WHAT'S IN A NAME?

By Two Legs Good

For what seems like an eternity we've been getting bombarded with tedious adverts from Norwich Union, trying to convince us that there's a good reason to change their name to Aviva. Not exactly the best name in reliability or stylishness - mention it to any chap whose father had the soundalikey Vauxhall dullmobile in the '70s and they'll be instantly reminded of the shame when the other kids asked what car their dad drove and they had to blushingly mumble "A Viva...".

As a brand name Aviva isn't so bad - if it was for something like, say, sanitary towels or a cheap European air freshener. Personally, I can't think of it without mentally hearing it being said by Speedy Gonzales: "¡Aviva! ¡Aviva! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!"

(And was I the only one that grew up wondering why a Mexican Mouse was constantly touting carpeting accessories - "Underlay! Underlay!"?)

Apparently the head of this campaign has previously been involved in such popular renamings as Opal Fruits (Made to make your mouth water!) being turned into the dire "Starbursts", and even worse - Marathons becoming the hatefully named "Snickers".

Despite all that they press on with the brain-numbing advertising campaign that's estimated to cost between £9 million and £12 million and stars Bruce Willis, Alice Cooper and Ringo Starr, a man apparently so busy that he no longer has time to sign his own name. All names, I'm sure you'll agree, that make you instantly think of buying insurance.

Think of it - £12,000,000, and that's before they have to change the signs on the buildings, their adverts, their letterheaded paper, business cards, and so on.

Then think about their news today that they're about to get rid of 1,100 of their staff. How many annual salaries does that name change represent?

300? 400? 500?

How many of those 1,100 people's jobs could have been saved using the money behind this name-change? How many? How many? How many?

The adverts say "A change of name is not just a change of name, it is a chance to show the world what you've always wanted to be."


Hey, Aviva... I think the world knows exactly what you are already!


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