows.

Witting told SPIEGEL ONLINE the connection never even occurred to her. "It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new US president," she said.


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wha'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Sears towerThe Sears Tower, America's tallest building, is being renamed The Willis Tower as a result of a major new tenant, Willis Group Holdings. That's it. We just could not resist the post title.Willis