Friday, May 14, 2010

What's in a name?

Living here day-to-day is interesting in many ways. One is the names of consumer products here in Italy vs similar products sold in the USA. Isn't "VITALIS" some sort of men's hair product or after-shave in the US? Here as you can see it's breakfast cereal!
Italians love to put English names on things, sometimes they don't exactly make sense. Larry's new bike has "Team Racing" painted on the top tube rather than "Racing Team" (and of course HE'D much prefer it said Squadra Corsa or something similar) and newer bikes in Tomi's shop have "Racing Tecnology" (without the H in technology) decals.
Tomi laughed when I explained how Colnago's beloved "Master" frameset didn't sell as well when the new version "Master Piu" (basically Master More) was released. Our guess was Americans didn't like the sound of "piu".
Worse was the Faggin brand when sold in the US by our friends at Torelli. In Italy, the man's name is Faggin (FAH-jean) but we had to tell them a frame with a FAGGIN' decal would be a tough sell to our customers. There are other frames here with odd (to us anyway) names like BHOSS or Mr. Gud. Some of them remind me of the old joke about the General Motors car, the Chevrolet Nova. Seems they tried to sell this in South America where it was NO VA which translates roughly as NO GO. Not such a good idea but than again, we've seen a bicycle tire marked as "DETONATOR" sold in the US, which doesn't strike us as a good name for something you certainly don't want to explode....but we've never claimed to be marketing wizards!

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