It’s hard to come up with a really good name for a brand. In the case of NBC/News Corporation’s youtube killer, it took precisely 5 months.
So you’d think they would have done their due diligence and made sure that the name the came up with – Hulu – wouldn’t cause any trouble around the world. Well as this article at http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/08/29/hulu-translates-to-cease-and-desist-in-swahili-oh-the-irony/ shows, even big companies sometimes get it wrong.
Creating a name for a new product, service or brand is always a dilemma, and many names have entered the marketer’s folklore as examples of REALLY bad naming (Vauxhall’s "Nova" – Spanish for "it doesn’t go" – Scandinavian lock de-icer "P*ss", and German soft drink ‘Psh*tt’ spring to mind!). At the same time, sometimes you do have to make a compromise: maybe the marketing folk at NBC decided that being the ‘butt’ of a few jokes in Indonesia was a small price to pay for a name that they thought would be catchy in other
Still, whatever you think of "Hulu" as a name, it’s getting a lot of blogging inches around the world.