I grabbed some fast food tonight from a drive-thru, and I couldn’t help but notice some serious problems with the name “Sprite” for the soft drink. The “audio interface” to the name sucks. Nearly every time I order it from a drive-thru, this happens:
me: …and a large Sprite
them: …and one large Fry
me: no, that last item is a Sprite
them: large fry?
me: large Sprite
I’m sure they test marketed the name to death back in 1961 before Sprite was introduced and it certainly sounds like an optimistic, pick-me-up word. They probably didn’t think ahead to how it would be used in other media, but I have a feeling today’s beverages are tested for how the names sound as well as how the name appears in print along with the general meaning of the name and any associated logos.
Fresca, Citra, and Sierra Mist don’t sound like anything they might share a menu with, and even with the scratchiest speakers, weakest microphones, and loudest engines, I’ve never had anyone at Taco Bell confuse my Sierra Mist with a burrito.