Tag Archives: signs

Puritan Gets Fresh

Puritan Bakery hauls buns.

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Of Loitering and Lifesaving at Starbucks

Starbucks sez "No Loitering" ... without a tall latte.

A “No Loitering” sign at Starbucks?

Oh, the irony! What are all those comfy couches for anyway, if not an enticement to stay a while?

Although it was amusing, the sign was a bit of a buzz kill. It seemed to water down the chain’s carefully cultivated homey and inviting image. Not that anyone paid attention to it. (Except Yours Truly: I was loitering, waiting for a ride after dropping off my car for service.)

There’s a fine line between lounging and loitering. Obviously you can cross it by not patronizing the place with a purchase. But once you’ve bought your beverage, how else can you cross the line? Continue reading

Why Choose a Nondescript Company Name?

Vague sign of the times.

Some signs say almost nothing.

In a previous post I discussed the juxtaposition of a name that conjures an image opposite to what the business actually does.

This time the name is so faceless it conjures virtually no image at all:

“Elite Global Solutions”

I’m not making it up. I don’t think I could’ve invented a more generic-sounding company name—and I do this stuff for a living. (Normally I try to avoid hackneyed clichés, unless that’s the desired effect.)

It’s like the trifecta of business jargon. Or a game of corporate bingo (which is now an iPhone mobile app). The name includes three of the most overused words in all of Corporatedom. (I thought I made that last word up, but evidently I’m not the first. It’s a neologism!)

Considering the highfalutin name, they don’t look very “global” or “elite” based on their modest exterior. Until I did an online search, I had no clue about their line of business—and I’ve driven or walked by this company hundreds of times. Continue reading

What's In A Business Name?

Take just a little off the top, please.

Your brand name is usually the first impression customers will have.

Names carry a lot of connotations for various reasons, mostly because of the actions of previous people who had those same names. Notice how not many people name their kids Judas, Ahab or Adolph anymore.

When you hear the name Medusa, what comes to mind first?

Chances are, if you’re familiar with the Medusa of Greek mythology, you don’t think of beautiful hair. More likely, you think of snakes for hair. That’s why it was odd to see a hair salon named Medusa while driving around the other day. Continue reading

More Fictional Outdoor Ads at Disneyland

Disney's faux ads include this mural for Laod Bhang & Co. Fireworks, found in Frontier Land.

Return of The Happiest Signs on Earth

With so much dismal news in the world (unemployment, floods, oil spills, bomb scares, volcanos, you name it), thank goodness for places like Disneyland, where you can escape the news and the routine, at least for a few hours.

Yet even in the Happiest Place on Earth™, there’s no escape from advertising. It just takes on different forms. However, unlike most ads that detract from or clutter their surroundings, Disney strives to use advertising and signage to enhance the environment and the experience. More often than not, they succeed. Continue reading

Save Are Teachers!

A mind is a terrible thing to waist.

Is are children learning?

Not so much right now. At least not English.

My kids’ teachers are on strike. So now each school day is a choice between whether to attend and do mindless busy work that won’t count toward their grade, or stay home with endless distractions and parental nagging.

(Well, duh! Of course, the kids want to stay home! For them, it’s a holiday.)

Our local school district here in Southern California is not the only one experiencing a strike. This particular news story involves a different state halfway across the country. Continue reading

The Happiest Signs on Earth

The mane event.

Mock advertising for your amusement.

After writing about advertising-related movies recently, it’s only fair to touch on movie-related advertising. And since our theme here is “Love Hate Advertising,” there are few things that inspire more of all three than Disneyland.

Disney is in the details.

No matter how many times you’ve been to Disneyland, there’s always something new to see. From the architectural details, to the rotating casts of roving entertainers, to the “hidden Mickeys,” the park pays great attention to details. Continue reading