Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You can't win 'em all


George Lois tells this story in his 1972 book, "George, Be Careful: A Greek Florist's Kid In The Roughhouse World of Advertising."  It takes place roughly around 1971; a struggling account executive (I'm mercifully deleting the man's name) is presenting a new marketing strategy to one of the Papert, Koenig, Lois agency's struggling clients:
"Gentlemen," [the AE] said, "our research has proved that Haloid-Xerox has minimum recognition.  Our sample shows only 3 percent awareness among your key customers.  We believe a major reason is your cumbersome name.  We therefore recommend that you cut it in half.
The nodded in agreement because they felt the same way.  "That's very valuable input," they said.  "And now that you have this excellent documentation, what's your recommendation?"
[The AE] banged his fist against the table...as he said it crisp and clear: "Haloid!" 
They sent [him] back to New York and changed their name to Xerox.

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