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What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????

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Tim Wilson
What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:50:37 am

I was just thinking about the idea of naming something that's very, very different from the rest of the crowd. Even with the word "Computer" in the name, "Apple" had nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the field.

Yahoo - an acknowledgment of their own inexperience

Google - doesn't even mean anything at all

Adobe - a mixture of water and dirt

Brother - sweet name, nothing to do with fax, copiers, etc.


The success of those companies MADE those names synonymous with their fields.

I had some fun kicking those names around - any others come to mind?





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Hunter Hempen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:57:00 am

Don't know if Steve Jobs is considered an "idiot"...seems pretty successful to me. Just sayin'.


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Tim Wilson
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:11:24 am

[Hunter Hempen] "seems pretty successful to me. Just sayin'."

Exactly my point.

You and I both know that everybody who ever gave Steve advice BEGGED him not to name the company Apple. Anybody "serious" about computers would choose a company with a "serious" name.

In fact, Apple is definitely NOT a serious name. They wanted to do something different, and they did.

So did Adobe.

So did Yahoo.

So did Google.

So did Brother.

THAT's my point. Somebody told those guys that they were idiots to choose names like that...and they did anyway...and they succeeded, "despite" their "ridiculous" names.

So back to the question - who else's name belongs on the list?


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:20:17 am

I'm not sure I really thought cows were terribly creative until...

;-)



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Hunter Hempen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:39:22 am

Well there's Facebook and YouTube - but those are kinda straightforward. Flickr, Hulu, and Twitter are pretty good nominations.


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Tim Wilson
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 5:59:35 am

Amazon - what does that have to do with books...or lawnmowers? (Yes, I bought a lawnmower on Amazon)

I guess these are the kinds of things I'm thinking of - real words in inappropriate contexts (Apple, Adobe, Brother, Amazon), for companies that became such big successes that they became synonymous with their fields....rather than entirely made up names...although Google as a made-up name is kinda hard to leave off the list.

Actually, Hulu is a good made-up name too. I waited waaaay too long to visit that place because the name didn't make sense....but now I'm there a couple of times a week....

COW? Why that makes PERFECT sense.

:)

Keep 'em coming....







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Ben Avechuco
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:04:29 am

I do remember seeing early ads showing Adam in the Garden of Eden covering himself up with the forbidden fruit, with a built in keyboard...



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:18:04 pm

[Timothy J. Allen] "I'm not sure I really thought cows were terribly creative until... ;-)"


I just ran Tim's comment by Bessie® and she was rather perplexed that, as she said, "Humans fail to see just how creative we are. We eat little more than grass and water -- which isn't much on the food value scale, I assure you -- and from it we make milk, cheese, butter and other things quite high in protein. You try that with your single stomach and your faulty pair of man udders, Mister Allen!"

I was without retort. I mean: how do you respond to words like that? Especially when you are pre-caffeinated, early in the morning. So I said the only words that came to my mind in the situation: "Yeah, and all it takes is three stomachs and some massive molars, is all." (Hardly my best retort, but again, in my defense Mister Allen, I was sans-caffeine.)

Bessie tipped her head a bit and got that quite bovine all quizzical look that cows get when they're talking with you and a question begins to frustrate them, (you know the look), and she muttered something about "Yeah, four legs driving three stomachs and four udders. You try that one, too, Allen."

So, in a gesture to make her feel better, I gave her a Creative COW® t-shirt, pulling it on over her head. It was then I realized my mistake, as the sleeves hung there embarrassingly empty in the breeze.

How could I have been so blind? It must have indeed been due to the lack of coffee at such an early hour.

As Bessie stood there with those dangling sleeves rippling in the breeze, she again twisted her head to the side in a look of abject befuddlement, giving that sideways glance from her big cow eyes that you always see when cows have something very important to say -- and just when I thought that she was about to speak, she walked off, sleeves emptily rippling in the wind.

As she walked off, I heard her finally mutter that "Timothy J. owes cows an apology. That he does...that he does. NASA? Heck, they send monkeys into space. Never cows. Shows how much they know. And they still can't make a decent Brie or Camembert."

I promise it happened just like that. Really.

Best regards from an as yet still pre-caffeinated,

Ron Lindeboom


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 5:15:30 pm

Bessie, I offer you my humblest apologies. I would say that you single-handedly changed my perception of what cows can achieve. Forgive me, but until about ten years ago, most of my experience with bovine were on my wife's family's farm in Kentucky - and we didn't get along too well ever since I was assigned the job of "banding" the calves by my future father in law.

That said, my perceptions have changed since seeing what creative cows can accomplish, and I've been trying to drum up support for the "Cows in Space Moovement" for the past several years.

We already have Longhorns training at Johnson Space Center in the hopes that we soon have a heavy lift vehicle ready. Here's a picture of some old-school Rocky IV style strength training near rocket park:










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Timothy J. Allen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 5:26:36 pm

Oh, and by the way, the human astronauts have been showing support for cows in space for years! Here's a photo from the aft flight deck during the STS-30 space shuttle mission all the way back in 1989:








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Alex Elkins
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:46:38 am

This is something I've thought that has struck me at times. I work for a production company called Blue Tuna. Absolutely nothing to do with TV but it seems to be working. The boss doesn't really know where the name comes from either, he just mutters about vague relations to the environment whenever asked.

[Tim Wilson] "Google - doesn't even mean anything at all"

Apparently a google is a number - 1, followed by 100 zeros. I think that kind of fits what Google does as a company - they give us access to a huge amount of information.
I wonder if the world will ever see a 'googillionaire'!

Alex Elkins



Salad Daze Films - Freshly Tossed

Read my blog!


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Fernando Mol
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 1:56:00 pm

Actually, the original intention of Google was to be called Googol. This is the name of the number, but somebody made a misspelling when registering it and the guys like it.

In advertising a good name is one that is easy to remember and people can associate with positive things related to the company or product. Of course, if you have a punk band called "smelly feet" that's positive... for a punk band.

It's all about saving money. Of course, you can have a bad name and be successful, but you'll need to repeat you name much more times for people to remember it.

Weird names of products that I like:

Lamb of God - metal band
Aladino (Aladdin) - peanut butter
TKT - beer

*Always share a link to your site and rate the posts. This is a free service for you and for us.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:28:12 pm

Zagnut.




That is all.


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Todd Terry
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:38:40 pm

Well, not that we are all that much of a wild success story, but our little company is Fantastic Plastic.

We are often asked about the name and what it means. Actually, it came from a magazine article about Los Angeles that I read when I was just a pup, probably pushing 25 years ago. The title was "Hollywood: A Plastic, Fantastic Place." I just liked the two words a lot and thought they sounded good together... with "plastic" really referring to the fact that a lot of what we do is really quite fake and phoney stuff that we make look real.

It was only after we had been in business for quite a while that I discovered there is a somewhat obscure Jefferson Airplane song called "Plastic Fantastic Lover" which actually is about... television. Weird.

We like the name... although we do occasionally get a phone call asking "What kind of adult novelties do you sell?"

We thought the name was unique... but as we have learned, not much in this world is. You'll see banks and stores every now and then run credit card promotions that they call "Fantastic Plastic." There was a used record store in Seattle called Fantastic Plastic (we actually bought their domain name for an arm and a leg), as well as a British record label with the same moniker (we get their email a lot from people who accidentally use the .com suffix instead of theirs which is .co.uk).

There's also a fairly well known house-music producer with my name, Todd Terry... and in a weird twist of fate, one of the music groups he has worked a lot with is called The Fantastic Plastic Machine.

I guess there are no new ideas. Or at least very few of them.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Tim Wilson
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:39:00 pm

Thanks for the tip on Googol, guys. Check this from Wikipedia:

"Other names for googol include ten duotrigintillion on the short scale, ten thousand sexdecillion on the long scale, or ten sexdecilliard on the Peletier long scale."

Zagnut is funky, but the product does have nuts - in fact, it has no chocolate at all, just peanut and coconut.....


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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:07:48 pm

Famous (to me) ad campaign by the Legendary Stan Freeberg for Zagnut. For the life of me, I can't find a clip online anywhere, but there is the basic spot:

The commercial is about the Candy Company CEO touring the plant and taking a meeting with his marketing staff about naming the new candy bar. They enumerate all the copy points and discuss how they fed all that into one of those newfangled electronic brain computer machines to generate the most optimal name for the candy bar. The little tape spools out of the machine and they read it to the CEO:

"Zagnut!"

The CEO goes ballistic; that's the worst-sounding name he's ever heard, it will never work. They point out the office window to the warehouse, where already truckloads of bars have been made and wrapped and boxed for shipment, all with the unlovely name. Fait Accompli'.

"Oh, well," the CEO shrugs, says "we'll give it a shot".

Ask any stand-up comedian; Zagnut IS the funniest candy bar name in the world.


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Kim Segel
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:47:16 am

Thanks for reminding me about Stan Freeberg. He is an undisputed master of the funny, absurd and effective, ad.

He writes, directs and often voices his ads.
His ability to use absurdity, like in this "futuristic" prune commercial: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-311642644540325910#
...and what sells frozen foods better than this strange mix of horror movie/award show?:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5629977749775801286#

He even made what was the most expensive commercial of it's time:






Like an absurd company name, it's the sheer absurdity of his ads that makes them so memorable.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 8, 2010 at 4:34:10 pm

I have to admit that I had forgotten all about Stan Freberg, Kim. Thanks for the links and the reminder.

Stan's sense of over-the-top humor was part of what made the Sputnik Era so interesting and stylistic, in contrast to the pervading sense of "duck and cover" that was also so much a part of the time.

As I recall, he used to appear on KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles all the time. He was hilarious.

Thanks again, Kim. These commercials were a nice way to light up a morning. Too funny.

Ron Lindeboom


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Mark Suszko
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:41:33 pm

Google from Googol is a well known story. But what else is important about that misspelling is that it makes the name unique enough to trademark. The heartless and soulless mutants that run the Sci-Fi network re-branded it to "Syfy" for that reason, according to them.

The Quarrymen> Long John and the Silver Beetles> The Beatles. Been done before.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:59:39 pm

[Mark Suszko] "The Quarrymen> Long John and the Silver Beetles> The Beatles. Been done before."

Damn you Suszko!!! I was just about to add that. Would you quit reading my thoughts please, it's getting mighty annoying.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mick Haensler
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:28:33 pm

How about Xerox or Kleenex, both ubiquitous names when juxtaposed against the grander scale of a "who struck John" mentality. On the other hand.....

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Mike Cohen
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:46:47 pm

YAHOO is rumored to be an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Oracle Offering.

Cine-Med is obviously a marriage between Cinema and Medicine.
Yet there is also a Mediterranean Film Festival by the same name.

What kind of idiot named Apple? A really smart idiot.

Drug names are mostly meaningless amalgamations of too many consonants and not enough vowels. X, Y and Z are popular these days. P, D and Q may be up and coming letters!

Sometimes they sound like the chemical name but not always. Interestingly is the fact that a drug developed for one purpose if sometimes known for another purpose, like those drugs that men take before they sit in bathtubs at sunset.

Recently I came up with a list of potential names for a co-worker's son's rock band. None of the names have anything to do with music but they sound cool.

I guess that's what it comes down to - does it sound cool or at least is it something you would remember.

Most appropriate for this thread is the fact that the COW in Creative COW is in fact an acronym, yet the four-legged ruminant of the same name gets all the press!

Although the world flags sitting in the sunny meadow at the top of the page remind us this is a community of the world.

Mooo.

Mike Cohen


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 5:52:02 pm

[Mike Cohen] "Drug names are mostly meaningless amalgamations of too many consonants and not enough vowels. X, Y and Z are popular these days. P, D and Q may be up and coming letters! "

My favorite of the current crop of those advertised on TV is ACIPHEX, a drug for heartburn and acid reflux.

Every time I see that commercial I can't help but think they didn't run that name by a focus group before running with it. But, you never know, maybe it was so hated by their focus group that it cemented the deal???

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Micah McDowell
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:35:58 pm

Seems that I remember Apple having some legal troubles with the Beatles' Apple Records, so that wasn't the most original name ever, really. Maybe unusual for computers, but not totally original.





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Tim Wilson
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:30:02 pm

Actually, what I said about Apple Computer (as it was founded) probably applies equally to Apple Records - were there any labels before Apple whose names had NOTHING to do with music, or parent companies or people related to music, or already well-known media properties? It was totally out of thin air.

Heck, the name isn't even related to insects. Audacious in its lack of context. Indeed, a tribute to MISTER out of context, Rene Magritte.




When it comes to the law, my default position is to plead the Fifth.

Tim Wilson
Creative Cow Magazine!

My Blog: "Is this thing on? Oh it's on!"

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Randy Wheeler
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 9, 2010 at 4:49:31 am

Geico and the huge TV ad campaign to make sure you knew how to pronounce it by using a talking Gecko.

Randy


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Steve Wargo
Re: What kind of idiot names a company APPLE????
on Apr 11, 2010 at 8:44:07 am

I thought Google was a number like 1 or 8 with a zillion zeros after it.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
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