First there is e.
Then came I.
The time now is.
With the proliferation of streaming platforms, the plus sign has become a multipurpose marker that signals hourly programs on demand.
Plus-sign streaming services include ESPN + (starting 2018), Apple TV + (2019), Disney + (2019), BET + (2019), AMC + (2020) and Discovery + (2021) . On Wednesday, streaming hit its peak with ViacomCBS renaming to CBS Unlimited. The company decided to call it Paramount +.
Putting a plus on the name of a famous studio can be a very effective way to let customers know that the platform offers movies and a few other things. Or it could be “a disaster,” said Mike Carr, co-founder of branding company NameStormers.
“The plus point is a great idea in the short term and an idea,” said Carr, who has helped make a name for thousands of customers, including CarMax, a used car company and Angry Orchard. terrible idea in the long run. cider label.
“Great The current, ”Continued Mr. Carr,“ but you cannot own or define a generic term like ‘plus’, because all of your competitors do the same thing. “
The use of the plus sign dates back to at least 1984, when French TV channel Canal + was launched. Google is part of the trend from 2011 to 2019, with the social network Google+.
The Hulu streaming platform used it back in 2010, when it started its Hulu Plus subscription service. In 2015, the company subtracted the plus number and the name became simple Hulu. “We had a blast with our old friend Plus,” said Hulu as she announced the change, “but it’s time to move on.”
The add-on trend comes after the craze for dot-com era names – eBay, Esurance and Eharmony – taking over the ‘e’ for electronics, as a sign of online shopping and entertainment. Apple popularized the lowercase ‘i’, followed by iGoogle, iHeartMedia, and iZotope. Ampersands also thrived, thanks to a wide range of fashion labels like Me & You, Me & Ro, Stella & Haas and Stella & Dot.
The plus sign has become so common in the streaming industry that movie star and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds mocked the trend in an advertisement for his wireless carrier Mint Mobile. His parody is promoted Mint Mobile Plus, a fictional streaming service.
Some brand names are professional – the naming industry has exploded from a number of specialty stores in the 1980s to the thousands of costumes. – indicates that the use of “plus” may lead to inhibitory growth. Mr. Carr pointed out that financial institutions are having difficulty distinguishing between new credit card offerings and must use colors like silver, gold, platinum and black.
“I can’t say how many times I’ve seen this happen – there’s always the next generation, version 3.0 or 4.0,” said Carr. “So will it become Paramount Plus Plus? Paramount Plus Plus Plus? “
Last year, new streaming services like NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform and AT & T’s HBO Max tried to fight the fad. But with so many others relying on this logo, those who first accepted “probably now feel very uncomfortable when people are copying them,” Julie Doughty, executive director of Naming & Recognizing Words. said at the brand company Landor & Fitch, said.
Now, the plus sign could be short for streaming itself, “in the same way that the plus sign becomes a hashtag,” said Ms. Doughty.
Executives of naming companies say that ViacomCBS and Disney most likely went through months of debate and focus groups, as well as trademark and language testing, before approving sign marks. plus.
“It’s not that ‘plus’ is the best name,” said Steve Manning, founder of the Igor Naming Agency. “That is what survives, because everything else gets eliminated. It’s the least offensive option for a large audience. “
Mr. Manning, who turned Court TV into truTV, likened the task of choosing a name to a commission’s pizza selection.
“Someone is lactose intolerant, someone won’t eat meat,” he said. “You’ll be in luck if you’re eating anything more than just gluten-free crust with cheese on a good day.”
Alexandra Watkins, whose branding firm Eat My Words has teamed up with Smitten for an ice cream business in California and Neato for a robot vacuum, said she tries to avoid names that “look like Like someone getting drunk and playing Scrabble. ” She admits having sold to a client with a name that includes “plus” – and is surprised to make $ 30,000 for it.
With so many streaming companies adopting the logo, she said ViacomCBS “totally missed an opportunity” by naming her platform Paramount +, rather than following something imaginative. more statues.
“Plus the lowest common denominator,” she said. “It’s laziness, and an easy way out.”