Frankenstorm vs. Global Warming

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Copywriting
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Hurricanes are nothing to joke about. But, the seasonal super storms come and go with such regularity that we refer to them with a familiarity normally offered to a great aunt.

NASA Sees Hurricane Sandy as the "Bride o...

NASA Sees Hurricane Sandy as the “Bride of Frankenstorm” Threaten U.S. East Coast (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

Under ordinary circumstances, we would prepare for Hurricane Sandy’s visit the same as we would for any relative arriving from out of town. We would stock the pantry with some extra food and cancel any travel plans that might conflict with the dates that she is in town.

But this year, Aunt Sandy is overlapping her visit with some relatives from the west and the the north and they don’t mix company very well. As a result, a drama unfolds which demands our serious attention.

Frankenstorm is Coming!

Frankenstorm is a monster storm that is predicted to occur when our great Aunt Sandy (the hurricane) crosses paths with two other weather disturbances that are approaching the region the North Atlantic from the west and north. This convergence of hurricane, winter storm and cold front is a recipe for disaster — and just in time for Halloween.

Frankenstorm is a good name for a storm. It is memorable and instantly delivers a message that demands the attention that it deserves. Something big — something strong — something scary is coming.

Many scientists predict that we will have more of these monster storms as a result of Global Warming. But many others don’t give much credit to Global Warming’s role or even it’s existence.

Global Warming? Meh.

IMO, the failure of our preoccupation with Global Warming is partly due to the message that the name, Global Warming, sends.

Global is good. Warming is good.

So why should we be worried about Global Warming? Also, the name doesn’t account for those monster winter storms or colder than average temperatures in some regions that result from climate change.

Seth Godin hit the nail on the head years ago when he suggested that they would have been much smarter — or at least would have made climate change sound much more ominous, had they called it Pollution Cancer.

Doesn’t matter what you market. Human beings want:
totems and icons
meters (put a real-time mpg or co2 meter in every car and watch what happens)
fashion
stories
and
pictures

95% of the new ideas that don’t spread–even though their founders and fans believe they should–fail because of the list above. [continue reading]

So, when you are naming your next storm, or your next event, or your next child — make sure that you give it a name that carries the message that you want to deliver. If it’s dangerous — the name should clearly indicate danger. If it’s important — the name should denote importance.

Can you think of good or bad examples of names used to represent something or someone?

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