Beauty Marks
Beauty Marks

Rocky Mountain ... Rehab?

Apologies for the picture quality - it was yet another of our blindingly sunny days:



It wasn't until I drove closer to the storefront that I could read what they offered at "The Joint." Fact is, it's a good name even for a chiropractic establishment.


You drank it all night long?

A dear friend in London spotted this gem on an Austrian ski trip and knew it was right up my alley:



I think I've found my next winetasting/blogging gig: celebrity/vanity wines. Time to research!


What would Sartre say?

I'm not sure what Guerlain is saying here:



Yes, lashes from hell. If hell is other people, what are lashes from hell? This has been your existential advertising question du jour.
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With thanks to Daughter #1 for, at my request, shlepping French magazines home from her choir's tour of Barcelona and Nice. It's the least she could do ...
 

Trademark didacticism and then some

Every once in a while I think it's important to give credit to a particular brand for listening to their trademark lawyers and branding consultants, and not picking a completely descriptive mark.

Here's a good example:



Living Proof - a solid, non-descriptive, suggestive mark. I'm assuming that it's the line name and that Perfect Hair Day, a much less suggestive mark, is the product name. But again, Living Proof is an excellent beauty product or haircare name.

However, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 styling treatment? A mouthful. (Not to mention the cutesy P H D initials ...) While I applaud the affixation of a generic term (that's "styling treatment"), it's still tough for the consumer to keep track of all of these "long-ass names" (as blogger Poppy Buxom points out) to ensure she's buying the correct product. Case in point: Garnier recently discontinued my favorite hair goop, and I set out to find hoarded backlogs on Amazon. Well, the full name of said product is "Garnier Fructis Style Survivor Tough it Out Glue with natural cactus extract - Extreme." It took me ten minutes to sift through the names of all the available Garnier Fructis products and photos for me to verify that I wasn't buying something that'd make my hair cling to my skull.

Bottom line? All of this fine print really makes it hard on us femmes d'un certain age who need reading glasses!

Department of redundancy department

I know in this mad, mad, world of watermelon Oreo cookies that companies often extend their product line with different flavors ... but isn't a pretzel always expected to taste like a pretzel? An apple with great apple taste? [Generic food item] that tastes like [same generic food item]?

Apparently not:



Something about this one just got to me - pretzels with a great pretzel taste. What will they think of next?
 

Double whammy

This just did me in:



No, it's not white sauce. The closest we get to crème fraîche here at home is sour cream - which is not one of the ingredients found in either an American white sauce or a French béchamel. So "It's White Sauce" is inaccurate and frankly, unappealing.



Finally

Somebody made it happen:



(If this post and the clip make no sense to you, even though I've quoted it before, watch the movie Mean Girls. Trust me.)

 

Chop-and-jam ... and woof

Nancy, as no one will be surprised to hear, always does an excellent job of pointing out just which portmanteau names and brands are elegant, and which are clumsy. And "chop-and-jam" is an excellent way to describe this clunky one, which combines "veterinary" and "ethical" to form nothing at all elegant:



I feel like I'm lisping the word "vesicle" - which is not a word I use all that often.

But why the vet bag, you ask?

Here's why - meet Pippin:



I'll endure a few lousy portmanteaus  (-teaux?) for his cuddles.

Great idea, less-than-great name

Compostable, eco-friendly, sustainable - all great attributes, particularly when it comes to party supplies. But what doesn't sound so great is a name that rhymes with

Musty
Crusty
Lusty
Busty
Fusty
Gusty
Dusty
Rusty

I present you Susty Party: 



Again, great idea, but the name is just trying too hard.

 

Two for the price of one?

I'll bet that the graphic artist who designed this logo thought it was a brilliant idea to combine the dot on the "i" and the apostrophe here. Unfortunately, my eye thinks otherwise.



Remember, your URL doesn't contain punctuation! Maybe make it Jenni with two Ns?

Birchbox January 2014

I think it's time for a new category. I've raised the same point before, but let's just call this what it is: the Linda Richman taxonomy:



Yes, you can recite it along with me: Coastal Scents eye shadow is neither coastal nor scented. Discuss.

Destination: Are you now, or have you ever been, in London?

I guess an English slang dictionary was nowhere to be found in the 15,700 square meters (that's 168,993 square feet) of Pinko headquarters in Fidenza, Italy:



Destination: London fashion

I spotted yet another violator of my Golden Rule of marketing: don't use the word "fat" to promote a product for women.



Maybe, just maybe, I'll give these guys a pass since they're an "active
lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer" for the whole family, not just for women. But I have two questions that The Fat Face Story on their website doesn't answer: (1) Why Fat Face, and (2) why isn't the face fat?
 



Destination: London Heathrow again

Marie-Claire UK, the gift that keeps giving. This one's not UK-specific, but I just had to comment on the cognitive dissonance of this ad campaign:




Where do I begin? With Boss Jour Pour Femme, in French for a perfume from a German company? With the clanking "Boss Jour" combo itself? I find the juxtaposition of these two words strangely disturbing and can't quite put a finger on why. The tagline, "This Will Be Your Day" sounds more like a movie slogan than an enticement to purchase perfume. Is it the interior half-sideboob? The murky yellowish morning light, which suggests Beijing pollution rather than Tuscany sunrise? Or is it merely Gwyneth Paltrow's preternatural smugness? I'm going to leave it at all of the above, but welcome insight.

Destination: London Heathrow

Magazines for the return trip, of course. This time I found an ad in Marie-Claire UK that provided me with not just blog fodder, but trademark geek blog fodder:



What does this ad tell me about British trademark law? See the (R) after Pink Lady? Pink Lady is a cultivar* name - a cultivated variety of a plant. Under US law, cultivar names do not function as trademarks, and are therefore unregistrable. When a PTO examiner is faced with an application for a trademark for goods that include "live plants, agricultural seeds, fresh fruits, or fresh vegetables," he or she must "inquire of the applicant whether the term has ever been used as a varietal name, and whether such name has been used in connection with a plant patent, a utility patent, or a certificate for plant variety protection. [citation omitted] The examining attorney must also undertake an independent investigation of any evidence that would support a refusal to register, using sources of evidence that are appropriate for the particular goods specified in the application." [emphasis added]

Why do I add emphasis? Because the PTO doesn't always do its appointed duty, and registrations for cultivar names like ASPARATION and BROCCOLINI have slipped through. 
I've actually investigated the PTO records on these registrations; there's nothing in the respective file histories to indicate whether indeed the examiner made the necessary inquiry about plant protection. I think their registrations predate this comprehensive (and new, I think) language, and thus those registrations are probably bogus. But they're there, registered, and, in my view, obstructing the rights of growers of that cultivar to call it what it is.

I've had clients in the past who have tried, unsuccessfully, to register cultivar names. As far as I'm concerned, cultivar names are the equivalent of generic drug names. You need to have a name to call the "drug that does x, y, and z" once its patent has expired so others may lawfully manufacture the drug; similarly, if others may lawfully grow the apple cultivar that's been named Pink Lady, they shouldn't be restricted from calling it Pink Lady.

And that's what trademark geeks do when they read foreign magazines!

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*Bonus: Merriam-Webster online advises that cultivar rhymes with abbatoir, which opens up a world of possibilities.



Destination: London. And 2014.

Just got back from a week in rainy and sunny London, where there was lots to see, if you could get through the crowds. One highlight was the fish and chips here:



There's nothing in my book like a good fish pun (see, e.g., the "Sole Man" video from the Fish episode of Bill Nye The Science Guy,* featuring my brother-in-law as part of the "Salmon Dave" duo), and while beyond pricey, the dish was outstanding.

Lots more to show you, but until then, all the best for a wonderful 2014.

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*Unavailable online, sadly, due to copyright restrictions.

Sehr lecker!

Went to a good German restaurant the other night. Bonus deli on the premises offered this tasty tidbit whose name had us rolling (or was that the schnitzel?):



Care for a Fred Ferkel, anyone?
 

Forever twelve

These are possibly the grooviest shoes I've ever seen (in terms of something wearable, that is). I saw a cousin wearing them last weekend and immediately beamed up Nordstrom's online shoe department. One week later, they're mine, and I'm all agog.



But Bernie, tateleh, darling, you know what your initials are and I know what your initials are. Did you really have to put them on the box?





Not just gender confusion

This sidebar item from the American Express Rewards site also seems to be confused about what century we're in:



At least it's not "Ladie's," though.

Birchbox Bonus

Ever see a product name and think "this has got to be someone's inside joke?"



If anyone has any inside scoop, or I'm too old to catch an obvious bit of slang, let me know. Meanwhile, I do like their product name Quicksand for hair wax/fixative, and if, as they say, it's the "Secret Goop Behind David Beckham's hair," (a) who am I to dispute it; and (b) it may be the product I'm looking for to keep my pixie coif in place.

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Recent Posts

  1. Rocky Mountain ... Rehab?
    Thursday, April 03, 2014
  2. You drank it all night long?
    Monday, March 24, 2014
  3. What would Sartre say?
    Wednesday, March 19, 2014
  4. Trademark didacticism and then some
    Monday, March 17, 2014
  5. Department of redundancy department
    Friday, March 14, 2014
  6. Double whammy
    Monday, March 10, 2014
  7. Finally
    Tuesday, March 04, 2014
  8. Chop-and-jam ... and woof
    Thursday, February 27, 2014
  9. Great idea, less-than-great name
    Thursday, February 13, 2014
  10. Two for the price of one?
    Friday, January 31, 2014

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