The Origin of "Ted"

davetheflyer

New Member
The Origin of \"Ted\"

Article Published: Sunday, November 16, 2003
al lewis
Who is 'Uni-ted' kidding?

By Al Lewis, Denver Post Business Columnist


United Airlines' plan to start a low-cost airline in Denver now has a name: Ted.

Ted is the last syllable in "Uni-ted," which is why the name was "adop-ted." It's also the last syllable in "bloa-ted" and "bankrup-ted" - words describing why "Uni-ted" has "devia-ted" from its business plan.

Once flights begin in February, we'll get cheap fares to New Orleans where we can get "was-ted." Or Reno and Las Vegas where the slots leave us "bus-ted." Or Arizona and Florida where we may feel "overhea-ted."

Thousands of words end in "ted," so this word game is easily "repea-ted." Try it. You can do it, even if you are "dimwit-ted."

Still, it took one of the world's top branding agencies to come up with the name - Pentagram, with offices in Berlin, London, New York and San Francisco.

The agency brainstormed 200 potential names, including Loop, Indigo and Flyer. But the client wanted something casual and uncomplicated, different from United and yet part of it.

Pentagram partner Michael Bierut came to work one morning and noticed a colleague had proposed "Ted." He had the same reaction as most everyone else: "Are you crazy? No. You can't call an airline 'Ted."'

But within 10 minutes he started thinking about all the things that could be done with the name. Agents could answer the phone, "Hello, this is Ted." And folks would get "exci-ted."

The difficult next step was presenting it to United. How does one walk into a room full of executives and sell three letters that they already own?

"I spent a lot of time decreasing expectations," Bierut said. "Any name you hear at first will sound strange. You think Nike is a cool name now, but only after billions of dollars worth of commercials."

To be sure, there is no single word that will enrapture everyone and there are lots of names that sound silly, but prove effective over time. Bierut knew Ted was worth a try. He presented it on a list with other names, including far less daring ones, like United Economy.

"We didn't have any idea whether we'd be laughed out of the room," he said.

Bierut says United spent less than $100,000 for Ted, and Rob White of advertising agency Fallon Worldwide said the ad campaign to launch the name would cost less than $1 million.

Time will tell how the name is received. For now, it is getting a lot of free buzz in the press. But if there is a fine line between genius and idiocy, Ted is determined to walk it like Wynonna Judd at a DUI stop.

Still, United is not the first to step out on this limb. In the Denver area alone there are: Ted's Auto Repair; Ted's Custom Clothes; Ted's Landscaping; Ted's Liquor; Ted's Plumbing, Heating & Sewers; Ted's Quick Appliance & Office Equipment; Ted's Sheds; Ted's 66 Service; and Ted's Montana Grill, owned by billionaire Ted Turner.

"There are plenty of Teds out there," White concedes. But he doesn't expect to upset them. "Overall, we are spreading goodwill with the name Ted."

Like Ted the airline, Ted Foster of Wheat Ridge-based Ted's Heavy Haul is in the transportation business. He may not fly Airbus A320s, but he has an 11-axle stretch trailer that can haul just about any piece of heavy equipment you can name.

Foster named his company himself. He didn't think to call Pentagram: "I don't have that kind of money."

He doesn't resent United infringing on his trade name, but he does find it puzzling.

"They spend all this money trying to market this? Why can't they just pay their bills?"
 

sorrygottarunway

Well-Known Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

STRIKER, looks like I picked the wrong time to give up amphetamines!

oh wait.. someone already said that.
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

[ QUOTE ]
I wonder if all the pilots names' will be Ted also...

[/ QUOTE ]
That could get confusing. When the FAs say thank you for flying with Ted, the passenger's won't know if they mean Ted the airline or Ted the pilot.
 

mpenguin1

Well-Known Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

Oh sure, all the pilot names will be Ted, Ted 1, Ted 2, Ted 3. All the Flight Attendants will wear Teddies!
 

Brandon

New Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

[ QUOTE ]
All the Flight Attendants will wear Teddies!


[/ QUOTE ]

Here's to hoping that the flight attendants are all female
 

JDMcFly

New Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
All the Flight Attendants will wear Teddies!


[/ QUOTE ]

Here's to hoping that the flight attendants are all female

[/ QUOTE ]

Sorry, they'll be guys named Ted as well
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Re: The Origin of \"Ted\"

[ QUOTE ]
Sorry, they'll be guys named Ted as well


[/ QUOTE ]

And the first passenger will be TED Kennedy. Sure hope they stock the booze for him.
 
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