A Copywriter’s Blog
A job by any other name… Ben Levy 25, September

…would still pay the bills. But I would most likely hate it, which is why I work as an advertising creative. At companies with wonderfully ludicrous names.

Even before I graduated from Miami Ad School* I was hired by a company called iChameleon/Group. No one, including the CEO, had any idea why it was called this. He thought it “sounded cool”. But it was an awful lot of syllables, and we didn’t always feel like pronouncing them all. So for the most part, we worked at “ICG”.

Later, iChameleon/Group was purchased by a company called “Sapient”, which is apparently latin for “one who knows.” Sapient later merged with a shop called “Nitro” to become “SapientNitro”. This was a slight improvement, as it presumably translates into “one who knows how to blow shit up”.

When I left SapientNitro, I went to StrawberryFrog. This was excellent because it combined two words that people recognized and were sure they heard correctly into something utterly ridiculous. You tell someone you work for Sapient, you get a polite nod. You tell them you work for “StrawberryFrog” and they do a spit-take. Also, the business cards smelled exactly like a failed attempt at fruit-flavored gum.

Which brings me to my current employer, LBi. As a three-letter acronym, it calls to mind the professionalism and longevity of a pre-bailout bank. Which is probably why it’s printed on all our business cards.

Incidentally, that’s not our name. Not our full name anyway.

The agency is known as LBi in the same way, and for the same reasons, that iChameleon/Group was known as ICG. Namely, because people get tired of pronouncing more than three letters. And because no one on the account team is capable of introducing themselves by the full name of “Lost Boys international” without squirming.

(In case you’re wondering, it’s a British agency originally. So the “Lost boys” being referred to are Peter Pan’s crew, not the shitty 80s vampire movie everyone thinks of here in the US.)

As appropriate for an agency named after a group of boys that don’t want to grow up, here is a shot of the company’s CCO leading a unicorn through the streets of London:

*Miami Ad School is the name of an international educational institution, which means it is possible to not only attend Miami Ad School in Miami, but also to attend Miami Ad School in Hamburg, Sao Paolo, or Istanbul, among other places. I spend a lot of time explaining to people how it is that I teach at Miami Ad School in Brooklyn.

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