Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pick-up lines and Brand Names

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I have to admit, I still have a little hangover from the recent Valentines festivities.  Well, I still see photos online posted by my friends on how they spent Heart’s day. Some went to the Pyropalooza event to see amazing fireworks displays; others were on cloud nine watching the air show during the hot air balloon fiesta, while the sentimental ones celebrated with a romantic dinner for two.

Another thing that I noticed was, cheesy pick-up lines can be the sweetest things that you’ll hear when you get it on the Day of Sweet Nothings.  I hope Sen. Miriam Santiago would not mind me doing my own list.  Here are some of the amusing lines that I stumbled upon in the internet:

Nag-Rexona ka ba? Kasi ako… I won’t let you down.

You remind me of Meralco. Dahil sa ‘yo…may liwanag ang buhay!

Kapag sinagot mo ako, para ka na ding nag-deposito sa Metrobank.  You’re in good hands.

Sabi nila para tayong San Miguel Beer… samahang walang katulad.

Siguro Smart ang SIM mo. Kasi you’re simply amazing!

Reading these lines was really fun that I tried to search for more.  Looking for “branded” phrases, instead I stumbled upon entries about interesting facts behind corporate brand names.  I was surprised to find out that there are many companies, brands and products whose names were derived from strange circumstance, things and happenings.  Below is a list of popular consumer products and the stories how they got their brand names.
Adobe: This well-known and leading software developer got its name from the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.

Apple Computers: The late great innovator Steve Jobs, founder of the company, told his employees one day that if no one can give him a good suggestion for a company name by 5:00 pm, he will just name their organization after his favorite fruit. 

CISCO: Contrary to what many perceived that the name is an acronym, the brand name is just short for the city of San Francisco in California, USA where their headquarters is located.

Compaq: Even a high school student can decipher this.  The name was formed by using COMp, for computer, and PAQ to denote a small integral object.

Corel: The name known for its products used in creative designs and graphics ironically got its name in an uncreative way.  It was just derived from the founder's name Dr. Michael Cowpland. It stands for COwpland Research Laboratory.

Google: The Company was originally known as 'Googol', a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an investor, they received a cheque made out to 'Google'. And the rest was history.

Hotmail:  When Sabeer Bhatia, one of its founders, came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in 'mail' and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters "html" - the programming language used to write web pages.

Hewlett Packard: This Company literally started with a quarter dollar. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.

Intel: Moore Noyce could have been a nice sounding brand name if not for a hotel chain beating Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce in getting the trade mark.  The business partners had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics.

Jollibee. The Caktiong family approached Management Consultant Manuel Lumba to help them in their ice cream business in the late 70's.  Lumba advised them to look into a "bigger" business and use the name Jolly Bee inspired by local and foreign children's book.  The company decided to drop the "y" and use and "i" and have it one word instead and the rest is history.

Mercedes-Benz: Brand names derived by combining two names are usually that of the founders of the company.  Not in this case.  Mercedes was the name of the daughter of Austrian financier Emil Jellinek coined with the name of Carl Benz, the German inventor of gasoline-powered automobile. 

Microsoft: Bill Gates came out of the name to represent the company that was devoted to MICROcomputer SOFTware. Originally marketed as Micro-Soft, the '-' was removed later on.

Motorola: The popular radio company was once called Victrola until Founder Paul Galvin came up with this name when his company started manufacturing radios for cars, incorporating the word “motor” to their brand name.

Sony: Surprisingly, the name of this Japanese multi-national conglomerate originated from the Latin word 'sonus' meaning sound, and 'sonny' a slang used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.

Yahoo!: Founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos, a word invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book 'Gulliver's Travels'. It represents people who are repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human.

YKK. Have you ever wondered what those three letters stamped on your zipper's pull tabs mean? Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha or Yoshida Company Limited when translated in English. The company was named after its founder Tadao Yoshida. Can you imagine if they marked on the zipper the whole company name instead?

I hope you had fun reading this article as much I had fun writing it.  Some stories behind the brand names are indeed amusing but at least made us aware how these big household names began.  Allow me to end this piece with another pick up line.

Do you know why I avoid target shooting? Because I think, I’ll gonna miss you!  ‘Till next time, guys! 

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