Urban Dictionary Presents New Challenge For Brand Marketers

05/10/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Branding! It used to be so much simpler. Times were that you could call your product "Verizon" or "Comcast" and while your name might be associated with screwing your customers, at the very least it wasn't associated with the screwing that your customers were doing to one another.

But times have changed and now the Internet has become a teeming compendium of all the outre things that we are doing to one another. And, as the good people at Proximo Spirits found out to their dismay, before you give your product a name, you'd better check with the Urban Dictionary. Per AdAge:

So a new orange- and tangerine-flavored extension from Proximo's Three Olives brand -- which already offers a "citrus" and an "orange" -- faced a tough task in trying to find a name that could differentiate it in an overcrowded market.

They came up with "RangTang," described as "a delicious blend of imported English vodka and the bold taste of outrageously juicy oranges and tangerines."

And that sounds tasty enough, if you can get past the "English vodka" bit.

The problem for Proximo -- which also markets 1800 Tequila -- is that RangTang has another, less appealing definition, according to Urban Dictionary (see second, original definition). One so awful, we can't even think about typing it on this site.

Indeed, it is absolutely untypeable. But these are the dangers now. And it's not just product branding: way back when it was announced that former U.S. Representative Tom Delay would be a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars", his spokeswoman Emily Miller -- who was just trying to have some good-spirited fun about the whole matter -- quipped that the man known to lawmakers as "the Hammer" would soon come to be known to DWTS enthusiasts as "The Velvet Hammer." I had a terrible feeling that moniker was something Not Safe For Work, and soon learned that it was Not Safe For Anywhere.

These problems are not limited to sexual perversion on the Urban Dictionary, either. Anyone seen these ads for tinnitus relief medication Quietus? As many have pointed out, someone really should have really done an Internet search on that name. Had they done so, they'd have discovered that Quietus is the name of the assisted suicide pill from the movie "Children Of Men". Granted, that's one surefire way of relieving tinnitus.

Anyway, hit up the Google before you name anything you intend America to put in their mouths.

RELATED:
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