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AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:09 pm
by pigfender
Not a block as such, but some of you may be in a position to answer a research question far easier and quicker than I could!

I'm trying to find out how internationally recognised a particular brand is. In particular, I'm interested know if "Dulux" would instantly be known as a make of paint to an American (and if not, what a better alternative might be).

Thanks all.

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:34 pm
by rfreeborn
Hi pigfender:

Dulux means paint to me but coming from England it should do!

I did poll some of my American colleagues and got blank looks -- when I asked about paint in the US the answers were Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Behr and Glidden.

Hope that helps,

Richard.

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:39 pm
by Bdillahu
Yeah, never heard of Dulax... made me think of Exlax, which is a laxative :-)

Anyway, Glidden is probably a safe bet, at least in my world.

Bruce

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:43 pm
by garpu
Heh, I used to spend my summers in grad school doing painting, and I've never heard of that brand. Granted, these were industrial-type shops, so they didn't use the same brands that your average Joe would find at Home Depot. I'd say surf their website and see what's on sale. Glidden's a safe choice. A nation-wide chain would have brand names likely to be in all parts of the country. (See also the Helmann's/Best Foods dichotomy in mayonnaise brands.)

Dulux does sound like a laxative brand. :P

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:20 pm
by robertdguthrie
Not familiar to me either. I'd have gone with Sherwin-Williams if I was trying to come up with a brand that's well known (which also has it's own stand-alone stores... or did so within the last 10 years). Glidden might also work, but if you just said "Glidden" with no context, I don't know that I'd have been able to identify it as a paint brand. Even though I've owned a couple of houses, and have done a lot of interior painting, I still had to look up "house paint" on google to remind myself of the paint store/brand that I ended up using.

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:42 pm
by pigfender
Thanks all! It sounds like there isn't an overlap between the US and UK brands which is a shame. I like the cadence of the word Dulux in the sentence, but since the word is conjuring up images of a bizarre contraceptive laxative (*) to the US audience it might be safest to pass! Looks like I might need to just say "paint". :?

(*) I suppose all laxatives have at least an indirect contraceptive effect. :shock:

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:37 pm
by nom
pigfender wrote:Thanks all! It sounds like there isn't an overlap between the US and UK brands which is a shame. I like the cadence of the word Dulux in the sentence, but since the word is conjuring up images of a bizarre contraceptive laxative (*) to the US audience it might be safest to pass! Looks like I might need to just say "paint". :?

(*) I suppose all laxatives have at least an indirect contraceptive effect. :shock:


Would the context make it clear it was a paint brand name? If so, you could use almost any name, real or imagined.

The thought of using Dulux as a contraceptive is going to haunt me.

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:03 am
by vic-k
nom wrote:The thought of using Dulux as a contraceptive is going to haunt me.
Kinky though...init :twisted: Takes a sick mind t' come up wi' that concept. :shock:

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:34 pm
by rfreeborn
Just wondering, would the gloss or the satin be more effective?

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:46 pm
by pigfender
nom wrote:The thought of using Dulux as a contraceptive is going to haunt me.


Achievement unlocked, as KB might say.
(his ambitions are clearly more lofty than mine).

nom wrote:Would the context make it clear it was a paint brand name? If so, you could use almost any name, real or imagined.


I've thought about this. The book is set in London, so a UK brand name is not only appropriate to be used, but a likely thing for someone to say. But although the book is set in the UK, I'm not trying to create a quaint UK folksy charm. It just happens to be set there because it needs to be set somewhere. The context *would* strongly imply that it was a paint brand name, but not conclusively define it as such. Take the following example...

Dave took a tin of Qualflex and painted it on the walls.


Even though the example has the word "painted" right in there, it could give you pause if you didn't already know what Qualflex was. Is it a paint? Maybe it's what they call honey in the UK and Dave is trying to attract bees. What possible benefit is there to putting contraceptive laxatives on the walls? Didn't he read the label?

Which gives me another problem: I can change the brand name to simply "paint", but then I need to change the verb to something else because I don't want to say "took a tin of paint and painted it". Trouble is, the verb that means to put paint on the walls in the manner the manufacturer intended is "to paint". Anything else in that context is going to sound weird, and again give the reader that little beat that I'm trying (a little too hard) to avoid.

It seems the best thing I can do to solve the problem is to put the writing on hold while I prepare a strategy to help Dulux attain a dominant position in the US market, and then come back and finish chapter 12.

rfreeborn wrote:Just wondering, would the gloss or the satin be more effective?

It's a personal preference. I just know it's best to avoid the "eggshell".

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:20 pm
by Siren
When I paint anything, a more appropriate verb is "splatter", "smudge", "splodge" or "drip". Closely followed by "swear mildly".

Had you thought of changing the generic noun instead of the verb, P G Wodehouse-style? "He took a tin of the old eggshell and painted it on the walls" or "He took a tin of Valiant Vermilion and painted it on the walls"?

I like your procrastination style. Keith developed Scrivener solely to avoid having to crack on with his novel, and you are planning world domination in the pigment arena as a distraction technique! :D

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:31 pm
by Bdillahu
I agree...

"He took a tin of high-gloss and painted it on the wall."

I think that would work for most everyone. I've read the recommendation to not spell things out toooo much for the reader, let them fill in the blanks. I think they will assume paint unless there is a strong reason not to (unless this is a highly critical nuance to the story).

Of course your idea of increasing the laxative supply in the US has merits also. :-)

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:50 pm
by garpu
If you're set in the UK, how would the character get a brand of paint in the US? I'd be sitting there wondering how the hell the person managed to either have the money to ship it or get it past customs, and I'd completely miss the plot. :)

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:09 pm
by pigfender
I just wanted to make sure I wasn't alienating the US audience with a UK brand name!

Okay, so... "Dave opened a tin of matt emulsion and started painting it on the walls" would work? Everyone in the US, Australia, UK and other English speaking target markets would understand that "Matt Emulsion" is a type of paint and I'm not trying to introduce a new character mid chapter?

Re: AMERICANS! Please help...

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:09 pm
by pigfender
PS... Thanks to everyone. YOU ALL ROCK!

:D