Ace eye-candy Maria Sharapova proved last week that her marketing instincts are far more fetching than her sculpted legs. Her ‘Maria Sugarpova’ name-change stunt, to promote the ‘Sugarpova’ range of premium candies generated more heat than Usain Bolt’s thundering performance on the racetrack. Considering, she spent zero dollars on the PR blitz; it should easily rank as the Smashing Gimmick of the Year.
While a sweet name change helped Maria with her brand campaign, it earned Terri Illigan the much needed moolah to educate her children. Terri sold her name on eBay for $15,199. Internet casino GoldenPalace.com bought it on the pre-condition that she should rename herself as GoldenPalace.com. Terri took the gamble and it was worth its weight in gold.
Monetary gain was again the motive for young Dan Milton to switch over to the rather clunky Facebookdotcom Forwardslash MountaindewUK. Apparently, he wanted to win the 5000-pound ‘super fan ambassador’ title from the ‘Do the dew’ drink. It is not known if his fuzzy exploits won him the fizzy jackpot.
Many others like George Garratt did it for their 3 nanoseconds of fame. By assuming the new name, ‘Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined’, George tried to stand out in his circle of nobodies. His superhero themed approach may have sent his stock soaring in Glastonbury, but everywhere else, he was seen as just another spooferman
Yahoo Serious, the Australian actor, was the one genuine guy who opted for a nomenclature makeover because he felt it was more intriguing than his bland birth name - Greg Pead. Even he couldn’t resist making a quick buck by suing ‘Yahoo!’ for trademark infringement. But unfortunately, Serious’ claim was not taken seriously by the courts.
At times, a quick name change is deployed to garner attention for a social cause. Karin Robertson’s transformation into ‘GoVeg.com’ and Chris Garnett’s bold shift to ‘KentuckyFriedCruelty.com’ got enough mileage for PETA. May be there’s a lesson to be learnt here for activism in India. May be it’s time for some enterprising men and women to rename themselves as ‘StopRape.in’, ‘VoteOutCorruption.com’, or ‘EnoughOfManmohan.in’!