Commentary

Naming Agency Still Begging Cannes, CLIO, Pencil to Add Naming Category

Just last week naming agency CBX placed a full page ad in Advertising Age to run an open letter urging Cannes Lions, CLIO and Pencil to consider adding an award category for naming. In the letter, CBX wrote, name (or verbal identity as they call it) "is the most enduring aspect of any brand; without it, there would be no identity at all. No big idea. No creative campaigns. No trophies in the lobby."

Apparently, none of the award organizations saw the ad or if they did, they took no action. Now, as if a petulant child, CBX is at it again with a press release which "urges the wider recognition of naming's role in the brand building process."

Making an argument for naming's inclusion in the award game, CBX CEO Gregg Lipman said, "There's a reason Ernest Hemingway agonized over the title of The Sun Also Rises; a far cry from its original title Fiesta. This was the quintessential novel of the Lost Generation and so the title had to be perfect. What would have happened if 'The Beatles' had stuck with 'The Quarrymen?' After Prince changed his name to a visual symbol, he had to go back to 'Prince' because no one knew what to call him anymore. Simply put, naming matters and this is every bit as true in the world of branding as it is in other realms."

He may have a point but what's the criteria for the award? Is a brand going to open its waste basket and share all the names it considered for its product launches so judges can compare them to the names that were ultimately chosen? And then how is a jury supposed to measure whether the chosen name succeeded as compared to names that never saw the light of day? In other words, it's case of comparing the success of something to another something that doesn't exist. It makes no sense.

Perhaps if Lipman could share how he envisions the judging criteria that might help make a better argument and allow award organizations to better understand Lipman's point of view. Then again, that's like asking a Cannes Lions jury to define how they came up with the winners for a Titanium Grand Prix. Or a gold. Or a SIlver. Or a Bronze. 
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