Today in Unfortunate Neologisms: Epsonality

epsonality.jpgWe still cringe every time we hear “webinar,” but this week, a new Frankenword has emerged in the race for Most Unfortunate Neologism: Epsonality. As in, what are your unique printing, copying, faxing, and scanning needs? What Epson device is the best fit for you? It’s just a matter of figuring out your Epsonality!

Those seeking insight into their Episonalities are directed (through TV, print, and online ads) to the Epson Printer Personality Profiler, where interactive broadband videos await. “According to us, Epsonality refers to a uniquely brilliant variety of creativity that lives inside our brains,” the self-consciously quirky scientist-type tells visitors, adding that when using an Epson device, you’re not so much printing or scanning as expressing your Epsonality.

Surprisingly, the campaign is the work of Sausalito, California-based Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, the firm behind some outstanding, memorable campaigns for the likes of Mini (those punch-out assemble-yourself car ads!), Converse (that stunning shoe-inspired art), and Priceline (one word: Shatner).

So who is the target audience? You, UnBeige reader. “The campaign is geared to early adopters in creative professions, who appreciate the reliability and power of Epson printers compared to its competitors,” John Sheehan, group business director at Butler, Shine told Adweek‘s Brian Morrissey, who added, “The goal is to make Epson the Apple of printers.” [Cut to crowd of early adopters in creative professions laughing. Loudly] Sheehan continues, in the article’s money quote: “People look at printers as boxes on their desk,” he said. “We’re trying to move it to accessories.” Presumably this was uttered with a straight face.

Maybe we’re just fixated on mourning the untimely death of Robert Goulet, but we would have taken Epson the way of Emerald Nuts (Goulet) and Priceline (Shatner) and pulled a nostalgia-haloed celebrity out of the woodwork. If only Buddy Ebsen were still alive–surely Jed Clampett would have traded up on his Lexmark after striking Texas tea.