Happy Campers

May 3, 2016

by Dan Ward

(Disclosure: my sister is a Camping World general manager, but I’ve never set foot in one of their stores. Sorry, sis.)

There has been a lot of snark in this town regarding the announcement that Camping World purchased the naming rights for the stadium formerly known as the Citrus Bowl.  The Orlando Sentinel’s David Whitley summed it up with “We are not happy campers.”

Why not?

Isn’t it a good thing that our recently renovated stadium has shown enough potential for national exposure that a major corporation wants to be associated with it for at least the next eight years?

I understand that some people feel nostalgic for the “Citrus Bowl” name, but times change.  The only place to find an orange in Orlando is the local grocery store.  Orlando is now to citrus what Oklahoma is to citrus.

What I don’t understand are the online comments about the “bad fit” of the name.  Have these people even BEEN to an event at the stadium?  In the parking lots and neighborhoods, all you can see are tables, tents, chairs, grills, generators, coolers, and yes, RVs … all of which can be purchased at Camping World.

Seems to me that the marketers at Camping World have found a great fit, and an opportunity to share their name with large groups of people who quite clearly have an interest in their products.

Those of us in the marketing/PR field dream of such opportunities.


If It Ain’t Broke

December 5, 2014

by Dan Ward

Thank you to the Boston Globe for reminding us that two rules for life and business are as true today as ever.

The paper’s editor last month decided that a new “bold approach” to the Business section required a new name for that section.  The focus of business coverage wasn’t changing; they’re still covering business news, only more prominently.

After several brainstorming sessions, a name was chosen – Business – thereby proving the continued relevance of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “keep it simple, stupid.”

If the strongest human urge is to edit someone else’s copy, then the next-strongest may be the desire to re-name (or even “re-brand”) a product or service.  Too many of us in the PR and marketing fields fall into this trap, suggesting re-brands because they’re fun to do and, well, because everyone else is doing it.

But if a name simply and succinctly communicates your product’s purpose, then it ain’t broke.


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