What to call your new agency, or, "How did you come up with Anomaly?"

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Do you want the long answer or the short answer? The long answer: Not unlike naming a brand, there are ostensibly three genres you can choose from when deciding what to call your agency. Not unlike any brand, the first option is, name it what it is. There's nothing wrong with this approach, assuming you accept that the consumer will most likely call you what it is convenient for them to call you-which is why Doyle Dane Bernbach ultimately became known as DDB and Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC. The downside of this choice is that you can't control what the market, your clients or your peers will refer to you as, and ultimately your company or brand winds up with a nickname.

The second option is to name your company something conceptual, erring on the side of irreverence. This, of course, is why so many agencies, not to mention production companies and packaged goods, for that matter, tend to have names that sound like a Guns 'N' Roses album or a particularly treacherous black-diamond run at a ski resort somewhere in Jackson Hole. The downside of this, of course, is you run the risk of being considered "a bunch of obnoxious assholes" by the market, your clients and your peers.

The third and last option is to name your company something conceptual, erring on the side of intelligence. Consequently, this is why so many agencies, not to mention production companies and packaged goods, for that matter, tend to have names that sound like a chapter in a textbook on Deconstructionism or some piece of fictitious technology mentioned in passing in an episode of Star Trek. The downside of this choice is that you run the risk of being considered "a bunch of pretentious assholes" by the market, your clients and your peers.

Assuming that Johnson, Lupinacci, Barocas, Kibble & DeLand would end up being called JLBKD, or worse, J. Lu, we ruled out option one and began simultaneously exploring options two and three. We ultimately and collectively made the decision that all things being equal, being considered "a bunch of pretentious assholes" seemed somewhat more palatable than being considered "a bunch of obnoxious assholes"-thus Anomaly won out over Section 8.

The short answer: A) An anomaly is something that "has happened but shouldn't, or should happen but hasn't." We liked the idea that a company like ours does exist, but there are so many reasons that, to date, have precluded a model such as ours from happening. B) Some of the most profound consumer trends as well as successful brand extensions could be considered "anomalies"-inasmuch as they are things that should happen but haven't. C) It sounded interesting, albeit pretentious.

Ernest Lupinacci is a partner in a new agency, Anomaly, based in New York.

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