Naming Company Breaks Ground with First-Every Broadcast Advertising Campaign

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Naming Company First-of-its-Kind to Use Broadcast Advertising Campaign

Namebase, Brand Naming Specialists, a consultancy that creates names for companies and their products, has broken new ground by becoming the first "naming" company to use radio advertising.

When the radio spot first aired on ESPN Radio - the sports driven station on AM radio, listeners couldn't believe they were hearing the words: "poo poo" and "ka ka" on the air. It was from a cheeky new commercial ( by Namebase a brand naming consultancy in New York. With a funny twist they point out the dangers of trying to name your company or its products internally. In the spot, The CEO of the company wants to call the new product "eTron" "everybody loves the little "e" and that it says electronic". Only trouble is, etron means excrement or feces in French. Or as they put it in the ad: "It means Poo Poo" and the boss says sheepishly you mean "Ka Ka"?

Before the spot began airing on ESPN, Namebase's media buyer: American Media Concepts in Brooklyn approached Bloomberg's program director Frank Vulpi who was somewhat put off by the potty talk. He thought "poo" and "kaka" weren't quite suitable for the Mayor's Own station. But Jonathan Hatch from Slope Sounds noted: "They're making a valid point in this commercial- you have to be very careful about whether or not the name you choose is appropriate in other languages and cultures. It makes a great case for using a professional naming consultant."

We had no idea that a Taiwan company had already made the eTron faux pas. takes you to an electronics company who obviously does not do business with Franceā€¦ Or French speaking people. Joshua Hsu of eTron Inc did not return our calls.

Past naming blunders are legion. Most people are familiar with the Nova naming fiasco. Chevy noticed that their Nova was not selling well in Spanish speaking countries since No Va translates to: "Will Not Go". Then Ford goofed in Brazil. It seems "pinto" is Portuguese slang for "small penis". Rolls Royce changed the name of its "Silver Mist" in Germany because Mist means 'dung' or 's*!t' in German- the name was changed to "Silver Cloud". Enron was first registered as Enteron until someone noticed that Enteron means intestine or colon.

"The brand naming business really caught fire during the venture capital boom of 1999-2000." Says Jim Singer, President and Creative Director of Namebase. The New York based naming agency. "Every day new companies would call - many with lackluster business plans, underwhelming products and some with no visible revenue stream at all- but they had tons of money from the VC's . How could we say no?" Since then most large companies have begun using naming consultants. Singer notes: "A good name can become its own advertisement saving a company millions of marketing dollars. A great name creates its own momentum, exciting both employees and customers."

Singer notes: "nearly 90% percent of our clients come to us after attempting some degree of internal naming effort. Then they realize how difficult it is to find a good name that is available to trademark" And one that doesn't mean "Ka Ka" in French.

Contact: Brad Albert at 212.545.1400 or brad @ for further information


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