Sometimes the humor is not in researching the subject thoroughly, but rather in stepping back and looking at the big picture – their name. Companies name themselves and their products all sorts of whacky things, for all sorts of whacky reasons. Watch any commercial, and you’ll see nonsensical names that were either derived from a really bad committee OR they put a bunch of variables into a computer and the computer spit out a name. . . Dulcolax, Aciphex, Triaminic, anyone? So you can have fun with their name in a lot of different ways, here’s a few . . .
Sounds like. . .
–what does it sound like? I recently did a show for a group that makes security software, and their name had Z, X and Y in it. . the name absolutely didn’t tell what they did. And so I was able to point out. . .”does anyone see the irony in a company that makes security software having a name that sounds like a computer virus?” I was also able to make the joke that they couldn’t do email marketing because it looked like an ad for a “male enhancement” drug. So sound the name out and see if you can make any connections between what people might think about the name – what is someone’s first impression?
Rhymes with . . .
–What does it rhyme with? If you can rhyme it with something, you can come up with funny slogans that the committee might have used. . .Ducolax rhymes with Relax, Slacks, Backs, Sacks. . .and if you know anything about the product, well, you know what kind of slogans you can come up with.
Spells. . .
–Do the letters spell anything else? I did a show for SBC Global at a conference for their sales reps, and in order to go to the conference, they had to jump thru all sorts of hoops – the rules and regulations were totally confusing. So I had some fun by pointing out that the rules and regs for the conference “put the BS in SBC.” Move the letters around, add a few, subtract a few, and see what you get.
Behind the scenes
–Get a little history behind the name. At the software company above, I found out the company was actually named by mathematicians, so I had a little fun by talking about mathematicians and their knowledge of marketing. Get the back story and you might be able to make some fun connections.
So don’t overlook the most obvious humor by passing up the first thing you learn about the company – the name! Make a connection between the company and the product or the product and what it does by goofing around with the name.