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March 4, 2009

Snickers Snacklish: Smashable Naming and Branding

Snacklish.gifSnickers has now added a new language to the world: Snacklish, a Snickers-based language that turns normal words into Snickers words.

Patrick Ewing becomes "Patrick Chewing," a taxi turns into a "snaxi," and planetariums turn into "peanutariums." If your interested adding some Snacklish words to your vocabulary, there are a whole lot more on their website and on Facebook.

I am immediately reminded of the movie Spanglish, of course, but I am also reminded of this fairly well known strategy to infiltrate language with words related to a brand name through an all out lexicographic assault (the practice of compiling dictionaries).

Mars is optimistic with projected results despite the downturn in the economy. But creating a whole new language to push one brand name? Can that really work?

Never mind, for a moment, that I have already written about customers' growing irritation with misspelled brand names, which may suggest that we are just not in the mood for more inventive spelling.
Although, this is a means to capture public headspace and we know it's not the first of its kind. Many books have been written around an examination of how brands affect our language, even inadvertently.

We also know that how a brand name sounds has a direct effect on its sales.

The Japanese, for instance, create made up, Engish sounding brand names for cars that actually beat out real English brand names.

In other product categories, Absolut has transformed the word absolute, while Disney owns words like dreams, creativity, fantasy, smiles, magic, and generation according to recent research.

If they follow suit and do this correctly, Mars may have a real winner on their hands.

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Posted by William Lozito at March 4, 2009 10:29 AM
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