2010 saw such remarkable stumbles in brand management, it’s hard to imagine what’s to come. From NBC dragging The Tonight Show through the mud to even worse decisions by their now-parent Comcast, we’re one month in and it has already been a bad year for marketing executives in America.
The first and most well known folly came with Apple’s iPad, which was met immediately with worldwide groans at the feminine-hygiene implications of it’s already underwhelming name, which prompted one commenter to muse, “I guess there aren’t many female higher-ups in the Apple organization…”
And while there are plenty of obvious better options, including iTablet, iSlate, or giving up on the now-cliche “i” branding altogether, at least the name made sense and wasn’t totally absurd. “iPad” conjures up the power of the iPod, and it is, in fact, a notepad-like computer. So it’s not all bad.
No, all bad would have to go to Comcast, who recently announced that they are re-branding their core services of cable, internet, and phone access by naming them XFinity. The name has been rightly met with scoffs in the blogosphere — scoffs so loud that now Time Magazine has picked up on the act. It’s bland, it’s dense and indecipherable, and it is clearly from “the future,” circa 1989.
Remember Dunder Mifflin Infinity? Yeah, that was a joke about bad corporate marketing decisions. And now “Corporate” from The Office is paralleled by Comcast’s ownership of NBC — this is life-imitating-art genius that would never sell as a movie because it’s just too absurd.