Name Game #10: Name That Brand

By Mark Skoultchi

January 7, 2009

The Name Game has stumped even the savviest brand experts. See if you can guess the famous company or product name described in each game below.

5 clues. 1 famous brand name. 0 shame in defeat.

Game #10: Name That Brand

  • The ancients knew it, naturally
  • For Felix’s ailing father
  • Not quite a bear
  • Water-soluble form
  • Even better than computers
  • Click through for the answer…

    Answer #10: Bayer Aspirin

    The effects of aspirin-like substances were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans (Clue #1). Hippocrates prescribed the bark and leaves of the willow tree to relieve pain and fever. The willow is rich in a substance called salicin, a naturally occurring compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid. In 1897, German chemist Felix Hoffmann, with Friedrich Bayer and Company, searched for a treatment for his father’s arthritic pain and began to research acetylsalicylic acid, which worked well (Clue #2). The compound later became the active ingredient in the drug named Aspirin – “a” from acetyl, “spir” from the spirea plant (which yields salicin) and “in,” a common suffix for medications. By 1899, the Bayer Company (Clue #3) was providing aspirin to physicians to give to their patients, and Aspirin soon became the number one drug worldwide. In 1900, Bayer introduced the first aspirin in water-soluble tablets – the first medication to be sold in this form (Clue #4). In a national survey conducted by MIT in 1996, twice as many people choose aspirin over the personal computer as an invention they couldn’t live without (Clue #5). Interestingly, both Aspirin® and Heroin® were once trademarks belonging to Bayer. After Germany lost World War I, Bayer was forced to give up both trademarks as part of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. It is now a registered trademark of Bayer AG in more than 90 countries.

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