Kraft Puts the ‘Oh No’ in Onomasticians

Kraft Foods just unveiled the name for their new global snack food business. Are you ready? It’s ‘Mondelez’. It’s a made-up mash-up of two Latin words meaning ‘world’ and ‘delicious’. Make sure you pronounce it correctly as ‘mon-dah-LEEZ’ or you may find yourself talking about oral sex in Russian.

Sure, any new name, especially a global brand, runs the risk of sounding like something else. Kids on the playground have been doing it to each other for centuries. Let us not forget all the derision the iPad received when it was launched. What we joked about sounding like a ‘digital feminine hygiene product’ is now one of the most desired and top-selling gadgets in the world.

The question is why? What was the need? Kraft was a well-recognized (and well-liked) brand by millions. Why take all that equity, run it through one of your powdered orange cheese making grinders, and compress it into a giant check for some brand naming agency? Who, apparently, believe they deserve all those zeroes because they call themselves ‘onomasticians’. And because marketing managers get snack-chip hard in their Haggar’s when they hear phrases like:

“The sound and structure rolls off the tongue like a delicious treat,” he [the branding expert] said. “The romance language is great because you want to eat the language itself because it’s so beautiful.”

No, really, he said it. I’m assuming with a straight face.

Who knows how the name will be perceived once it’s released from the sterile two-way mirrored world of focus groups and into the wild world of actual consumers? Will High-Oleic-Canola-Oil-Thiamin-Mononitrate-Enriched-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup by any other name taste as sweet?

Just don’t mess with my Mac & Cheese, man.

Mmmm, Mondelezaliciousness…


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