I get the question a lot: where did the name Mondo come from? To explain, I’ll take you back to late 2009, when it became clear that demand for my freelance marketing services was outgrowing my capacity as a sole proprietor (and my living room “office”). It was time to start a marketing agency.
There are three reasons a fledgling Vermont marketing agency born in South Newfane, Vermont, came to be known as Mondo Mediaworks:
- In Italian, Mondo means “world.” Although I am very much a mixed mutt American with roots in several European countries, it was my grandfather, a 100% Italian-American, who celebrated his culture with the most gusto. No one could make polenta with cheese sauce like my Nonno. And bocce is so important in my family that we have a permanent bocce court in the yard at my mother’s house. When it came time to name my marketing agency, I thought it too self-serving to name it after myself. I could, however, name it after my Italian family, Montori, which sounded pretty good before the word “Mediaworks.” That led me to start playing around with other Italian words that begin with “m.” It wasn’t long before mondo stumbled into view. When I realized that marketing, when distilled to its essence, is about spreading your message to the world, it was a no-brainer. Mondo Mediaworks was it.
- It sounds good. Alliteration — connecting words with the same first letter or sound — is a powerful communication tool. Shakespeare embraced alliteration in Romeo and Juliet. (“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes.”) Coca-Cola, Lulu Lemon and Krispy Kreme all realized that the public is more likely to recall alliterative brand names. Mondo Mediaworks flows off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it?
- It’s poised for growth. I admit that when I started Mondo, I had difficulty imagining an agency bigger than a half-dozen people. Nevertheless, I went through the exercise of projecting the possibilities of Mondo’s future. Would we someday have multiple worldwide offices? Would we branch into media buying or content distribution? The name Mondo seemed versatile enough to accommodate opportunities, from a northern Vermont office named Mondo North, to a video production company with 300 employees called Mondo Video.
A few years ago we designed a series of Mondo postcards to send to clients as thank you notes, love notes, or just plain ol’ notes. Because we get the “what does Mondo mean?” question so much, we decided to take the opportunity to answer it with one of the postcards. We could have depicted the word “Mondo” lasso’ing the earth, or something equally obvious. But instead, we opted to invite the clients into our little world, the world where creative expression starts with a blank space, waiting to be filled.
The postcard simply reads, “Mondo means _______.”