Long before Viagra drugs and organ-enlargement ointments were sent to us through incessant emails, SPAM was actually a staple American brand.
Now where did SPAM get its name, you ask?
Spam is an Internet jargon for unsolicited and obnoxious emails that marketers used to sell their products quickly to a wider reach. But before you were troubled by these messages, spam was actually something you eat.
SPAM (which is always spelled in capital letters, as the trademark states) is a canned lunch meat made from pork shoulders and ham. It was invented by George Hormel & Co. in 1937.
The name SPAM wasn’t actually developed by advertisers and marketers. No. It was a product of a naming contest. Hormel, the creator of SPAM launched a naming contest to quickly find a suitable name for the product and increase its publicity (kinda genius!).
It wasn’t long after a winner was proclaimed. A man named Kenneth Daigneau, an actor (which also happened to be the brother of a Hormel & Co. vice president) won the contest naming the product SPAM which was derived from spiced ham. He won $100 for that name.
SPAM was a perfect product for the average American during the late 30s. With the Great Depression plaguing the states and the looming World War II, SPAM acted as a staple food for soldiers and civilians around the world. This is because the product has longer shelf life and can be prepared easily.
To wit, the primer of Soviet Soldiers Nikita Kruschev noted that SPAM saved his soliders during the war.
Since its establishment, SPAM has produced millions of canned meat consumed by millions of people from different corners of the world. Not only that, SPAM now has variations: SPAM, SPAM Lite, SPAM Smoke Flavored, SPAM Less Sodium and SPAM Oven Roasted Turkey.
Truly, if Kenneth Daigneau only knew that his $100 was actually more valuable than he thought, things might have gone differently.
And we’ll call unsolicited emails in a different name.