Category Archives: bad timing

Quaeda-gram? Jihadify?

Maybe not the most useful, but certainly the most amusing thing to emerge from the cache of documents recovered by the Navy Seals from Bin Laden’s compound after the raid, was his attempts to rebrand Al-Queda with something a little spiffier and more appealing.

Al-Queda, after all, means “The Base,” as in military base. Hardly the Big Tent name needed for such a many-tentacled death cult. Many is the briefing session I’ve sat through where it was explained that Organization X isn’t just in the _______  business anymore; now we’re part of people’s lives in so many ways! Let’s capture that in the new name. Etc. Etc. Etc. Well, same here.

Osama Bin Laden, in his duel roles as CEO/CMO, helpfully wrote both the brief and the creative response. Here are some of his proposed new names for Al-Quaeda, with some comments and concerns from me–understanding full well that I am not the targetaudience:

Jama‟at nasr al-Islam wal-aksa
[Support of Islam and Al-Aqsa Group]

This feels a little wishy-washy to me…it’s a lot more than “support,” isn’t it?

Jama‟at i‟adat al-khilafat al-rashida 
[Restoration of the Caliphate Group]

Nice but I’m concerned the historical references may go over the audience’s heads.

Jama‟at wihda al-Muslimin 
[Muslim Unity Group]

Short and punchy, but in English the acronym would be MUG.

Net, I’m not sure they’re “there” yet. But as an American, I like the fact that they’re obsessing over this stupidity. Our own experience is that when powerful brands go down this road, it rarely ends well. New Coke, anyone?

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Thanks, WaMu!

The morning after Washington Mutual was seized by the Federal government, I received the following jolly email:

Talk about CRM! They’re still looking to “deepen my engagement” after they’re dead!

They call this kind of graphics-loaded push email “rich media.” What do you call it when the sender is insolvent, I wonder?