Monday, March 03, 2008

If The Candidates Were Drug Names...

If the presidential candidates were pharmaceutical products, what would they be called?

That was the question posed by American Public Media’s Weekend America, and here’s what Jim Singer, president of the brand naming firm Namebase (developer of Fruitopia, the Kia Rondo and Lilly's Prozac) came up with for the four leading presidential candidates:

Barack Obama, Singer said, stands for "change and hope," so his drug name would be Hopium. (Given Obama's past drug dabbling, we think that's a pretty smart pick.) Weekend America even came up with the snazzy logo above.

As a woman, Hillary Clinton needs to "constantly prove that she's tough," especially on an issue like terrorism, Singer said. So for Clinton, he chose two names that incorporate the morpheme "tuff": Tuffarelle and Tuffagra.

John McCain's position on the troop escalation in Iraq inspired his drug name: Escalatra.

And finally, given that Mike Huckabee is an evangelical Christian, his drug name would be Zelotra, or Zelotene, Singer said.

While the Weekend America piece was a fun exercise, drug marketers know that picking a brand name is no laughing matter--especially given the fact that FDA is rejecting more proposed propietary names these days than in the past. Luckily, the reauthorization of the user fee agreement last year includes fixes that will make the whole process a lot more predictable.

Singer offered some insights into how Namebase comes up with brand names for their clients: "We sit around a table and think up good-sounding words, and then we take them apart and try to sell them to the clients afterwards with a lot of science behind it. But really we're just kind of babbling in there, and when a good one comes out, we write it down."

Hmm. Given the description of that super-scientific exercise, what can you come up with? Send us your suggestions.

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insider said...
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