Madison Avenue’s Unknown Secret

by C. M. Albrecht

The advertising gurus on Madison Avenue have a secret that is so well-hidden (in plain sight) that even they haven’t yet discovered its value…

That secret lies in the names they come up with for products.

I hesitate to point a finger at unknown and very possibly nice well-meaning advertising people such as Darrin Stevens. These individuals are harassed and befuddled and bewitched by their wives who are undoubtedly crosses between Lucy and Samantha, but…

I have a gut feeling that only drug induced dreams could account for most of the imaginative if inappropriate names advertising campaigns come up with for new and older products. I’m thinking primarily of the automobile and pharmaceutical industries.

Otezla is a pharmaceutical product, but can’t you just envision the arrival on the showroom floor of the new Ford Otezla, or the Honda Abreva, all new for 2017? How about the Dodge Viagra with its new 400 hp. engine?  Or a new health aid for those in hospital called Enclave? The new medical breakthrough for male enhancement, The Veloster? Or that new hybrid family SUV, the Cialis.

Azera could be a great treatment for that nasal congestion we sometimes get, and of course Genesis might be a great name for a cream that keeps you looking young forever.

Of course that new bodybuilding vitamin-enriched capsule, the Impreza, is guaranteed to be a winner.

Admittedly not all car manufacturers pay big bucks to acquire fancy names for their vehicles. Most European manufacturers show a more subtle if still imaginative approach to assigning a model name to their vehicles. Numbers and/or combinations of numbers and letters create a presumably more upscale and dignified way of giving each vehicle style its personal identity without naming it after a wild beast or what might well be a pharmaceutical product. Of course, since nearly all the vehicles on the road today are so nearly identical in appearance, it’s really more necessary now than ever before to give us some means to identify them.

Hey, if funny names help sell cars, then I suppose we can’t blame the automakers. But if that’s what sells cars, it’s no wonder our country is in such a distasteful position, hated by most of the world (even though nearly everything we buy and use comes from outside the United States), we find ourselves to be the object of ridicule, especially for our disorganized political disaster. From our once proud position as the country other countries strive to emulate, we’re now a third world country, and should be driving around in our new, improved 2016 Acyclovir with our heads hanging in shame.

The dismal hope of getting a president who can even try to address some of our many much-needed improvements from bridges and highways to the universal healthcare and education that should be the birthright of every citizen is barely imaginable. With a congress of old men who should never have been allowed to spend more than eight years, if that, fiddling around in Washington “serving” their country (read: serving their own self-interests), a president is not a dictator.

President Obama, in eight years, has been quite fortunate in being able to accomplish the good things he has managed to squeak past our lawmakers in the face of almost 100% opposition from the Senate and the House of Reprehensibles.

We need change in America, and the first step would be to limit the terms of representatives and senators to – at most – eight years, just as our president is limited to eight years. Anything longer than that tends to open the gates of Washington to the few who manage to get a permanent grip on our government. While technically these “presidents” etc., in many countries refer to themselves as presidents, in reality, they become kings, the real old-style “off with his head” type kings. Such kings also enjoy the privilege of designating their successors. Did someone mention nepotism? Hey, anything’s possible in a country that lets too many venal “servants” serve for far too long.

But getting back to Madison Avenue, another possibility has occurred to me. It’s quite possible that a brigade of interns spends its first few years in the advertising business with one sole responsibility (aside from bringing coffee and picking up dry-cleaning for the upper echelons of suits), and that is to spend all their free time thinking up catchy new names for products. Never mind what products. The intern’s job is simply to think up catchy new names. Has to be something different, unusual, and something that a high-school dropout can remember. All these unassociated names go into a special computer file called: Names.

When a new vehicle comes out from Nissan and they need a model name for it, all they have to do is call the agency. An agent looks into the Names file and bingo! The Vytorin! The All-New and Improved Nissan Vytorin, the only family vehicle you’ll ever need!

I’m thinking of buying that new camera from Canon. You know, the Xanax. Makes me think of that old-time household name, Kodak. At one time any old camera was called a Kodak. Who says catchy names don’t matter?

 

 

#advertising #automobile names #pharmaceutical names #Madison Ave. #politics #congress #senate #politicians #United States

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