The Museum of Hoaxes
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Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Cursed by Allah
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
What Brand Are You?
This is one of those cases where a joke supposedly becomes reality. An advertising company (The Design Conspiracy) created a joke website called What Brand Are You?, whose purpose was to spoof the bizarre brand names that companies are increasingly dreaming up—names such as Aviva, Diageo, and Corus. Visitors to What Brand Are You could type in their name, their 'core values,' and their goals, and the supercomputer powering the website would then spit out a personalized brand name free of charge (my brand name is 'Acclivius'). In reality, the Design Conspiracy had just dreamed up a few silly names (about 150, they say) which were randomly offered when visitors hit the submit button. But apparently a number of companies liked the spoof names, because according to this BBC story twenty of them have now been registered as trademarks (Thanks to Andrew Nixon for sending in this link). Some of the spoof names that are now the brand names for real companies include Bivium, Libero, Ualeo, Winnovate, and Tempero.

The folks at the Design Conspiracy claim to be somewhat taken aback by all this... But the weird thing is that the companies who registered the spoof names all say that they've never heard of the What Brand Are You website. So something smells a little fishy. The skeptical part of me suspects that the Design Conspiracy might have slipped a few existing names (that they thought were silly) in with the fake names. Now they're enjoying the publicity of having their spoof names supposedly adopted by real companies. I could be being overly skeptical, of course, but 20 names out of 150 seems like a suspiciously high hit rate. This suspicion would seem to be confirmed when a simple search on whois.org reveals that the What Brand Are You site was registered on June 11, 2002, whereas the domain name for the Bivium Group (just to pick the first of the spoof/real names) was registered before this on May 22, 2002. In other words, the brand name Bivium existed before the Design Conspiracy listed it as a spoof name on their website. The pool of spoof names was seeded with real names.
Categories: Advertising, Websites
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2003
Comments (1)
It's is exactly what I was looking for last two weeks. One can get lots of useful info from this article, in other words, it's never late to learn. Thanks to the author
Posted by Wedding Ring  on  Sat Feb 02, 2008  at  04:47 PM
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