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April 14, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

Sometimes when I’m watching pharmaceutical or foreign car television commercials, I imagine there must a secluded location where the people who name those drugs or cars are sequestered to do their creating.

How else to explain the imaginative, or goofy, names given to the latest pill or SUV? Ordinary folks like you and me, tasked with naming a new pain reliever, might come up with a logical germane word, maybe something like Headachegone or ByeByeBloat.

The foreign car names are not as weird as the drug names, and at least they’re pronounceable. But it’s puzzling how companies settle on names that don’t seem to convey the feeling of the vehicle. For instance, what company or advertising agency official said, “That sounds perfect,” when presented with the following definition of what would be one of the company’s vehicles? “A vast, flat, treeless arctic region of Europe, Asia and North America in which subsoil is permanently frozen.”

That is, of course, the definition of the Tundra, one of the world’s best selling pickup trucks in spite of being named after a frozen wasteland.

The people who come up with the names of drugs are whole ‘nother story. It wouldn’t surprise me if pharmaceutical companies lock away teams with the instructions to come with drug names that are impossible to pronounce, let alone spell correctly

Think I’m exaggerating?

Impossible to pronounce drug names are so prevalent there is a website devoted to them. Here a few: Talimogene Laherparepvec, OnabotulinumtoxinA, AbobotulinumtoxinA, RimabotulinumtoxinB, IncobotulinumtoxinA, Idarucizumab, Levetiracetam and a bunch more.

While on the subject of commercials, is it just me or are some TV ads getting weirder? Maybe the covid lockdowns and stress just kind of warped some of those creative efforts.

One that comes to mind is supposed to be pushing a brand of laundry detergent or fabric softener or something like that. Fact is the ad is so distracting I never recall the brand or even the product. That is because the women featured in the commercial is so downright creepy in looks and movement.

Same for the credit card commercial depicting a man driving a sports car. It gets creepy when the camera zooms in on the silvery, slithery hood ornament moving, as if alive, singing and seeming to morph into I don’t know what.

Another commercial that creeps me out advertises an insurance company. Most of the company’s commercial are clever and humorous but its latest effort misses the mark.

If features what appears to be a food stand and man hawking the wares. But instead of selling hots dogs, the man hands out, with help of tongs, soaking wet teddy bears.

Wet teddy bears? I don’t get it.

Or maybe, as I get older, my creepy detector gets more sensitive.

(Jim Edwards is retired after a lifetime in the newspaper business and for 30 years worked in various positions at the Camden News, El Dorado News-Times and Banner-News of Magnolia. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of this newspaper. Email to [email protected])


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