January 16, 2009
Bone Numbing Blasts of Product Names
Some winter weather product names are bone numbing, others are brain numbing and some actually make sense when you live in Minnesota in January and are looking for thermal therapy.
The chilly arctic air spilling in from Canada actually has an upside for brand names that promise to keep us safe and warm, even when overnight temperatures in the Twin Cities reach 33 below.
Although the sun is currently shining and it has warmed up to 21 below, it's still dangerously cold. In less than two minutes exposed skin teeters on the edge of frostbite. Just this week a sleepwalker in neighboring Wisconsin froze to death while wandering outside in his bare feet.
No wonder mother always told us to bundle up.
But in the Midwest, you can't bundle up with just any old clothing brand. You need to be fortified by brands that are specifically formulated to deal with bone chilling temps. And the short-cut to knowing which brands those are has a lot to do with how they are named.
So when you walk into Dick's Sporting Goods and see the 40 Below Wigwam socks product name you know right away that these socks can take the chill.
Other Below brands like 20 Below Fleece outerwear, 35 Below Clothing, 50 Below lip balm, 15 Below Coats, 50 Below De-icers, and 42 Below Gin are among the many product name short-cuts leading to warmth and protection.
Bragging rights not withstanding, there are product names besides Below that reinforce protection from and acclimation to the cold - like the word 'Arctic.'
Not surprisingly, there are 394 active US Federal trademarks for Arctic (correct spelling) and an additional 40 for Artic (invented or international or just plain stupid spelling).
There's an extremity-warming Arctic Toe brand by Georgia boot, Arctic Armor Foul Weather Gear (a mark opposed by Under Armour), the Arctic Cat snowmobile brand, and, for the Nordic in you, Clairol's Arctic Blonde hair coloring.
The word Freeze is also an important ingredient in product names offering relief from extremely low temperatures. There are 387 active federal marks around the word freeze, including the politically correct global warming defying, EcoFreeze.
We are also drawn to over 275 active product names around the word Frost, including Frost Mortgage (freezing rates or assets?) David Frost Wines (just in time for the movie), and of course Frosty Paws treats for dogs (which Chomsky and Pushkin enjoy all year round).
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