This is from Be Magazine (another of my stash from DeGaulle). I can only assume they have the same lack of familiarity with American slurs and vulgarisms as the French marketers tossing around the f-bomb with reckless abandon that David Lebovitz recently observed.
Thinking about it though, I'll give a French magazine more of a pass than I do the NFL. So to speak ...
Remember my kvetching about Acne Jeans and what a ridiculous name it is? Sure you do. And it still is ridiculous, IMHO. Well, hold on to your emesis basins, because here comes another one, straight out of the pages of Marie France magazine. The latest kids' jeans brand:
Where do I begin? Is this name meant to evoke the endearing nature of a child performing a digital excavation of his nasal passages? I'm just not buying it. But take a look at the website and its charmingly mangled English: "[E]ach material choice has been tought [sic] to guarantee children a good feeling in their jeans whatever if it's a slim, straigh [sic] or comfort fit." A good feeling in children's jeans is probably not what we want to be touting here. But there's more: Finger in the Nose promises that these jeans are "[a] simple yet clever product, capable of following the child everywhere and for a long time to go." So basically these are stalker/molester jeans? A good translator would've gone a long way here.
What a beautiful progression a French child can undergo: From Finger in the Nose to Acne. What's next for jeans for the middle aged? My suggestion: Lumbago. You're welcome.
Once again, I headed to the ville lumiere; this time, accompanying my parents to attend the 80th birthday celebration of a dear family friend. So between the kilo of magazines I picked up at the airport (hey, we all have our drugs!) and the photos I took along the way, there's plenty to blog about.
This is a restaurant whose name has amused me for the past several years, and I now share it for your amusement as well:
That's "Speed Rabbit Pizza." I always envision a rabbit on speed - if it were Speedy Rabbit, maybe it'd work? Peu importe, c'est amusant.
As I've said before, just because you can doesn't mean you should. I'll say it again:
I'm not even going to link to this one because it gets worse. Normally I'm a great booster of our local bounty, but this time I'll pass. (Plus, salad dressing and marinades are about the easiest things a home cook can whip up, so I almost never buy bottled anyway.)
A visit to Grinnell College brought me to Iowa for the very first time. Great college and great people and let's just hope they love our daughter as much as we do. On our way back to the airport we stopped in Des Moines, where we enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of a food festival.
This stopped me in my tracks, however:
I'd say this is a law school exam question waiting to happen.
This Birchbox biz has been going on for some time. So to keep things more lively, I'm only going to focus on brands that are new to me.
Let's start September's with a marketing doozy:
I have, in the past, raged against pointless misspellings. So the extra "n" in the recognizable name "Racine" was strike one for me. Strike two? Package copy that reads "Powerful anit-aging [sic] agent." Strike three? The "About" page that reads "At it's [sic] roots, Racinne, a Canadian Beauty Company." A strikeout, with bonus points for unnecessary capitalization!
Here we have the doctrine of foreign equivalents at work. Airelle is French for "blueberry." When the product contains blueberry extract, airelle is merely descriptive of the goods. And in this case, at least as of my publication date, the PTO has correctly applied the doctrine to refuse registration of a foreign term that is merely descirptive of these goods. Airelle had better luck with Berrimatrix, the other mark on the package, and got that mark registered.
Here's a mark I just love:
That's Ruffian, if you can't see it. Love the name, love the color.
Finally, here's a product whose marketers appear to have given up on the naming process:
Even the Birchbox insert is stumped; they call the product "This Is a Sea Salt Spray." It's marketed by the Davines Group of Parma, Italy. You see the legend "More Inside" on the bottle? Well, it appears that's the product line name, so other products in the line bear monikers of, for example, "This Is a Volume Boosting Mousse," "This Is a Medium Hold Modeling Gel," and the finalist in the Gertrude Stein competition, "This Is an Oil Non Oil."
The Davines website clearly outlines their focus on sustainable beauty, which is laudable. More head-scratching than laudable, however, is the inclusion of Ayn Rand in their sidebar of "Things That Inspire." Also head-scratching is their claim to have created the "Davines" name from the names of their children, Davide and Stefania. I can't quite make that add up, certainly not in any way that gives poor Stefania equal time!
In any event, Daughter #2 advises me that salt spray is great for curly hair and is pleased to take this off my hands.
Don't even ask. Back to school and the Jewish holidays make for exhaustion. So without further ado, here's last month's new product names:
Those of you paying attention at home may recall that the last Birchbox haul also contained a product with "one" in the name. As Nancy says, "numeral-based names are inherently risky: numbers are a code, and not everyone has the patience for deciphering." My view is a twist on Nancy's: I don't mind deciphering if there's a story behind the number. But if all your branding discussions and experts have led you to the exciting choice of "one" or "1"? I don't need to decipher that you're probably lazy.
Next, too much story here from Whish:
Whish has a charming story of how it came into being - indeed perhaps a bit too charming for my jaded taste. It's an interesting product line, though, and appears to be trying to fill a long-felt need for more sophisticated women's shaving products. However, I'm not fond of mark alteration, so I'd caution them against using their distinctively-spelled "Whish" mark as a plural - here, "Three Whishes" - it makes their mark too literal and weakens the core Whish mark, in my book.
Finally, there's this eyeliner from Mally:
When I reach the Mally website, a pop-up asks me to "get fiercely connected," so I'm definitely ready for excitement here. Mally aficionados are referred to on the site as "Mallynistas," so my excitement quickly wanes. Mally is Mally Roncal, a famous makeup artist. My excitement vanishes completely when I see on the "About Mally" page that Mally wants every woman "to look as 'gorgois' [sic] on the outside as she feels on the inside." But I have a nice new "Sailor" eyeliner here that I plan to enjoy!
How embarrassing: the August Birchbox has arrived and I haven't even gotten to July's yet. Well, in my defense, there were a few boring repeaters, and I don't have the interest to blog about them.
For a not-boring repeater, I give you yet another gem from The Balm:
Yes, that blush is INSTAIN! Not their best, but still good. Not sure I like "Vous va bien" as their translation of "Wear it well" on the inside of this new-millennium compact ("Vous va bien" is better translated as "it looks good on you"), but it's a cute color, and clever package copy as usual.
Here's a product name I just can't get excited about:
G-1? A trade association? And shouldn't it be "mattifying"? I guess the excitement here is that it's for boys too.
I'm dispensing with the rest so I can move on to August ... stay tuned!
Armed with a coupon for a free appetizer handed out cheerily by the Bite Me fishing operation, we tucked into a delicious lunch - where they then handed us a coupon for 20% off a purchase at their fish market. Seared ahi for dinner!
For our 20th anniversary, we decided to treat ourselves to a Hawaiian vacation. This time, we visited Oahu and the big island. Trade winds, mai-tais - the whole nine yards. It was a glorious time, and we returned not too tanned but very well-rested. But of course there were some blogging goodies along the way.
This one came from a hippie-ish shop in the hippie-ish town of Hawi, in the way north of the big island, birthplace of Kamehameha I:
Succinct branding; sometimes it's the best you can ask for. More island finds to come.
Happy Bloggiversary to me! Six years and counting. And just in case I don't manage to post something from the Hawaiian odyssey we're taking to celebrate 20 years of marriage, here's a product name that can't be beat:
That's right, it's SPLAT, hair color for those who think dyeing their hair colors like "Orange Fireballs" or "Pink Fetish" is a great idea. While a trip to their website reassures me that this isn't my demographic, I applaud their enthusiasm and naming skills.
I’m a female Jewish lawyer, so naturally, I have many opinions about lots of topics, some trademark-related and some not, which I’m trumpeting to the world on this blog, mostly for my
own amusement! None of these meanderings and opinions, however, should be taken as legal advice. You want that, contact me at Jessica at jessicastonelevy.com.