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Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

If you watch a lot of television, you may have noticed that one-word titles are all the rage these days.

There’s Glee and Nashville, Homeland and Scandal, Bones and Castle. The new fall schedule for 2013 introduced Mom, Hostages and Betrayal. Cable has brought us Oz and Deadwood and Dexter.

One-word TV titles are not new (think Dallas or Friends or Seinfeld). But they’re growing in popularity, as TV becomes more of a digital experience – and viewers’ attention spans wander across many possible options.

Shorter is better when a show is live on-air, online, on the Web, and viral on other distribution channels. Says the executive VP of drama development at CBS Entertainment, “The best titles for us are simple and descriptive and memorable. but also broad enough to draw in the biggest possible audience.”

A snappy title, no matter how short and sweet, won’t make a bad show good. Same thing with brand names in any category. There has to be performance behind the moniker.

Still, the quest for a one-word name is well worth it. Whether it’s packaging, signage, memorability, or impact – they all benefit from an economy of letters. Consider:

  • Ally in banking.
  • Apple in computers.
  • Canon in copiers.
  • Ciroc in vodka.
  • Crest in toothpaste.
  • Ford in automobiles.
  • Head in skis.
  • Gap in retailing.
  • Joy in perfume.
  • Nike in athletic wear.
  • Scope in mouthwash.
  • Skype in free communications.
  • Sony in electronics.
  • Tide in detergents.
  • Xbox in games.
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