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"Occupy" and "Man_____" Top Buzzwords to Banish in 2012

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2012 01:31 PM

Tired of "planking" and "occupying"? TIME's top buzzwords of 2011 also include "leading from behind," "haboob," "99 percent," "manscape," "mantyhose," "mankini," "cone of uncertainty," and "Arab Spring."

The latest vocabulary blacklist by Michigan's Lake Superior State University, meanwhile, singles out coined words and phrases to banish from our collective vocabulary including "occupy," "ginormous," "shared sacrifice," "win the future," "blowback," "man cave" and "the new normal."

Lexicographer Grant Barrett commented in Sunday's New York Times that at least one of the words that defined 2011 ("occupy") won't disappear any time soon:

"In 10 years, some of last year’s words will be relics. We’ll think of them the way we now think of the decades-old phrase “gag me with a spoon.” Others have already proved their staying power. Who could argue that the new sense of “occupy” isn’t already a keeper, even starting as it did late in the third quarter of 2011? A movement so well labeled, if not cohesive in thought and action, that its name instantly lent itself to variation and satire."

what's in a name

California Town Considers Renaming as Irish Town Can’t Get Its Effin Name on Facebook

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2011 10:02 AM

Things are rough all over. Some towns have got it so bad, they want to start from scratch while others are just fighting to be recognized for what they are.

Stockton, California, has more than 290,000 residents, making it the 13th largest city in the state. Recent times there have been, like many other places, pretty rough. The Redding Record Searchlight reports that a group of residents are so fed up with the whole thing that they are on a mission to simply rename the town.

While it isn’t clear how serious they are about it, the group has at least created a "Rename Stockton” Facebook page that writes the following as its description: “The city has a bad image. Instead of tackling the problems, lets just come up with a new name! Crime is up! Foreclosures continue! The city is broke! Stockton, California can't get a break these days. But fixing the problems...that would take lots of hard work. Instead let's just "rebrand" and come up with a new name for Stockton!

Some names that have been offered by one visitor include Green Valley, North Modesto, Prosperity, and Hugtown, “in recognition of the troubles.”Continue reading...

brand targets

Dow Won't Wrap Brand on London 2012 Olympics Stadium Following Flap

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2011 02:02 PM

When it was announced in August that Dow Chemical planned to spend $10.8 million to have its name emblazoned in a fabric wrap around London’s Olympic stadium for the Games next summer, there was an angry outcry, particularly by athletes and Olympic organizers in India.

After all, it was there that the Dow subsidiary Union Carbide leaked enough gas and chemicals to kill approximately 15,000 and leave many others sick back in 1984. There was even talk that the Indian Olympic team would boycott the Games, but that was rejected on Saturday.

Dow didn’t own Union then, but Indian residents are feeling the fallout and Dow’s name doesn’t exactly inspire the Olympic spirit in many Indian residents. Now TheHindu.com reports that Dow has “agreed to remove all its branding from the London Olympic stadium.”Continue reading...

ad watch

Both Sides Now: Watch Pepsi's Latest Spanish TV Commercial

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 19, 2011 01:33 PM

What's in a name? For Pepsi's latest spot in Spain, it all depends how you look at it.

web watch

ICANN on The Hill: House Committee Echoes Anti-gTLD Chorus

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 15, 2011 10:58 AM

Yesterday's hearing by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee added to the push-back in Washington to ICANN’s imminent plan to introduce generic top-level domains (gTLDs) ushering in the likes of .nike, .ford and other potential branded URLs.

In rare bipartisan unity these days, Republicans and Democrats reiterated concerns articulated last week in a similar hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.

"I don't think it's ready for prime time," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the subcommittee. “The more we do our role, the more ICANN may take a second look at it. Based on what I heard today, they should delay.” (Walden also cited an Apple example that hinted at his own confusion on the issue.)

Advertisers have been lobbying hard against the ICANN initiative and Dan Jaffe, EVP of the Association of National Advertisers, (ANA), testifying on behalf of its Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), said the plan is a “reckless experiment” that threatens business and consumers.

"The ICANN program would pile billions of dollars of cost onto a challenging global economy," Jaffe testified. "These are resources that could be much better spent on job creation. This is not merely a bad policy choice but a serious threat to the legitimate interests of both companies and consumers on the Internet. We believe that both the decision and the process ICANN followed are fundamentally flawed and that the roll-out should be delayed.”Continue reading...

web watch

Domain Game: Universities Snap Up Academia.XXX

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 14, 2011 01:01 PM

Brands are waiting to see what happens with ICANN's gTLD program launch, with a second hearing (following last week's grilling) taking place today in Washington.

In the meantime, another domain game — the introduction of .xxx website addresses — is convincing trademark-holders and brand marketers to protect their name and reputation from purveyors of adult content who they fear could sabotage their good names. Nowhere is this more true than for academic brand managers.

The ICM Registry gave trademark holders a one-time chance to pay $200 per address as a blocking charge in a ‘sunrise sale,’ and among the first academic brands to step up was the University of Kansas, buying kansas.xxx, rockchalkjayhawk.xxx, jayhawks.xxx, and more recently, kustore.xxx, kugirls.xxx and jayhawk.xxx for about $3,000 according to the AP.

"It's truly a preventative blocking measure, blocking others from doing it," commented Paul Vander Tuig, the university's trademark licensing director, to USA Today.

As we noted earlier this month, the scandal-rocked Penn State snapped up some .xxx domains to avoid further embarrassment. Carnegie Mellon, Indiana, Purdue, Pittsburgh and The University of Missouri have followed suit, with the latter securing missouri.xxx, missouritigers.xxx and mizzou.xxx.Continue reading...

name game

Minnesota's Crapola Proud to Be Number Two Brand

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 12, 2011 02:02 PM

From the reaches of northern Minnesota comes a crappy brand story.

Crapola is the honest-to-God name of what's billed as "the best granola in the universe." It is handmade in the small town of Ely. And not only is the brand really called "Crapola," but it's also not shy about passing the pun throughout all of its marketing. You might say that it's a gas.

"It all began with a joke," says Brian Strom, who with his wife Andrea, founded and produces Crapola. "We were just talking one day, and I said 'Wouldn't it be funny if we made cranberry apple granola and called it Crapola?'"

Strom tells brandchannel that the idea snowballed and that they were "just kidding around and that "we weren't trying to start a business or develop a brand name for granola or any other product."Continue reading...

trademark wars

It's a Shame About Ray's: New York Pizza Spat Leads to Occupy Ray's

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2011 10:01 AM

There are so many different Ray’s Pizzas in New York, it can get a little confusing. You got your Ray’s, your Original Ray’s, your Famous Ray’s, your Famous Original Ray’s, and seemingly on and on. They are so ubiquitous that there is actually a pizza place in Brooklyn that is called Not Ray’s Pizza.

It’s been so ridiculous for so many years that the problem actually got a mention on a Seinfeld episode in which a lost Kramer calls Jerry:

Kramer: I’m looking at Ray’s Pizza. You know where that is?

Jerry: Is it Famous Ray’s?

Kramer: No, it’s Original Ray’s.

When you have confusion like that between businesses, lawsuits are bound to follow. And indeed they have.Continue reading...

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