15 Strange Agency Names, and Where They Came From | Adweek
If you were launching a new agency today, what would you call it? A group of young social-media marketers in Paris recently went with Kids Love Jetlag, which joins sister agencies Hello, Sunshine and Furious Monkeys as part of France’s eccentric Fred & Farid Group.
As an exercise in hilarity, we’ve (Adweek)compiled a ranking of what we consider the weirdest agency names in the advertising business.
http://www.omeletla.com Location: Los Angeles
Explanation: “We just wanted to find a name that would resonate with clients, press, friends, family, etc., that could mean something different and special to every person,” CMO Ryan Fey told iMedia Connection. While sitting at a diner, one of the founders praised the omelet as “the king of breakfast,” and the team obviously agreed.
http://www.taxi.ca Location: International, based in Canada
Explanation from the site: “We believe a small team of experts should drive every piece of business—as many as can fit in a cab.”
http://odopod.com Location: San Francisco
Explanation: Reportedly named for Godzilla’s island of Odo and the idea of a compact team, or pod.
http://www.bigspaceship.com Location: New York
Explanation: In a 2010 interview with iMedia Connection, founder Michael Lebowitz said he liked the name Spaceship for its sense of exploration, but he wanted to add a word, since Spaceship.com was already taken. “We settled on ‘Big’ primarily because it’s inclusive; there is room for everyone on a big spaceship, and it has notes of a mothership.”
http://www.droga5.com Location: International, based in New York
Explanation: Reportedly named for the label that founder David Droga’s mother would stitch into his underwear when he was a child, to clarify which sibling it belonged to.
http://www.razorfish.com Location: International, based in New York
Explanation: Co-founder Jeffrey Dachis reportedly put off selecting a name until he had to open the agency’s first bank account in the mid-1990s. On the spot, he selected Razorfish from a list of 10 brainstormed options.
http://www.nakedcomms.com Location: International, based in London
Founding partner Will Colin tells AdFreak: “We believed that 21st century brands must ‘go Naked’ to the consumer—no longer using communication as an image cloak but instead as an open transaction in which people are equal partners with the brand.”
http://www.wikreate.com Location: San Francisco
Explanation from the site: “Our agency is built on the wiki model: a platform based on collaboration with field experts and associates under unified company and project management.”
http://www.steakdigital.co.uk Location: International, based in London
Explanation: Launched in 2005 by former search-engine employees, Steak set out to help marketers make the most of new digital opportunities. Their mission was “rare medium, well done.”
http://www.highheelsandbananas.com Location: Philadelphia
Explanation from the site: “The name evolved from three guys and a girl fantasizing about starting their own agency. They wanted a name that was sophisticated, but fun. Something that would get people talking. So, bananas is your funny, high-heels is your sophistication. May not make sense, but it worked.”
http://www.elephantsandants.com Location: Seattle
Explanation: The name is reportedly a reference to the agency’s willingness to work with clients of any size.
http://barbariangroup.com Location: New York, Boston, San Francisco
Explanation: Barbarian co-founder Benjamin Palmer emailed AdFreak this summary of how the name came about: “We were having a brainstorming meeting about what to name our company, and a couple of my partners (Keith Butters and Rick Webb) were, I thought, suggesting names for the company and said, ‘Barbarians are sooo hard to defeat,’ and I was like ‘THATS IT.’ They were actually talking about the latest version of the game Civilizationthat had just come out and has some barbarians that are hard to defeat in it, but it seemed like a good name for us.”
http://www.bfg9000ny.com Location: New York
Explanation from the site: “It’s named after (founder) Gerry Graf’s father and the BFG9000 gun from the video game Doom, in case you were wondering.”
http://kidslovejetlag.com Location: Paris
Explanation: This new agency in the Fred & Farid Group is made up of about two dozen young social-media addicts with a relatively high level of influence per sites like Klout. The meaning of the name is obscure, but evokes youth, giddiness and international travel.
Wexley School for Girls1
http://www.wexley.com Location: Seattle
Explanation: Was it named for a “fully integrated” nunnery that grew cantaloupes in Wexleyshire, England? Or maybe for the secret cheerleader burial ground on which its building was constructed? Sadly, neither, although Wexley School for Girls executives have offered those and countless other explanations for the name over the years. Now, for the first time, co-founder Ian Cohen reveals the truth to AdFreak: They picked a name from a phone book. The name was actually Wesley, but when one of the founders said it out loud, another misheard it as Wexley. Then, as a lark, they tacked on “School for Girls,” and a legacy of oddness was born.
“It just came out accidentally, and it just sounded right and fun,” Cohen says. “It had the energy we’d like to be around all day.”
The name has been a mixed blessing for the shop. It can both fascinate and alienate potential clients. “We’ve talked about writing a book called Deflecting Business by the Billions with Your Name,” Cohen says. “We’re certain it turns off a lot of people in the business world.” But it also helps the experimental agency find clients who are willing to take the inherent risks of being on the cutting edge. “When people are looking at four or five agencies, our name always sticks,” Cohen says, “We always are told, ‘I had to call you; I had to see what this was about.’ “
Cohen’s advice for those looking to name an agency? “Come up with something you truly love living with. I love this name. That’s the thing about creating something that doesn’t have a real meaning behind it. We keep exploring it and building our brand.”
Was Your Agency’s Horrible Website Written by a Wanker?
The ones on this Tumblr were: Agency Wank, a new Tumblr that collects “the wankiest slogans and text on ad/marketing agency websites.”
Marvel at the buzzwords, jargon and stupefying incoherence on display. One shop promises that “full pollination, revenue scoping and deep understanding of the market ensure that our partners get the most out of mobile.” Another invites prospective clients to “Meet our senior people. All of whom report to the big boss named Idea.”
Tweet submissions to @AgencyWank1