Did you replace your walis tambo — the traditional Filipino broom — with a Swiffer and wonder how the name Swiffer came about?
We know that language used in advertising and by PR firms are all about enticing us to buy products, but how did the branding team who come up with the name for Procter and Gamble’s new mop, the Swiffer?
As you can imagine, a cool brand name is crucial to introducing a product to market.
For the Swiffer, the branding firm started with a play on the word “mop” but decided to throw that out since it was a new type of mop.
Instead, a play on the words clean, wipe and sweep was how the name “Swiffer” came about.
Swiffer is now among Procter and Gamble’s biggest sellers, sold in 15 countries.
The experts say that one of the keys to a cool name is that the word has to be easy to say in all languages —which is vital to brand success.
With Filipinos having a tendency to replace “F” words with “P’s”, or strangely, vice-versa— since the Tagalog alphabet does not have a letter “F”, some Filipinos may call the Swiffer a SwiPPer.
Which, actually…sounds like, a SWEEPER anyway!
Though good luck with replacing the trusted walis-tambo, or walis ting-ting, the traditional brooms made of grass (tambo is soft for inside jobs) or from the rib of coconut fronds (nice and stiff for outside jobs).
I have lived in the U.S. for a LONG time, and I still use traditional Philippine brooms.
I suspect that if there was a survey of broom types used in Filipino-American households, almost always, they will find traditional brooms, which, by the way, are usually made of natural plants that compost or biodegrade.
Here is the link to the article, With Billions at Stake, Firms Play Name That Mop, featuring hit names like the Outback but also some misses like Google’s “BackRub”.
Do you live outside the Philippines now but still use your walis tambo or walis ting-ting — or other types of traditional brooms?
Or are you now using a Swiffer, too?
Related Lolako.com posts:
- How many – and where – do Filipinos live and work overseas (on OFWs)
- The much loved UBE and purple Filipino food
- Corn and Cheese Ice Cream, anyone? On our unique tropical ice creams
- Haring Ibon – about the magnificent and critically endangered Philippine Eagle
- Two items NOT to bring in your luggage when traveling from the Philippines to the U.S.