August 25, 2005
Product Naming - A Town Named DISH?
Would you be willing to rename your hometown, forever and always, in return for ten years of free satellite television? That's the deal being offered by Colorado's EchoStar Communications Corp, according to the McKeesport, PA Daily News.
That's right. Rename your town DISH into perpetuity, and receive, free of charge, ten years of Nick at Night, Soap Network, Oxygen, Country Music Television, et al. How very seductive.
Is this phenomenon a logical extension of the long-standing practice of granting naming rights to the highest bidder? That fine American tradition dates back to at least 1926 when Cubs Park in Chicago was renamed Wrigley Field in honor of Juicy Fruit, Double Mint and their chewy brethren.
Or is it a symptom of a deeper disease? We're a media-inundated society. What once would have garnered front-page news is now so much background clutter. So folks get desperate. For instance, not too long ago, a casino paid $10,000 to a woman in Utah to have her forehead tattooed with its name. First it's logos on sweatshirts, then it's logos on foreheads. Is this a clear sign of entropy at work?
But let's hold on just a minute here. With civic budgets straining to keep police cars filled with gas, it seems unlikely EchoStar will have any takers. The costs would be astronomical, and all the free TV in the world does nothing to help recoup them. Think of all the public and private signage, the maps, the stationery, the return address labels, all needing replacement.
Here's something to consider. What if EchoStar actually expects no takers at all? Could this be a public relations red herring designed to generate free press at no cost whatsoever. Could anyone be so duplicitous with brand naming for buzz?
This suddenly became much more interesting. What do you think?
Posted by William Lozito at August 25, 2005 9:25 AM
Posted to Brand Naming | Branding | Consumer Electronics | Marketing | Media and Entertainment | Naming | Product Naming | Sports and Recreation | Travel and Tourism
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