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How you can create fun and memorable product names – using Contrast and Connection

September 14, 2012

My  8-year-old son Orlando and I are back to our creative games on our long drives to his school. His school is on the other side of town from where we live. I’m back from a stint working in Singapore helping organisations create positive messages for these challenging financial times.

More serious creativity – using wordplay and word nerd skills

We start our creativity game with a “creative brief”.  We often take ideas from things we pass on our drive. wWe pass a bakery on our trip – and our “brief” is to create cool names for food you’d find in a bakery.

I’ve already explained to Orlando about two important Cs of Creativity –  Contrast and Connection – finding Connections between Contrasting things that normally wouldn’t go together.

The Contrast creates an intrigue and a “friction” to be resolved – the Connection creates a feeling of satisfaction how the Contrasting elements actually do fit together in an interesting way. It also can make your audience “smile” at the cleverness and creativity in connecting contrasting elements.

Creativity and Intrigue expert Sam Horn suggests a method called half and half where you  divide a page in two and  on separate halves of the page write down words from both things you are trying to connect. It helps to start with contrasting elements – then look  you for connections.

Connections can be words in common or words or sounds that sound alike and sound like they fit together well.

As you can see in the T-shirt in this photo: I designed this T-shirt using contrast and connection to create Nerdvana.

Nerdvana connects Nerd and Nirvana through the similar sounds of Nerd and Nirv!  The contrast is the contrast between the wild antics and “coolness” of Nirvana – and the controlled uncoolness of nerds. (I know nerds are more cool these days/ That’s what I keep telling myself  anyway!)

Also as in the logo –  riffing on and adapting the original Nirvana logo and adding some Nerd glasses seems to create a visual connection and contrast.

Please note:

1.  I’ve discovered that other word nerds have come up with the same name – Nerdvana – It’s a natural connection for people who live creative wordplay!

2. This shirt I created is a one-off and just for personal wearing.

Orlando and I start on riffing on how you could combine  the contrasting things of music (bands) with bakery products.

We also  both love how “cool dad” Phil Dunphy from Modern Family makes up new words and loves silly wordplay.

We often quote from the show:

Dad: We need to settle this in court

Orlando: the Food court Judge Cinnamon Bun Presiding!

I start him off with The Rolling Scones – because Scones looks like Stones and you actually can pronounce scone like stone.

There is the connection – and the contrast between the humble , wholesome scone and the Rolling Stones. I can even imagine The Rolling Stones Lip logo with a big scone in front of it.

Anyway, I think I’m pretty clever with my Rolling Scones creation – but Orlando does even better.

He comes up with  the Powderfingerbun!

mmmm – Powderfingerbun!

He love a good finger bun. He knows dad likes Powderfinger.

Great job son! Powerfingerbun. Mmmm – that word BUN – On reflection, I think maybe Orlando also took a hint from the Modern Family  – Cinnamon bun gag.

Then he keeps riffing with more ideas.

He says: Dad, you know how LMFAO stand for Loving My Friends And Others. (that’s what I’ve told him anyway citing Wikipedia!)

Orlando somes up with Loving My Fingerbun  And Others! He uses the F in LMFAO – replacing it with Fingerbun!

Another successful, fun creativity game and great to see how Orlando is out-shining dad with his creative wordplay.

Mmmm…writing this has got me hungry – better go get a Powderfingerbun!

(To my knowledge, The Powderfingerbun does not exist. We are just having fun with wordplay and creativity)


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