Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sexual Congress

"Risque Names Reap Rewards for Some Companies" was the headline in last week's Business Day section of The Times (NYT, 4/23/19). The article recounts the experience of a pair of entrepreneurs by the name of Corin and Brian Mullins. They had been producing a product with the leaden name of Hapi Food cereal. “But Mr. Mullins, whose career had been spent in marketing communications, allowed his thoughts to wander mischievously,” the Times piece explained. “Heavy on chia and hemp seeds, the cereal he and his wife had first conceived in 2009 was extremely high in fiber. Why not just call it Holy Crap?” The Times went on to report that with the new name Holy Crap was doing “$5.5 million in four years.” The Times piece quoted Richard Branson about the naming of Virgin, “It smacked of new and fresh and at the time the word was still slightly risqué, so, thinking it would be an attention grabber, we went with it.” Kickass Cupcakes, Eggslut, Sassy Bitch and Fat Bastard, Master Bait &Tackle are other outfits mentioned in the Times story. The piece even cites a tampon company called HelloFlo. But what about a public relations company called Get the Clap, an oil rigging concern named Bored to Death or a real estate company called Spaced Out? Of course, as clever as they might sound these names still are no match for Mammoth Erection, the scaffold concern that’s mentioned in the article. If you’re going to try to get attention by being outrageous and risqué or both, you have to go over the top. Remember Roach Brothel the famed SNL parody of Roach Motel? How about Crack House for a home repair service, The Breaking Wind for a bistro which serves food from some tropical island and Stuck Up for a company that is trying to compete with Roto-Rooter in a competitive market. How about a gym called Fit to Be Tied, an upholsterer called The Electric Chair and a company which specializes after school activities for kids, called Throw It Up? Wouldn’t Congress be the perfect name for a hot new dating service?


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