Issue: August 2006 issue
Spirit of Advertising
First launched in 1925, Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has floated more than 300 airships emblazoned with its winged-foot logo and company name. In the past, these blimps have carried names that have leaned toward the patriotic side, such as â€œSpirit of Americaâ€ or â€œStars & Stripes.â€
For its latest blimp, Goodyear decided to open the naming game to the public. Through its Web site and the mail, more than 21,000 unique names were submitted, including such finalists as â€œAmerican Dream,â€ â€œFreedom,â€ â€œLiberty,â€ â€œPatriot,â€ and â€œPride of America.â€
For more than three weeks in May, the public, not to mention a â€œpanel of Goodyear representatives,â€ voted for the finalists. Out of all the names, â€œSpirit of Innovation,â€ reportedly suggested to the $19.7 billion company by a humble school teacher from Hudson, was selected.
Call us cynical, but weâ€™re guessing that this â€œpanelâ€ might have had a touch more influence over the blimp name than the voting public.
But instead of criticizing, we at IB offer our suggestions for blimp names. We sought help from William Lozito, president of Minneapolis-based Strategic Name Development Inc., a consulting firm specializing in brand names.
â€œâ€˜Spirit of Innovationâ€™ is pretty dull and boring,â€ says Lozito, whose firm has worked with Wendyâ€™s, Sprint, American Express and General Electric. â€œThe term innovation has become so overused.â€
Lozito and his crew of name experts came up with some more exciting and innovative alternatives for the blimp. Although their entire list was too long to print here, we think everyone of them was better than the yawner the tire maker selected.
Here are our favorites:
Blimp of the Brave
flyPod. Cross-marketing opportunities?
Incorrigible Dirigible. We can just imagine Al Michaels trying to get this one out during a long Monday Night Football game.
In Helium We Trust
Spirit of Inflation
Time to Re-Tire. We love puns.
Tread Zeppelin. This one was actually from a colleague and is the front-runner among the IB staff.
Waiting to Exhale
We hope these suggestions will be useful to Goodyear in its future blimp naming missions, and maybe next time they will select a â€œpanel of representativesâ€ who arenâ€™t full of stale air.
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