Entertainment Names

Sparcade: mobile competitive gaming platform

SparcadePROJECT: Name a new mobile gaming platform that delivers casual, competitive games for money.

SPARCADE: An invented compound name that connects “Spar” — to fight with an opponent in a short bout or practice session, as in boxing or the martial arts — and “arcade,” a public area containing mechanical or electronic games. An Arcade can also be an arched or covered passageway, usually with shops on each side.

BRAND POSITIONING: GSN Games (a subsidiary of Game Show Network (GSN), which is owned by Sony Pictures Television and AT&T Entertainment Group) hired us to name their new mobile gaming platform that enables players to compete for money playing popular games like Pac-Man, Scrabble, and Tetris, directly from their mobile devices. As GSN noted in the Sparcade press release:

This platform leverages the huge market for casual and mobile games, taps into the energy and enthusiasm around competitive video gaming, and delivers an experience unlike any other — a single, free-to-download destination, offering high-quality, skill-adapted versions of the biggest and most popular mobile game franchises of all time.

After exploring a half dozen concepts in our Brand Positioning Workshop we began developing names that mapped specifically to the Engagement and Destination brand positions. Engagement: This brand position encompass all aspects of engagement at every skill level. All are welcome to play and compete in this space, and nobody should be scared off or intimidated. The emphasis here is on friendly, co-play, and a collaborative experience. Destination: The focus here is on names that evoke physical or metaphorical places that define the parameters of this gaming environment. This concept is all about creating a sense of place that becomes associated with the most exciting game environment, the way “Amazon” is now seen as the online shopping “destination.”

Sparcade is a wonderful name that maps to and supports the brand positioning, as it playfully evokes a positive, empowering, exciting, and immersive collaborative gaming experience, all while literally being a competitive environment.

Sparcade — Your favorite games like you’ve never played them before.

Visit: Sparcade | Introducing Sparcade (press release — June 08, 2016)

Pivot: entertainment and social action TV network

Pivot - entertainment and social action TV network namePROJECT: Name a new entertainment and social action television network that will air feature documentaries, reality TV, drama series, variety shows and an open source talk show.

PIVOT: Beyond just turning and rotating, Pivot is the one central thing that something — maybe everything — depends upon. It can be a structured course correction or a re-alignment of priorities. Pivot is all about thinking on your feet, adaptation and informed change. Also connotes pivotal, as in being of critical, essential importance.

BRAND POSITION: The Pivot brand is empathetic, and connotes the dance of collaborators — auteurs and audience — learning to work together, to understand and inspire each other. The Pivot network doesn’t strong-arm or browbeat you, it uses compelling, entertaining stories to get the audience to gently pivot in their thinking, and to inspire them to action.

Explaining the thinking behind the new network’s name and brand position, Pivot president Evan Shapiro says that “the world is on a path right now, but there are many different paths that we can choose. We’re not necessarily saying which one’s the right one, but we know where we’re headed right now is not working. So it’s time to shift, and it’s time to pivot.”

Here is a promo video that introduces the network and it’s new shows and content features:

The world is changing, and Pivot will be right there in the middle of that change. And with its innovative digital distribution strategy, Pivot may just turn the television industry upside down as well. The name Pivot is perfect for this ambitious network that is both television and post-television. The old ways of thinking, acting and relating to each other and the world are not working anymore. It’s time to Pivot.

Pivot. It’s your turn.

VISIT: Pivot

truTV: television network renaming

truTVPROJECT: Rename Court TV to reflect a wider array of programming.

truTV: Television vérité.

BRAND POSITION: The new name reflects the network’s popular line-up of series that offer first-person access to exciting, real-life stories, and is no longer restricted to court-themed shows.


Exo: advanced telecommunications network

PROJECT: Name Shaw’s next generation telecommunications network, offering high-definition television, on-demand programming, high-speed Internet and advanced telephone capabilities.

EVO: Derived from the prefix “exo-,” meaning “outside of” (exoskeleton, exosystem). Shaw Exo is short, sweet, cool, futuristic, and works great as a graphic “bug” on TV, computer and mobile device screens.

BRAND POSITION: Shaw Communications, the leading cable television and Internet provider in Canada, wanted a name for its next generation television and communications network that was short, powerful, and different from the competition. Exo deftly delivers, positioning the product as beyond the usual, beyond expectations, beyond what has been done before in this space, and “outside the box,” both figuratively and literally (the TV cable box). The name is aspirational and future-forward:

“Shaw Exo is a promise that we will continue to innovate, lead, and provide the latest in technology and entertainment offerings to customers,” said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications. “With Shaw Exo, the power of our network allows us to continue delivering the products and services that our customers are looking for.”

“Above and beyond” the parameters of the competition and most definitely outside the box, Exo is the perfect name for Shaw’s network of the future. Available now.

VISIT: Shaw Exo | Shaw Exo 2012 Super Bowl commercial

Monkeybar: kids online games website

Hasbro MonkeybarPROJECT: Name for a web destination serving up online games, programs and activities for boys and girls of various ages.

MONKEYBAR: A fun place for kids to play and “monkey around.”

BRAND POSITION: Monkeybar is a delightful name that says, “here is a place for kids to come and play and have fun.”

Audience Network: television network brand name

Audience NetworkPROJECT: Rename DirecTV’s 101® Network of original programming.

AUDIENCE NETWORK: The Audience is the essential element of all entertainment.

BRAND POSITION: This project was an opportunity to create a television brand that was different, with a name that was about the audience rather than about the product or the network. Amazingly, though the word “audience” appears in virtually every movie review and every article about a television network, it had never been used as a name in the television / film production industry or in the entertainment business. It had been hiding in plain sight, overlooked.

VISIT: Audience Network

Freestyle: sports video game product line name

FreestylePROJECT: Create a a new sub-brand for EA Sports aimed at a growing, more casual sports gaming audience.

FREESTYLE: The freedom to express yourself in your own unique way.

BRAND POSITION: The new brand features games that, while based in sports, are playful, inclusive, casual, and easy to pick up and play for kids and parents, women and men, and casual and hardcore sports fans of all ages. Jump in, have fun, anybody can play, express yourself, and bend all the usual rules. That’s what it’s all about. Freestyle takes sports gaming to a whole new level, for a vast new audience.

Mojo: television and media network name

MojoPROJECT: Create a new name for a high-definition television channel to feature original programming for men.

MOJO: Personal magnetism, life force and magical power. It came to the English language from Africa over one hundred years ago, but reached the status of pop culture phenomenon as the source of Austin Powers’ manly powers.

BRAND POSITION: One consideration was keeping the name short so it could work easily as a “bug,” the logo that TV networks place in the corner of the television screen, yet be differentiated from the plethora of be-acronymed WETVs, METVs MTVs and BETs that saturate the TV Guide. And having the name of this man-channel start with the letter “M” would be a nice bonus. Mojo is the perfect name for this channel. Get your MOJO working!



MTV UrgePROJECT: Name for MTV / Viacom’s online music and video downloading service.

URGE: Irresistible.

BRAND POSITION: Presenting an interesting naming challenge, the new name needed to have a bit of the MTV edge, yet still welcome and intrigue music fans from multiple Viacom networks. The name had to have global trademark clearance and unmodified “.com” domain name purchase-ability, adding to the complexity of this project. Urge hits just the right notes, and positions all that proprietary MTV content as irresistible.

Bait & Tackle

Bait & TacklePROJECT: Re-name an adult entertainment production company.

BAIT & TACKLE: Playfully lure the audience.

BRAND POSITION: The adult entertainment production company formerly known as PineTree Digital wanted a new name that captured the lively spirit, sense of fun and irreverence of this brand. They were all about shaking things up in an industry that usually takes itself very seriously, and branching out to produce adult entertainment for all persuasions, including video content that focuses a little more on “entertainment” and a little less on “adult.” The name Bait & Tackle perfectly captures the sense of playfulness and irony that this company is all about.


ZedbetPROJECT: Name a new online sports betting and general casino website.

ZEDBET: Zed is for “Z” in Europe.

BRAND POSITION: This sports betting website serves a vast market including all of Europe, to Russia and Asia. With such a diverse set of countries, languages and cultures making up the site’s userbase, the name had to be short, simple, easy for anyone to understand, and available for both trademark AND an exact match .com domain. Zedbet was the winner. “Zed,” how the British and many Europeans pronounce the letter “z”, maps to the wide variety (“A-Z”) of sports that users can bet on using this site, and the name itself is a unique, poetic, half-rhyme with a rhythmic, symmetrical structure that is just plain fun to say, and thus easy to remember. You can bet on it.