October 14, 2008 10:10 PM PDT
Teen shows why you should change your name to Apple.com
by Chris Matyszczyk
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She used to be Jennifer Thornburg. But that name was too ordinary. It didn't sufficiently reflect her belief system.
After all, why should we be lumbered with names our parents thought of on some drunken night out at Taco Bell? So Jennifer, a 19-year-old from Asheville, N.C., decided to grasp the nettle and discard the Thornburg. And the Jennifer.
She became CutOutDissection.com. Legally.
She prefers CutOut for short.
You might be wondering why she would choose such a tender name. Well, CutOut is not happy that your children go to biology lessons at their high school and cut up frogs, toads, rats, mice, or whatever else their teachers provide for their scientific violence.
She was turned off by this seemingly healthy practice when her own teacher asked her to chop up a chicken wing. Jennifer felt queasy. So she named herself after the anti-dissection Web site of PETA (the folks who express their unhappiness when you do something they don't like to or with an animal).
Duane Thornburg, Cutout's dad, told the Asheville Citizen-Times that it will "take me awhile" to get used to the change.
"She's still Jennifer to me," he said. "I understand why she's done it. Believe it or not, I totally respect it."
One will try to believe it. However, Jennifer's touching story surely has wider implications for the business world.
Just as, at the Web's inception, wise people scrambled to buy up any URL that came to mind, CutOut's example offers a stunning opportunity for many wise young people to get through the onrushing, depressing recession.
What if today's enterprising young approached their favorite companies with an offer to change their names to the company's URL? Just think of the number of times that names are used every day.
Do many children find this upsetting? After all, great science is rarely pretty.
(Credit: CC Enlewof)
The companies could pay the teenagers a set fee per month for the benefit of having their URLs promulgated at the heart of Consumerworld. And the teenagers could walk up to people on the street and introduce themselves, quite truthfully, as, for example, Apple.com.
Perhaps the companies would even give these enterprising teenagers a little spiel with which to follow up their branded introduction.
For example: "Hi, I'm Apple.com. Would you like to see my large glass trackpad?"
Or even: "Hullo, I'm Microsoft.com and I'm a PC and there's nothing wrong with me. Really. Really, there isn't. Nothing wrong with me at all. I am all right. Nothing wrong."
I fear that CutOut has unwittingly created a monster the likes of which she herself may one day wish to dissect.
While her initiative is entirely noncommercial--you will be stunned to hear that she is now an intern at PETA--she has surely opened up a well of commercial possibility in which young people may immediately drill, baby, drill.
It has so far proved very difficult to make brand awareness campaigns work online, so why not try to achieve brand awareness of online brands with this ingenious offline method?
And there could surely be no greater example of ingenious offline method than the dear, lovable, brave, and enterprising CutOutDissection.com.