When I was watching Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer who was basically just waiting to ‘grab dem medals and run’ at the World Speed Skating Championships in Vancouver, Canada last weekend, there were adverts from Dutch utility Essent that read ‘Svencouver’. If you read it in Dutch, the ‘Sven’ rhymes with ‘Van’ because in Dutch the sound is the same. I actually liked it!
Essent wants to get customers to sign up with Essent under the name ‘Svencouver’ so they can get a discount depending on how many gold medals Kramer wins. Problem is, they’re not an official Olympic sponsor. The Dutch Olympic committee asked Essent to lose the good Dunglish because it sounds too much like Vancouver. And that’s apparently not good because Vancouver is supposed to be synonymous with the Olympics, the five coloured rings and all, but not Sven the human bullet.
Luckily for Essent, they also had a back up — ‘Svenergy’, which is now being used. In fact, Essent has no legal obligation to stop using ‘Svencouver’, but are literally being sports about it.
Tags: advert, skating, Sven Kramer, Vancouver
March 17th, 2009 at 5:08 pm
Slightly ironic that the George Vancouver that the city is named for was descended from people named Van KOevorden.
Even if it is Dunglish, ‘Svencouver’ is pretty catchy, and no more out of line with English phonology than other nicknames like ‘Hongcouver’.
March 17th, 2009 at 7:33 pm
Well, it’s been 3 weeks since your last post. Welcome back! Hope y’all are well.
March 17th, 2009 at 11:08 pm
Thanks, I’m fine and terrible busy! Cheers!
March 18th, 2009 at 11:14 pm
Funny, I’m reading this while visiting Vancouver.
No Sven in sight here, but then again, speedskating isn’t exactly popular here.
March 19th, 2009 at 8:13 am
Have a nice visit!
March 30th, 2009 at 7:27 pm
Actually … they might have a legal obligation to stop using it. Canada passed a special law protecting the olympic “brand” so they can go after unlicensed sponsors. “Vancouver” is one of the restricted words. The law is particularly thorny because there is a town called “Olympia” near a “Mt. Olympus” nearby in Washington State.
March 31st, 2009 at 3:36 pm
And another Vancouver in Washington State.
@Natasha: ‘If you read it in Dutch, the â€˜Svenâ€™ rhymes with â€˜Vanâ€™ because in Dutch the sound is the same’
I assume you mean that ‘Sven’ rhymes with the ‘Van’ part of ‘Vancouver’ when said in Dutch.