Monday, April 21, 2008

Be Careful How It Sounds

So we are watching TV the other evening, and I am in the kitchen cooking while the others are in the adjoining family room (open floor plan). An ad comes on for a new acid-reflux disease drug. And I hear the name of it and yell, "Are you kidding me? You're kidding me, right? Did they just say A$$ Effects?!!?"

And the others responded, "Mooooommmmmm! Don't talk like that!" And I ran into the room so that I could see the text on the TV, and it turned out that the drug is called Aciphex. Ac-i-phex. To the eye, this is all right. But NOT to the EAR without the eye!!

I wondered: What company in its right mind would permit its branding team to name something Ass Effects? Honestly. Sounds like a, uh, quick-release suppository to me, not a GERD medicine. I'm really good at naming, and they need my services. (Really! I used to win prizes for product names.) Anyway I was so incredulous I had to look online. Turns out that this medicine is manufactured by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, who probably understood English only well enough to know "acid" and "-ex" or "effects" would sound logical and alluring together. But they didn't know enough English to think about the genuine connotation. Oh, I love this kind of stuff. It makes my day. And they are stuck in perpetuity with this name until the patent runs out! Ha! I can't wait to see if it turns out to be a big seller in the English speaking world or not. "Our market research tells us that Aciphex is not well received in English-speaking countries because . . . people say the name is offensive. We are unable to determine why."

A$$ EFFECTS, that's why!