Wordification

I made up my first adword when I was just a couple of months into my first agency job. The product was Bols Liqueurs, and the word was paradisiac. This word served the strategy and was reasonably engaging. I was proud of myself. The client didn’t go for it, but my fondness for inventing words had emerged.

It may seem odd for a guy who loves to invent words to take issue with others making up words. But, because I like to do it, I also understand that it often is the easy way out.

What got me started thinking again about this whole making up new words thing was the AT&T campaign that features compound names made up of parts of four or five names of locations, like virgicolomentoflagantonio. This campaign rides (or should ride) largely on the fun or interestingness of these compound words that conflate multiple locations.

Every time I see one of these spots, I expect the compound location name, which is the punch line of the spot, to tickle me somehow. So far, none of them have. I would have expected the writer to spend some time finding syllables within several locations that, when combined, are fun to say or hear. Something sillier or more alliterative or with a common theme. Something.

I spent ten minutes on this exercise and came up with five locations—Missoula, Santa Barbara, Ann Arbor, Sarasota and Honolulu—the merging of which yields this location: MissBarbaraAnnSaraLuLu. With all the world’s cities, states, provinces and countries to play with, just imagine the fun you could have. Surely, you could produce something more inventive than virgicolomentoflagantonio.

Next week: Wordification, Part II.

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