Can Comcast please catch a break already? First the media conglomerate decides to buy NBC Universal, only to see the flagship network spectacularly self-destruct with Lenogate. Now it's drawing snickers from all quarters for its announced rebranding -- which officially starts rolling out this week -- to Xfinity. Time magazine's Sean Gregory ran a piece titled "Comcast's New Name: Rated X?" in which he straw-polled people on their first thoughts about the name. "Porn," "porn," "stupid," "an energy drink or a porn site," were among the responses.
Well, I'm here to say, lay offa Com ... er, Xfinity! (A reminder to Time magazine employees: Your parent company used to be called AOL Time Warner.) I sincerely believe Xfinity will grow on us, just like Altria (the former Philip Morris), Xe (the former Blackwater) and Syfy (the former Sci Fi Channel) did.
Besides, it could have been worse -- a lot worse. A source* leaked the following secret document to me; it's the short list of finalists in the Comcast rebranding, any of which could have gotten the green light:
- XXXfinity (the original preferred name, until it was determined that signage costs could be trimmed 22% by "right-sizing" the brand).
- Xf (dismissed for fears wags would dub the company "F/X for dyslexics").
- Comcastr (vowels no longer have street cred if you want to be seen as a digital player, but annexing a consonant? Totallyy hott).
- XXXtria (too evocative of smoking porn, a little-known niche that actually dominates the French adult-film industry).
- Xyfy (too close to Syfy?).
- BGMD (Bob Garfield Must Die).
- Xenadrine (already taken).
- Xena, Warrior Princess (ditto).
- Xyience Xenergy (turns out that was already taken by ... Xyience Xenergy, the maker of Xyience Xenergy Cherry Rush, Apple Jak'd, and Blu Porn energy drinks).
- Philip Morris.
~ ~ ~
This Media Guy Xtra is brought to you by the letter X. Looking for the regular Media Guy column? The last one is right here.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.