January 5, 2009
2008 Celebrity Baby Names Find Inspiration From Popular Product Brand Names
It's quite possibly the most important branding decision they'll ever make. After all, when celebrities name their offspring, they are naming an extension of themselves.
The celebrity, who typically had no say in their own eponymy, now becomes the endorsing brand for this living, breathing paparazzi target of attention. And because this target is a vehicle for growing the celebrity's brand and not simply a child, it requires purposeful brand nurturing.
On the plus side, most of these celebrities have nine months to develop the naming strategy and conduct the target market research before the brand is born. There's probably even time for a global linguistic analysis and trademark registration.
So just as art imitates life, it often imitates business. A quick look at the celebrity baby names for 2008 shows some remarkable parallels with product and service naming trends. We found 10.
#1. The Place Behind the Face
Names of cities, countries, rivers and mountain ranges have long been used to designate the origins of brands or even sur-names. In 2008, Celebrities used toponyms liberally to describe their children. Egypt evokes the exotic while Florence denotes beauty. Bronx, however, may require some explanation.
- Bronx by Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz
- Egypt by Paris Bennett
- India by Marisol Nichols and Taron Lexton
- Florence by Toni Collette
- Dakota by Jessica Lynch
#2. Names that Feed our Imaginations
Brands that are similes for food nourish our emotions. Many feed our mental sweet tooth as well. Celebrity babies in 2008 received a mix of sweet and savory appellations.
- Clementine by Ethan Hawke
- Coco by Diane Farr and Seung Chung
- Peanut by Ingo Rademacher
#3. Back to Nature
Brand names that are metaphors for the beauty and bounty of nature are comfortable and friendly. For both people and products they are approachable and unpretentious.
- Ocean Spray
- Willow by Michelle Monaghan and also by Mark Owen and Emma Ferguson
- Rain by Marisol Nichols and Taron Lexton
- Winter by Nicole Richie and Joel Madden
- Clover by Tony Hawk
- Savannah by Marcia Cross
#4. Spiritually Uplifting
Many brands make the emotional connection to a greater power. Likewise, a few 2008 celebrity baby names take on a powerful, almost religious reverence.
- St. Jude
- True Religion
- Sunday by Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
- Trinity by Diane Farr and Seung Chung
- Honor by Jessica Alba
#5. Eponymous and Synonymous
Name a product after a famous person and you might gain from the association of that person's favored attributes. While product brands tend to emulate founding fathers and adventurers, celebrities in 2008 have chosen a more erudite selection of intellectual subjects, excluding, perhaps the last example.
- Samuel Adams
- Emerson by Courtney Thorne-Smith and also by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett
- Beckett by Stella McCartney
- Sophocles by Jermaine Clement and Miranda Manasiadis
- Atticus by Sam Harris and also by Tom and Mieke Dumont
- Jagger by Joe Don Rooney and also by Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg
# 6. Colorisms
Many celebrity baby names for 2008 are color-based. And while current trademark convention prohibits companies from locking up color trademarks like brown, blue or rose, there are brands that manage to achieve similar results by adapting the names to familiar Indo-European language forms. (Braun = Brown; Aquos = Acqua)
- Blue by Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg
- Sage by Toni Collette and Dave Galafassi
- Rose by Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
- Ruby by Angela Kinsey
#7 Animal Instincts: Theronyms
In almost every brand category, from automotive to sports to food, animal names are abundant. But because naming children after beings of lesser intelligence can be controversial, the 2008 celebrity theronyms are used in translation or with an adapted spelling.
- Birdie by Busy Philipps and Marc Silverstein
- Leon by Brad Pitt and Angelena Jolie
- Nahla (Honeybee in Arabic) by Halle Berry
- Lyon by Kyle MacLachlan
- Callum (Dove) by Kyle MacLachlan
# 8. Borrowed Branding
Several 2008 brand names for celebrity children appear to have been borrowed from retailers. From the ubiquitous Macy's Department store to Levi jeans, many celebrities haven't bothered to disguise their love of shopping.
- Macy by Edie Falco
- Levi by Matthew McConaughey
- Zuma by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
- Avis by Daniel Baldwin
# 9. Invented Spelling
Perhaps for the same reason that product names take liberties with spelling, some celebrities in 2008 used phonetic orthography to introduce their offspring in a highly differentiated and ownable way.
- Phat Farm
- Maxx by Scott Hamilton
- Jaxson by Eric Mabius
- Wynter by Brittany and Harold Perrineau
And then there are some celebrity baby names that are simply synonymous with popular brand names. These 2008 monikers are separated from brands only by a click of the thesaurus.
- Sunny Sandler = Sunkist (by Adam Sandler)
- Kadence Hawk = Stride (by Tony Hawk)
- Tripp Palin = StumbleUpon (by Bristol Palin)
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Tracked on January 13, 2009 7:08 AM