Most of the time, a brand's job is just to be there, telling you, "yes, this is the breakfast cereal you're supposed to get." But where do those fancy names and doodles come from? It might seem to us, denizens of capitalism, that brands were always there -- that they sprang fully-formed from the head of some corporate deity in the beginning of time (the 1970s). Not so -- like everything else, someone had to create them, and intend for them to mean something (even if it's only "this car can go fast").

Marketing people like to tell you that brands tell a story. Often, that story is simply "the company's owner liked yellow." Not that it matters a lot, as long as you get your ice cream -- but hey, while you're eating said ice cream at 3 a.m. for reasons we're not going to ask about, knowing what that name on the tub means might give you something to think about.

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