This is your ass on drugs.

As some of you probably know, I graduated college with a BS in Marketing and Advertising. I worked for an ad agency for a while, and learned in short order that the "BS" designation was pretty much right on the mark. We were a small agency, and as such had a lot of small accounts. Small accounts generally mean less-than-stellar products, and so we spent most of our day trying to think up good ideas to sell crappy things.

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:

Does that scream fish-porn fetish to anyone but me? No?

Dammit. Maybe it is just me.


  1. reiven3:44 PM

    I like that your blog is both informative and funny!

    eew fish porn! and my word verification is layes... it's like the universe knows! and yes I have been fined for exclamation point abuse!!!

  2. Carlo3:51 PM

    Now I don't know which is worse: fish porn or granny porn with tongs. Can you just imagine FISH porn with tongs...?

  3. Carlo3:51 PM

    Now I don't know which is worse: fish porn or granny porn with tongs. Can you just imagine FISH porn with tongs...?

  4. Your 12 already? Well don't worry, 12 is the new 40, just look at what they're wearing (12 year olds).(Not that I'm looking, well I mean I am looking but not too closely, O.K. I am looking but never mind that now.) In fact I made an observation the other day when driving to work, it was at one time that girls waiting for the bus would draw one's eye (meaning mine)as one drove past. Huh I would say, how bout that, head snapping back to the road before me and the car ahead of me, and now when I drive by it is the mothers of the girls that draw one's eye. I think it just hienus or heinous we grow old. Where's the Aciphex?

  5. Anonymous5:28 PM

    My favorite unexpected URL was the one for "experts exchange", which came out as expertsexchange.com

  6. Reiven, Informative? Wow, thanks. I never expected that one. Stupid and goofy, maybe, but not informative.

    Carlo -- holy crap, I cannot believe you remembered that.

    Vidna, stay away from the prostitots, man.

    Anon, that's great. But really, who would want the non-expert one? You want to get that shit right the first time. You don't want to have to go back under the knife because something grew back or fell off.

    My word verification is neyber. Won't you be mine?

  7. The URL that makes me giggle the most every time I see it is penisland.com

    Those who don't have the sense of humor of a teenaged boy (unlike me), are thinking, "Pen Island? Why's that funny?"


  8. baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha*inhaling*harharharharharharharharharharhar*inhaling wiping tears* the kitty, your ass...all of it.

    cracked me up.

    I needed that.

  9. Carlo8:37 PM

    JV, are you kidding?! "Granny porn without tongs" is probably the funniest thing I have EVER read on the internet. You need to post some more searches-- they are the best!

    My word verification is "centspri". Is that a deodorant or a candy?

  10. Maybe it's a man thing. I heard "ass effects" the first time I saw the commercial. The wife, not so much. Or maybe it's an perpetually twelve-year old man thing.

  11. lol! thanks for the laugh, and yes, i had to say it out loud a few times to get it!

  12. Jamester10:25 PM

    In a somewhat related incident, i heard there's a new preventative medicine for AIDS, trinoasatol

  13. nope, not just you!

  14. My wife took the Aciphex medicine for years. I thought I was the only one who noticed that name pronunciation. Glad to see I wasn't alone!

    (As a side note, my verification word is "hotasus" - yeah, I don't think I need say anything else.)

  15. Makes one wonder about how that slipped past the censors.

    I wondered about the same thing on my blog just recently, about the effed up names for medications. Aciphex was mentioned in the comments section, too. Guess it's true that great minds think alike.

  16. p jane10:57 AM

    THANK YOU! I've been yelling at the TV for a year or so over Ass Effects. I mean, I get it--Aci(d)PH is, in theory, a reasonable name for heartburn remedy but my GOD, did no one say it out loud?! Hell, I thought it was an SNL faux-ad the first couple times...

    My husband thinks it's genius marketing because hey, their stupid name has stuck in my head, which is more than I can say for a lot of ads, even ones I like.

  17. I only take "fuckitol", keeps me chronically disinterested but nice and mellow.

    Thanks for the laughs, funny guy.

  18. You really do make me laugh out loud!

  19. Johnny,

    Go here: http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Big-Bends-Nut-Sauce-Tuning-Lubricant?sku=429800

    I realize this is for nuts on a guitar/drum set/whatever. But really, Sauce? Some people astound me at their Super Product Naming Abilities.

  20. Jefe, I've had guitar player friends who have used that stuff. Reminds me of sex wax.

  21. There's a chain of convenience stores in the middle of the country called Kum-n-Go.

    I mean, really? NOT ONE PERSON said anything in THAT whole "naming" process?

    Kum on.

    (TW is "glopoli." Hee.)

  22. My college came up with a new logo a couple of years ago...

    Check it out:

    Top left corner of the page. Yeah.

    If you don't get it, give it a minute.

    If you still don't get it, imagine it printed on a t-shirt.

  23. I came across Aciphex the same way you did--head buried in the paper, booming announcer's voice snapping me out of my study of Family Circus (tm). So glad someone else noticed it. What were they thinking?

  24. Okay, I know this stupid, but do you know if the cat made it?

    And, yes, my mind works this way too.

    MY word verification is tomanc, which makes me think of manx cat, (yes I am a cat lady).

  25. Everyday Reader5:52 PM

    I know people always say they laughed out loud. Well, I really did twice. At Ass Effects and Noasitol.

    Your blog is really funny and I look forward to your posts.

  26. Anonymous6:25 PM

    I've been telling everyone I know about ass effects for months now! Thank you for validating my concern with the name! Now I'm concerned that I'm not a normal 46 year old woman. :(

  27. Anonymous10:06 PM

    I'm still scratching my head over "Tedious Metrocom." Er. I mean TDS Metrocom.
    My verification = Dictskra. Dick with a little extra. Oh. My.

  28. Iris, sad to say I don't know if the kitty made it. They moved down south shortly thereafter.

  29. Honey, you and I would go NUTS tearing apart these mindless ads. And how is it that we're not freakin' kazillionaires for the money we could have saved these idiot-corporations had anybody bothered to check w/us to see if it was any good? Bad ads are the bane of my existence...and also give me unlimited fodder for my blog.

  30. p jane7:32 AM

    On a similar note, have you seen the Lectric Shave ad? It's got to be by the same folks as the singing pepperoni-boils...a dozen whiskers with the same dude's face, yelling "Lectric Shaaave!" just before the razor takes them out.

  31. no, it's not just you! the first time i heard that i thought it was a baaaaaaaad idea! i guess you have to take care of the hearburn before you get "ass effects". hahahah!

  32. Anonymous2:09 PM

    The Del Amo mall in Torrance, CA has a lovely new joint in the food court. GW's, where everything is a dollar. They are currently advertising their new item, which is clearly a cucumber sandwich. The name?
    Cumb Sandwich.

  33. Anonymous2:14 PM

    the you tube commercial for the cumb sandwich.



  34. Anonymous9:18 PM

    I love that you were watching Sanford & Son...awesome!

  35. Anonymous1:43 AM

    Then there are the product names that succumbed to unforeseen circumstances. One that stands out was the AYDS low calorie candy bar (the idea was one could have chocolate but not gain weight). It had to be axed in the 80's of course.


  36. A friend just sent me this one yesterday under the title "Good cause, bad URL".

  37. christy10:05 PM

    My husband used to work for a company that did the marketing for Aciphex. It took me a long time to stop laughing every time he talked about it. I think some where we have a tape dispenser with the name and logo on it. It was hard to be a sympathetic listener when he was going on about the doctors office giving him a hard time about Aciphex.