FROM THE BLOG

Extreme crowdsourcing: These parents let the internet name their daughter

baby feet

In the same spirit of Lay’s Do Us A Flavor contest in which consumers submit and vote for the newest potato chip flavor — Did you know four million people cared enough to submit chip flavors last year?! — expectant dad Stephen McLaughlin created the website NameMyDaughter.com and asked strangers over the internet to name his daughter through extreme crowdsourcing. The people have spoken, and Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin was born on April 7.

Ultimately, people are far more inspired by chip flavors than children’s names — the name was chosen by 150,000 strangers. And Amelia was actually the second choice. Technically the people have spoken and they wanted to name this poor child Cthulhu All-Spark. I’m not even sure how to pronounce that, but it sounds like a super awesome energy drink.

Thankfully, the family held the right to overrule the submissions by strangers.

“Unfortunately internet I know better than to trust you,” Stephen wrote on the website when he launched it. “We will ultimately be making the final decision.”

In marketing campaigns, involving consumers in decisions like names and flavors breeds brand loyalty and spurs dialogue. It can be a brilliant tool for generating conversation, media coverage and ultimately sales. Will Amelia be more successful, more popular, because her name was crowd sourced? Maybe.

As the book Freakonomics points out there is power in a name. In fact there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. Perhaps naming a child isn’t as life-changing as naming the latest potato chip flavor (in case you were wondering/hungry, Karen Weber-Mendham, a children’s librarian from Land O’Lakes, Wis. took home a $1 million grand prize last year for her winning suggestion: Cheesy Garlic Bread) but the long term effects are far more significant.

Hopefully little Amelia’s name brings her luck. Until we know for sure, I think her life could make for a really interesting social marketing case study.

Extreme crowdsourcing baby

Welcome to the world, Amelia. You’ll always be Cthulhu in our hearts.

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