I watched a very good movie the other evening. “From Paris With Love” starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I almost didn’t watch it, though. I was in the mood for an adventure and when I read the name, it didn’t sound like one. The write-up sold me. My cousin said he didn’t watch it on HBO because it sounded boring. Why wasn’t it more compelling?
Names have pre-liminal meanings – messages your subconscious gets before you interpret the name or title. “From Paris With Love” means benevolence, organization, a practical leader. Great for a documentary but not best for an adventure film.
What name could really promote the movie? “From Russia With Love,” the obvious inspiration for the new movie title, means initiative, daring and a courageous leader. “The French Connection” is somewhat similar. Had I been working with the producers, my recommendation would have been “The Paris Connection” which carries almost exactly the same meaning as the James Bond movie title.
Names have meanings that are projected directly into one’s subconscious before the words are interpreted into language. Even more significantly, this can be accurately calculated in advance. From children’s names and professional signatures to product names and movie titles, it’s possible to plan ahead for predictable results.