March 10, 2007
Gap’s Boyfriend Trouser Gets the Prize for Worst Product Name of 2007 to Date
The new Gap Boyfriend Trouser product name is one of the worst examples of product naming in the last few months for a couple of reasons.
- First, the obvious: according to Yesterday’s Salad, that word "trouser" makes the brand name sound "like a British B-movie murder mystery," because people who shop at the Gap do not wear trousers; they wear pants, khakis or jeans. I’m not sure that the word "trouser" is commonly used in the singular, although it can be used as a verb (if you are British author PG Wodehouse), as in "he trousered the money."
- Second, the product name Boyfriend Trouser is not like a woman's "date dress" or her "fat sweater" or her "follow me home" stilettos. In other words, this is not supposed to be the pair of trousers you wear to see your boyfriend. Instead, it is a pair of pants made to look like you stole them from your boyfriend. As Josh Eisenberg points out, the problem here is that you are really not stealing from your boyfriend in this case.
Here's the Gap Boyfriend Trouser TV ad, in case you want to see it.
An insightful blog post on Jewess With Attitude calls for "Jewess Jeans" — Gilda Radner’s brand naming breakthrough, it seems. JWA asks some hard questions about the Boyfriend Trouser, like, do you buy the pants to "fill the void" if you do not have a boyfriend? On the other hand, JWA points out that if you do have a boyfriend, you could just steal his pants and save yourself $49.50. The JWA blogger asks if you’d be trying to make your current boyfriend jealous by wearing this brand name — suggesting to him, perhaps at a subliminal level, that you are wearing trousers stolen from some other boyfriend? Read the post.
Brando suggests that maybe they are meant to actually "make you feel like your boyfriend." Or maybe the Gap is suggesting women wear these to help them find a boyfriend. If that’s what's happening here, it won’t work.
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