I was in Perkins Restaurant a couple days ago for breakfast. As I was paying my check to leave, the manager asked if I wanted something from the bakery case to go. I told her that would be a big mistake, whereupon she looked me strangely and asked what I meant. I told her that there were two very large pencil erasers in the pastry case, with one saying “OOPS”, and the other saying “BIG MISTAKES”. I advised her that she was practicing negative advertising essentially saying that the pastries were a mistake. Apparently she had never thought of that before.
Twenty years ago, I worked in the I.T. department of an insurance company. This particular company liked to buy up smaller companies, and rename them as subsidiaries. I saw on my bosses desk one day, business cards with great big letters NIS. I asked him what that was and he told me it was an new company they were starting called National Information Services. I told him that was a really bad name for a company. He asked why. I said “Turn the business card upside down and read it”. NIS upside down is SIN, and not a good subliminal message to be laying about. Two days later, the name was changed.
More recently, an animal rescue organization that I sometimes help out has a dog which no one wants to adopt. Its a perfectly sweet dog with a nice personality. Unfortunately, they have named the dog “Andreas Goof”. My suggestion was to rename the dog to just “Andy”. No one wants a dog named “Andreas Goof”
I’m certainly no marketing expert, but anyone should be able to see that some things are just not appropriate if the goal is to sell a product.