Sponsafy

How great is the word “sponsafy?”

It seems to mean, roughly, “to design the look of a sponsored product without actually sponsoring it.”

Toyota uses the word in its Sponsafy Your Ride Contest, which invites NASCAR fans to visit a special Toyota web site and design a stock car online. Contestants can play with their favorite NASCAR logos—Coca-Cola, FedEx, M&M, The Home Depot, Tums—to personalize the paint job, decals, etc. of their creation. The program that runs the contest is called Sponsafier.

I love “sponsafy” for two reasons. First, it’s a useful and elegant new word. “Sponsor” wouldn’t work in this context because you’re not actually sponsoring a car. And “sponsafy” is fairly pleasing to the ear—better than, say, “sponsorize.” Second, and more cynically, WHO IN GOD’S NAME WANTS TO SPEND THEIR FREE TIME AND CREATIVE ENERGY SLAPPING REAL CORPORATE LOGOS ON IMAGINARY MOTOR VEHICLES? And yet here we are, America.

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