From the annals of the beast

Originally posted March 3, 2003

Gilt by association: Niagara and Avlimil

girl gate

Viagra’s successful sexual conquest of the male organ has spawned a flood of products designed to spread the joy in the opposite direction. The best-named Female Sexual Dysfunction remedy by far is Niagara – it’s powerful, wet, and funny, just like good sex. And it obviously parries well the thrust of the name “Viagra.”

But now there’s is a new girl in town, and she is taking a far more clinical approach to seduction. Her come-hither moniker? Avlimil. Sure it’s cold, inhuman and unmemorable, but then we’ve all “dated” someone like that.

 

Actually it’s part of a unique strategy erected to whet your appetite for Avlimil and elevate it above the others vying for your attention.

You see, Niagara and Avlimil are both herbal remedies. But while Niagara is proud and confident of who it is, Avlimil is trying to sound like “serious” prescription medicine. And it’s not just the name. In the TV commercial the fidgety female spokesperson – in a clear reference to Viagra – says, “Men have their little blue pill, and now we have ours.” The illusion is furthered in the packaging:

Avlimil

And what does the mysterious descriptor “(salvia rubus) tablets” mean? Salvia comes from the Latin salveo, meaning “I am well,” and an herb, Salvia, used for healing, while rubus is Latin for bramble or berry. It’s apothecary-speak for sage and raspberry leaf, Avlimil’s main ingredients. The whole campaign is well thought out and deftly executed to fully leverage the success and mind-share of Viagra.

BlandorSays Blandor the Imponderable: “‘Avlimil’ is derived from the Latin av, meaning ‘ear’ and limi, meaning ‘waxy’. An added bonus is mil, Latin for ‘a whole bunch’, which suggests that the pill will appeal to many women the world over.”

How to name a product

 

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SpiralFrog is partying like it’s 1999

SpiralFrog, the advertising supported (free) music downloading service that will launch in December, seems to be hellbent on repeating each and every mistake of the dotbomb era.

The first clue is the pointless name. Smushing together two random words to create a new compound word was a dotcom badge of stupiditiy, a la FatBrain, FogDog, BlueMartini, RazorFish, RedHat, etc. The next step was to capitalize the second word in the compound: SpiralFrog. This late nineties affectation is called a “CamelCase” type treatment (it’s a hump thing, started by programmers). Third, and most importantly, give away your product in hopes of creating lots of traffic and ad revenue.

Anybody pumped to work for stock options, the love of foosball and free- flowing m&m’s? Financially speaking, “SpiralFrog” should prove to be a prophetic name choice.

How to name a company

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