You Say Tomato, I Say Tahmotto; You Say Verbo, I Say VRBO

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.’

Juliet, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

I have no idea what Juliet is trying to say, but I know it is has something to do with names.

I wonder if VRBO, oops, I mean Vrbo, had Shakespeare in mind when it decided to change its name, well at least the way it is pronounced and the look of its logo.

The company, part of the HomeAway division of Expedia Group, will be launching an ad campaign next month that will feature the new logo (shown above) and a new way to pronounce the company name – “verbo”.

Apparently, that is the way most people have been referring to the company – unbeknownst to me of course. I have always called it VRBO, pronouncing each letter separately. I’m sure some hipster somewhere realized he could save two-tenths of a second by just saying verbo, and it somehow caught on.

Vrbo executives indicated that recent tests showed that verbo was more memorable and easier to say in more languages than VRBO.

Reporter Nat Ives of the Wall Street Journal notes that this is not the first time a company has responded to the way its customers refer to its products.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, inspired by the “Natty Light” nickname for its Natural Light beer, rolled out a higher-alcohol version called Natty Daddy.

And fighting a nickname, on the other hand, can backfire. General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet had to do damage control in 2010 after it told dealers to maintain brand consistency by never saying “Chevy.” I guess like Fred and Ginger in the video below, they had to call the whole thing off.

So let that be a warning to all of you vrbo property owners.

From here on out, be sure not to refer to your property as being part of VRBO, or you may end up on the verboten list…

2 thoughts on “You Say Tomato, I Say Tahmotto; You Say Verbo, I Say VRBO

  1. VRBO has always been VRBO and will never be “Verbo”. It’s like Jaguar trying to get me to say “jag you are”. I’ll not say it.


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