You’ve heard of the two guys who got sponsored for their university education. You’ve heard of the woman who tattooed a brand name on her forehead. You’ve even heard of the Egyptian family who named their daughter Facebook as a token of how important that medium was to them.
But have you heard about the Spokesbaby?
Tim Scarne and his wife are about three weeks away from welcoming their first child into the world. At various points during their long journey to parenthood, a certain snack food product featured significantly.
It was a Snickers bar.
So, the expectant parents are sending a message to the Mars Corporation, offering to legally name their child Snickers. In exchange, they ask that the Mars Corporation finance the child’s health care and education.
This is a lot to take in all at once, and before I weigh in, I’d like you to see what the father himself has to say:
A message from Daddy-to-be Tim Scarne:
So this can be seen a few ways:
Giving children “brand” names is increasing in popularity, and I don’t see that as something inherently positive or negative it merely reflects what is important to people, although it smacks a little of Idiocracy. Also, there’s no shame in turning an honest penny, and raising a child is an expensive proposition, especially in the States. Snickers Scarne also has kind of a cool ring to it, in my mind.
On the other hand, I’m not totally comfortable with this decision being made for the child while he’s in utero who knows what the little one may think when he learns that Mommy and Daddy named him after candy bar, in exchange for money.
When I think about it some more though, it’s really not that different from baptizing them, or getting their ears pierced. It’s a decision being made with the best interest of little one at heart, though arguments could be made on either side. Kids can live down names, and if he really hates it, he can change it when he grows up.
So my feelings on what the family is doing are a tentative neutral, which seems to be the prevailing opinion. Mr. Scarne, Aka, DJ Timbo says:
I personally haven’t heard any negative reactions, but considering how cynical our culture is I’m sure they exist, and perhaps they will surface at some point. A radio personality on a popular LA station made fun of me on the air, but that didn’t bother me. I thought it was pretty funny.
My feelings about what the Mars Corporation should do, however, are very strong.
They have a lot of variables to consider over there at Mars right now: the press this will likely generate, the fear of being the company that publicly turned down the needs of a baby, or that the child could grow up to be a terrible spokesperson, just to name a few.
What I think the Mars Corporation has here is the PR opportunity of a lifetime. I don’t think they should pay the Scarne’s for naming their child Snickers. They should pay for any operation that the child may need when it’s born, maybe set up a trust for it’s education and then say:
“We appreciate the thought. We really do. But give the kid a real name.”
As of yet, the Mars Corporation has not responded to the Scarnes, but I’m very interested to find out what they do. Check out www.NameMeSnickers.com or look for #Spokesbaby on Twitter for more opinions and details. I’d really like to know what you all think about this. I know it caused quite a heated debate in my household. Should Mars buy the baby’s name? Should the parents withdraw the offer? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Images and video used with the permission of Tim Scarne