There’s a lot of chatter about the iPad today, and not just about its features. Many people are commenting on, and joking about, the name (iTampon is currently a trending topic on Twitter). For 50% of us, the word “pad” means something other than a notebook.
Upon hearing the name, I tweeted: “I refuse to say iPad; sounds like a feminine product. I’m calling it iTab. So there, Jobs!”
Most women in my Twitter stream were either tweeting something similar, or giving me the “Amen, sister.” Meanwhile, comments like this started cropping up from the dudes:
- seem to be the only one who’s not shocked/grossed out by the name and will go as far as to say it was the only real choice. –@rett
- sorry, women, you don’t own the word “pad”. – @lolife
It’s not surprising that many (if not most) men are baffled about why anyone would be weirded out by the name iPad. It makes sense because they’ve never (I hope) used a pad and they don’t have any associations with that word. Sadly, I’m having no luck thinking up a parallel product name that men might think was odd but that women wouldn’t care about. (iJockstrap? Nah. iNutpunch? Uh, no. iMorningwood? Hrm.)
So, let’s be clear: is the name iPad going to prevent me from buying this product? No. But it does tell me that it’s unlikely that any women were involved in the naming of this product. (My other favorite example of a product name I’m pretty sure no women weighed in on: the Ford Probe.)
Tellingly, Apple’s promotional video for the iPad contains not. one. woman. It features interviews with the men who developed it, and action shots of male hand models using it. I don’t know, maybe it was hard to find women willing to star in a film called iPad. (I can’t imagine why.)
So, here’s the deal: I’m not offended. I just think it’s interesting that Apple picked a loaded (for women) term for their new product, and it’s strange that they couldn’t be bothered to show even ONE woman using it. And yet, we (and our wallets) will be crucial to its success. But, hell, for all I know this was all intentional. The folks at Apple are no fools when it comes to marketing, and in an “any publicity is good publicity” world, Apple is crushing it today.
All of this just reminds me of how much I’m looking forward to the day when there are more women involved in the development and creation of tech products. After all, we’re already buying and using them at nearly the same rate as our male counterparts.