We were on a budget too, so we did things like put plastic wrap over our scanner and dump sand on it in order to get the background for a print ad. The whole situation was crazy. It was a husband and wife shop, and she had a cat with cancer. She loved it like it was her kid, though, so she put the cat through radiation and chemo. As a result, it would puke all the time. One of my duties as the new guy was to keep this half-bald animal from vomiting on the furniture and equipment. Whenever I heard the gakking sound that preceded an "incident," I'd have to run and find the cat, and make sure he was on the floor before he spewed. Nothing like grabbing a convulsing, vomiting cat. It was a great job.
She screamed at me and cried when I gave my 2-week notice. I, on the other hand, did not. She made those two weeks a living hell for me. I have no idea why I stuck it out. It wasn't like I was going to get a good reference or anything.
Anyway, one of the first things I learned in my college marketing class was to objectively evaluate product and/or brand names. You didn't want your product or brand to be inadvertently funny, or mean something you didn't want it to. We read all the case studies about how careful you had to be, especially in foreign countries so that your brand didn't end up biting the wax tadpole. (As an aside, the ad agency I worked for was called Wood & Zuber. They clearly hadn't learned anything in their college marketing classes, because a wooden zuber sounds like some kind of low-budget sex toy.)
Later on, the same thing held true for registered domain names and the unintentionally funny URLs that resulted -- things like childrenslaughter.com, and powergenitalia.com, to name two of my favorites.
That's why it always boggles my mind when a new product comes out and it seems like nobody ever said the name out loud until it was time to make the commercial. I was sitting there reading the new issue of The Week (great little mag, btw) when suddenly I heard something on the television that caught my ear.
Some guy on the screen was talking earnestly about his ass effects. I had immediate mental images of an ass that spent a week at PIXAR studios. Asses made out of flowing semi-solid water, like in The Abyss, or maybe shooting off into hyperspace with a ass-stretching blur and snap of light. Then I thought maybe they were talking about SOUND effects, and that one was even less appealing. I rewound the DVR to make sure I heard it right, and then made my wife come and watch. I don't think she found it as funny as I did -- probably because she's not 12 years old -- but sure enough, there's a drug for heartburn called Ass Effects. And you can apparently try it for free:
I think it's probably been around a while, but it was the first time I'd seen it. Horrible, horrible name. Whoever thought that one up should have been fired, or at least laughed out of the conference room while being pelted with those chocolate donuts that nobody ever eats until there are no others left. I passed on the free offer, because my wife says my ass has too many effects as it is. I was thinking maybe I could get it digitally plumped up a bit, since my grandmother always called me No-ass-at-all.
Come to think of it, that sounds like another pretty sweet potential drug name. Ask your doctor if Noasitol is right for you. God knows what ailment it would fix.
At first I wondered if maybe it was just me, because my mind rests firmly in the gutter most of the time, but then I decided that no, Aciphex was something most anyone would hear.
Here's another test. I saw this on a hunting and fishing mag at work the other day:
Dammit. Maybe it is just me.