Choosing Names for Paint


The only experience I have of marketing and advertising is when I used to advise pharmaceutical companies on the imagery and words in their ads. Sometimes the ads were witty and attractive, but usually they were dull and inoffensively bland.

Here in Swaziland, Star Paint has hired some massive billboards around Manzini to promote their new colour range. Farrow & Ball it isn’t. Who on earth would want to paint their spare bedroom with “Lady Killer”? It’s maroon, for goodness sake.

And “April Sky” doesn’t look that realistic, either. More like Manchester City’s football strip. Perhaps “Berry Jam” is the most appropriate.

They say that sex sells, but I am not sure about featuring a willowy lady with a blonde Afro. She certainly isn’t “traditionally built”, as Alexander McCall Smith (author of “First Ladies’ Detective Agency”) would say.

Our driver this morning must have passed this sign hundreds of times, but he only noticed it for the first time when I took the photograph. He had no idea what “Lady Killer” meant, either.


By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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