Name Changes. They’re the simplest form of rebranding. Just ask anyone in Hollywood (namely Demi Moore, who was born Demetria Guynes – not exactly Ghost end credit material). Following are more examples to justify our recent name revision:
Before Sandra Dee was Sandra Dee, she was Alexandra Zuck.
Kirk Douglas used to be Isidore Demsky… or Issur Danielovich, depending on whom you ask. In both cases, whomever you ask will not know how to say either.
Cary Grant might still have been a stilt walker in the Bob Pender Stage Troupe if he hadn’t changed his name from Archibald Alexander Leach.
The eternal standard of class, Audrey Hepburn, was born Edda Van Heemstra Hepburn-Rusten. It would take more than a couple of weeks with voice coach Professor Henry Higgins to get the phonetics of that one down.
Joaquin Phoenix was Joaquin Raphael Bottom before he signed the legal papers that banished his euphemism-for-a-rear original surname.
Leonard Franklin Slye changed his name to Roy Rogers at the suggestion of his studio.
Die Hard Bruce Willis was once a milder Walter Willis.
Oprah used to be Orpah. Isn’t that a vegetable?
And John Wayne would be a big, burly cowboy of a man named Marion (sounds like the premise of “A Boy Named Sue”), if not for a wise name change.
No one really knows why Arnold George Dorsey thought the switch to Engelbert Humperdink was a step up and a battle won.
Stevie Wonder was possibly named after an Appalachian backwoods themepark: Steveland Judkins. OK, maybe not, but bless the agent who told him a name reinvention was in order.
[Hey, is that Jay-Z? Nope, it's Stevie Wonder]
Pepsi made a right turn when they changed their name from the original dubbing of Brad’s Drink (besides being a non-eventful name, does anyone else get visions of some basement-jockey making nondescript beverages in bathtubs?). The company soon went on to make a wrong turn, though, when they spent beaucoup bucks on a Chinese ad campaign in which a poor translation turned their slogan “Pepsi gives you life” into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” Needless to say, it scared the natives. At least now they know the foolproof system for ad campaigns: a Bob Dylan song and plenty of celebrity endorsement.
Gerald Ford was once Leslie Lynch King Jr. Perhaps he foresaw that the name might be too monarchic for a representative democracy?
Would Mother Teresa be as endearing if she were still riddled with the top-point-Scrabble-letters as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu?
YAHOO used to be called Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web. Which would mean your email address could’ve been hotstuff@Jerrysguidetotheworldwideweb.com. Every secretary managing an email database manually is thanking her lucky stars right now. YAHOO was an improvement. Especially since they chose the acronym version instead of the full name: Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. Not even sure what that means.
Name changes can be game changers. I mean would “Google” be the word of the decade if the corporation was still inexplicably named BackRub? Would Nintendo be the cornerstone of so many youths’ childhoods if they had had to ask mom for a Marafuku set instead?
We’re following in this long list of timely and mostly necessary name changes. All the cool kids are doing it! And unlike Datsun, who expended $30 mill, 3 years and the Datsun Fairlady in their switch to Nissan, we’re making a smooth transition.
What you formerly knew and loved as The Gazette (a little too macro), has now been specialized into The OC Gazette. Like all good gangs, we wanna give props to our hood, Orange County. We've re-branded the blog to match the name change as you might have noted. Plus, check out our new logo embracing our new name:
What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Which is exactly why Mr. Ed is no longer known as Bamboo Harvester.