We have a thing about proper noun and verb usage.

By February 27, 2020 March 27th, 2020 Uncategorized

There’s a disturbing trend in marketing today. Ever since Kinko’s declared itself “The new way to office” some years back, other brands have tried valiantly to turn nouns – in many cases, their own brand names – into verbs.

How do you Sonic? This is how you Sonic. Great. I was headed to Burger King to Sonic and you just saved me the humiliation.

How do you engine? Ahh, I see…This is how you engine. Thank you, Acura. I almost engined in my Volkswagen yesterday.

How do we Vegas? Oh, Aria, it’s you. You are how we Vegas. We’ve all been wondering.

Oscar Meyer is A fresh way to deli. The local animal park is where you can Discover new ways to zoo. Spectrum is A better way to mobile. What I really need is a better place to puke.

It was cute the first time a brand used this convention (maybe the second). But now it comes across as a desperate attempt to shoehorn a brand name into the vernacular. To turn it into a “thing.”

I’m sorry Benihana, but if I feel like dining with you, I am most definitely not going to turn to a friend and say, Let’s Benihana.

Nor am I ever going to say Together we Chili’s. And I refuse to Halloween better than ever, no matter how many Butterfingers I eat.

What’s most bothersome about this lazy copywriting is that it assumes everyone you’re trying to reach holds your brand in as high regard as you do, and will eagerly adopt it into their everyday lingo. Spoiler alert: We will not. Not even Apple or Coke would try. They’re too smart to come out with This is how you computer or A better way to soda.

They know that true brand distinction stems from ownable differentiation. And a brand can’t accomplish that with a fill-in-the-blank tagline. I hope marketers stop the madness soon. Because it’s really giving me a headache. Oh, wait. Bayer has an answer for that: This is why we science.

Whew. Crisis averted.