Monday, April 28, 2008

Names in advertising

In the fear advertisements, product and brand names tended to follow the same trend as that the technology names. For many of the medical products in the advertisements studied, product names fell into one of the following categories:

- pseudo-scientific, with zs and xs (Zoloft, Plavix, Vioxx, Nexium)
- friendly and unassuming (GoodNites, Allegra)
- medically based (Serevent, Flonase, NicoDerm)

For more examples, see the pharmaceutical names.

In 30 advertisements for energy bars, the bar's brand name or its parent name was mentioned an average of 3.7 times per ad in both graphical and textual form. The prominence of the product name on the packaging of the product itself played a large part in the number of name mentions per ad; advertisements for smaller products such as energy ads can afford to display the product (and hence the product name) many times.

The product names themselves lend to an interesting discussion:

- Harvest Bar and Nature Valley appeal to those who want to improve their bodies "naturally;
- ProMax, Centrum Energy and Carb Solutions bars are for serious athletes who know what their bodies need;
- Luna and Pria, energy bars targeted at women, have a soft yet clean or healthy feeling;
- PowerBar and Balance Bar let consumers know what they gain by usage of their products.

The product name appears fewer times in alcohol advertisements than in energy bar ads, averaging at 2 instances per advertisement.

The product names in alcohol advertisements share similar sources:

- names (Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Pete's Wicked Ale);
- locations (Beaulieu Vineyards, Knob Creek, Malibu);
- and descriptives related to he brewing/distilling process, location or (Skyy, Makers Mark, Grey Goose).

Even seemingly arbitrary names have significance in their structure. Lexicon Branding explores the anatomy of the name Zima on their website, noting that the letters in "Zima", Russian for "winter", reinforce the clarity and simplicity of this vodka drink.

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