I’ve been on a bit of a tear lately about naming contests. I’ve been pointing out that it is great PR, but poor business practice to leave your name to a popular vote. You can check the past two days on this blog for more in that vein… needless to say, I’m not a fan.
I had, however, assumed that the naming contest was ideally suited for things like zoo animal naming contests. Why? Because a contest draws attention to the fact that there’s a baby animal. People like baby animals. People give money to see baby animals. People tend not to give money to see middle-aged or old animals when not in the immediate vicinity of a baby animal.
So… naming contest involving baby animal = free press = increased donations and interest.
Apparently there are people who disagree with me. One person claimed that an elephant naming contest ended in – I kid you not – tragedy. The poor animal shall for ever be associated with fast food.
This brings up a point related to something suggested by Jeffry Pilcher of Weber Marketing. What happens if the winning name isn’t liked by the organization. This is actually a very real concern. Assume that you have a half-dozen or so finalists. The chance of any one name getting more than half the vote is pretty slim – and the majority of people who participate in the voting will have had their favorite name eliminated. Not only is the organization at risk of disliking the name… the majority of the intended audience won’t like it either!
Let’s hear it for brand-building through massive alienation!
(Will someone please knock me upside the head so I can get off this topic?)
Stokefire Consulting Group