Thursday, October 2, 2008

The worst job in advertising

There are a lot of crappy jobs in copywriting. But the worst has got to be naming things.

Naming products, events or programs is an art form. There are companies out there that specialize in this type of wordsmithing. But lots of clients and agencies like to save a little money and have their copywriters produce lists of names. (They usually don’t stop at copywriters. They’ll ask every one at the agency to “pitch in” and come up with some names.)

So how do you begin? Well, you take out your legal pad and start writing. Write down anything that comes to mind. The trick is to produce A LOT of names.

Here are some categories to get you started:

Foreign Terms:
Uno, domo, chow

Descriptive Terms:
Fast, new, econo, red

Combo Words
Econofast, Playtunes,

Once you’ve exhausted those categories, you can move on to these:

Friend’s Names
Marc, Doris, Frank

Words from Star Trek
Tachron, trilithium, Spock

Made-up Words
Fripty, gromine, druckty

After you’ve come up with about 100 words, take a look at your list. You’ll probably notice that almost all of your words suck. And the ones that you like are totally obvious.

But who cares. They're gonna end up using a name the client’s teenage son came up with, so turn in your list and go home.

Even if it’s 11am.


Joshua said...

This post is prescient. I especially hate the parts where everybody else gets involved. Then you might as well give up and just start writing nonsense.

1Letterman said...

I like when people try to apply avalanches of logic to naming things. Like if it makes sense to them, that'll lead them to the perfect name.

Joker said...

Fucking freaky, catching up with my blog goodness and I read this post while having a Word document with names for a sandwich. go figure.

Tender druckty sandwich... sounds like a winner.