SOURCE: The Spell Group

December 01, 2009 21:37 ET

Rex Wilder Originates Name for Barnes & Noble "nook" E-Reader

Brought Name and Philosophy to Table as Individual Consultant for Ammunition Group

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 1, 2009) - Ammunition Group today revealed that Rex Wilder is the mystery man behind the name of "The World's Most Advanced eBook Reader."

From the moment the product was introduced in October, articles and blogs began to appear with mostly rave reviews for the name. Many opinions, but no clear idea as to where to direct them. Now there is: the "nook Namer" can be reached at

Within a month of nook's introduction, Barnes & Noble had completely sold out its holiday stock. Wilder takes little credit for the demand, however, attributing the nook's out-of-the-box success to design legend Ammunition Group, which created a total design solution for nook, encompassing overall service design as well as the product's industrial design, user interface, accessory system, and packaging, and R/GA, who developed the brand, marketing plan, retail materials and online and print advertising for nook -- not to mention the obvious attractiveness, inside and out, of Barnes & Noble's sexy new product.

Whether Wilder's humility was well-founded or not, the naming community liked what it heard when nook was launched: reports that Danny Altman at the naming firm A Hundred Monkeys calls nook "the top of all e-reader names out there." John Hoeppner, President of Name Quest, calls it a "short, easy-to-spell, one-syllable word that will be memorable to consumers." Tom Sepanski, director of naming at Landor Associates, also says nook is a winner: "With nook, it appears B&N is trying to improve on the Kindle blueprint. Both names quickly associate with a love of reading and feel friendly, warm and true to their respective brands. Where Kindle is about trying something new, nook is more familiar and comfortable." Athel Foden, president of Brighter Naming, believes nook is a great name: "Soon there will be a lot of e-readers, and who will everyone remember? Kindle and nook!" "We'd love to claim that we created this name," says, "But alas, we cannot."

Wilder contributed product names -- nook was among over 400 he created -- and philosophy as part of a project job with Ammunition Group. "I thought nook was a natural," he says. "The perfect evolution from 'book.' It may sound obvious, or silly, with its echoes of Dr. Seuss, or even bawdy. But really, from the beginning, I thought it was the perfect name: it's humble, and old-fashioned. Certainly not showy, not 'look at me, I'm the Kindle Killer.' And it does a little piece of magic, too: it transforms a thing into a place. Before you've even turned it on, you've been transported to your own, personal secret garden of words, stories, and characters. Plus, it's fun to say aloud, or to goof on: as in 'nook-nook, who's there,' and so forth."

Rex Wilder is an advertising Creative Director and Copywriter, with 3 Super Bowl commercials to his credit. He was most recently Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director at Radarworks, based in Los Angeles and Seattle. He left in September 2009, just a month before nook's launch, to start his own company, The Spell Group.

Rex Wilder is known for his compact, often witty, emotionally charged and mnemonically crafted slogans, catchphrases, and names. For a company that produced challenging outdoor charity events, he created "I'mpossible." For the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk, he wrote "Humankind. Be Both." and "Everyone Deserves a Lifetime." For the Skirball Cultural Center's Einstein extravaganza: "Bring Your Friends and Relativities." For the Museum of Tolerance, his words, "Understanding Room Only," were so well received they became part of the building itself: today they span the ceiling at the entrance.

Wilder's story is not just one of a working ad writer hitting the jackpot; it's also one of an internationally recognized poet who is clearly pleased to leave his mark on a new medium.

Wilder's poems have been published in all the major markets, from London's Times Literary Supplement and Chicago's Poetry magazine to the New Republic, the Nation, and the Yale Review. His first book, "Waking Bodies" from Red Hen Press prompted rare praise from two-time United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins: "In Rex Wilder's poetry, the tired English of everyday use comes back to us refreshed and full of its original surprise. In a world glutted with poetry, that Wilder has found a new way to say the old things is a notable achievement."

Certainly in the nook Wilder has found a new way to say the new things, too.

Contact Information

  • For more information on Rex Wilder or The Spell Group, please email him
    directly at
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