13 May 2009

Rebranding?

This letter had me in stitches, partly because it is so damn funny, and partly because it is so true.

THE EDITOR: The Privy Council’s ruling on our offensive Trinity Cross award is unequivocal – you must get the name right. This decision reminds me of the paint manufacturer who had a warehouse of cream paint on his hands as customers were tired of cream and wanted something different.

So, he relabelled it “egg shell”, the customers went wild and the cream paint sold like hot bread. Then, he wanted a cleaner to mop the factory floors, pick up rubbish, scrub the urinals, etc – but no one was interested. So, he changed the job description to “environmental practitioner” and the next day, applicants were climbing through the roof.

The moral of the story is – it’s not what it is, it’s the name you give it.

No one understands this phenomenon better than politicians. They would come up with something catchy like, “United Democratic Party”. So there you are in their free t-shirt, jumping up like a fanatic until you discover they’re neither united nor democratic – much less a party.

Or, they might call themselves the “National People’s Party” with the symbol of a crapo foot. The joke is, after you stain your finger for them – you can’t let your girl children out of eyesight; you get terrified when you hear “hospital”; you have a running-belly and an empty toilet tank, etc, etc – while they are laughing, waving the crapo foot and enjoying the perks of political office.

You now have to run for a dictionary to check the meaning of “crapo foot”, “national” and “people”, and studying if the Privy Council or Obama could help. But if you think it can’t get any worse, consider the dentist named A Hogg. When asked why he doesn’t spell out the “A” so that his name wouldn’t sound so hoggish, he explained “Because I had foolish parents. They named me Adam!”

JEROME AUDAIN

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