What’s in a Name?

Golley Slater, an advertising agency in London, are undergoing a serious rebrand. To raise awareness, appear collaborative, etc… they decided to make renaming of the company a public competition. The ‘What’s in a Name’ campaign judges solely on the name itself, rather than artistic flair or logo expertise. To view the details of the competition, please click here.

Like most people who entered, I definitely had a 100% chance of winning. But seeing as I didn’t make the shortlist, I thought I might share my idea. Remember, it’s all about the name. So forget the purple, and endure the patriotism of my imagi-nation…

Mercutio. The jester and confidant of headline-grabbing Romeo. The unsung hero of arguably the most famous piece of literature ever written. But why name our agency after him? Let’s consider Mercutio’s role in Romeo and Juliet, and compare it to that of an Ad agency driving a campaign to market.

1) The middle man. Mercutio is the link between the Montague and Capulet families. Similarly, an agency bridges the gap between client and audience/publisher.

2) The dependant. It’s widely critiqued that Mercutio’s death triggers the point at which Romeo and Juliet descends from playful rom-com into harrowing tragedy. Without our agency, there’s no chance of a happy ending!

3) The loyal friend. As a kinsman of the Prince of Verona, Mercutio has a higher social standing than either of the wealthy Montague and Capulet families. Not restricted by class, his loyalty to Romeo is heightened further in death as he is fatally stabbed whilst trying to protect him. This symbolises (all-be-it exceedingly) the kind of loyalty any client would expect from their agency. No ego. No boundaries. A fierce, unrivalled and transparent friendship.

4) A balanced relationship. Although Romeo (the client) is the hero, Mercutio (the agency) is not fearful of standing up to him. He doesn’t shy away from faux-pas, as evidenced by him asking the difficult questions and tackling delicate issues head-on. He jests at Romeo’s love, with the kind of banter and wit you’d expect from any best friend relationship. He’s even comedic in death and puns about his own stab wound, “ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.”

Mercutio is a true English gent; a supremely aspirational character, whose status amongst audiences is heightened by an untimely and noble death. He’s modest, strong and extremely generous; going way beyond the call of duty in his friendship with Romeo. As a secondary character, he’s away from the spotlight, but yet so pivotal to the outcome of the story. There’s no fluff, no waffle. Every appearance Mercutio makes carries a significant punch. As a character, he’s ruthlessly efficient.

All this in mind, what do we actually know about Mercutio? Away from the bright lights of Capulets v Montagues, what does he do when he’s not trying to keep the peace? We don’t know. We’ll never know. It’s not relevant. The story is Romeo and Juliet, not Romeo and Juliet brought together by Mercutio. In this sense, he’s a faceless hero. In the eye of the client, he’s the ideal agency.

I’m not a Shakespeare freak, far from it. Since my ‘special measures’ education, I’ve learnt far more about Romeo and Juliet through researching for this competition. The point is that I knew enough in the first place. I knew enough to recognise Mercutio, and to know he was a pretty cool guy, with a cool name! From the outset he’s a selfless bloke who gave up his life for a ‘greater cause’; I also think most of the public will recognise this. After all, can you think of a more famous story?

The choice of Mercutio as a company name evokes creativity and passion. The logo is purple; combining the red and blue of the Capulet and Montague families. He’s the middle branch of the ‘m’ in the logo, nestled between the client and the audience. It’s a connection that demonstrates collaboration and a focus on relationships, as does the logo’s tessellating letters. Soft curves are juxtaposed by hard edges, mirroring Mercutio’s loyalty and empathy with his unique, impulsive character and no-nonsense approach. Indeed, psychologists have found that above all, what people like in others is kindness and assertiveness — the sense that someone will be available to help in a time of need and has the ability to stand up for oneself. This is the ethos of Golley Slater; let’s announce it to the world through Mercutio.

And did the Beckhams’ name any of their children after him? It’s time someone did…

The Finalists

Bitterness aside, above are the 5 finalists; as chosen by members of the Young Creative Council (YCC). To vote for your favourite, please click here. Or alternatively [**bitterness reinstated**], feel free to send them a strongly worded email saying how much better Mercutio is, and that they’ve made a horrendous, life-threatening mistake.

Ideas really are like farts. Everyone thinks theirs is best. Market testing rules.


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Posted on August 31, 2011, in Advertising & Marketing, Art & Design, Psychology & Communication. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. There is obviously a bundle to realize about this. I consider you made certain nice points in features also.

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