Friday, April 26, 2013

Coinstar’s new company name, Outerwall, makes me think of other walls

In December 2011, I predicted that Coinstar would change its name to Redbox to reflect the fact that the majority of its sales come from the DVD rental kiosk business. I ended up being half right.
Coinstar this week did announce a name change. But it decided on Outerwall. It’s an odd name that makes me think of other walls in pop culture, not a company involved in automated retail.
I understand why they chose Outerwall. It connotes what it used to call its “fourth wall” strategy. Coinstar puts its machines in the underutilized front of stores. Traditionally retailers sold things everywhere but the very front of the store. But Coinstar’s coin-counting machines, DVD kiosks and premium coffee vending machines have helped change that.
Still, when I hear Outerwall, other walls come to mind. Here are a few.


“Wonderwall” (1995) is the classic song by English rock band Oasis.

Sugar Walls

“Sugar Walls” (1985) is a single by pop singer Sheena Easton. The song, composed by Prince, is presumed to refer to the “walls” of the vagina and was considered one of the “Filthy Fifteen” by a parents group at the time.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall

“The Wall” (1979) is the classic double-album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd.

The Wall from 'Game of Thrones'

In the fantasy book series “A Song of Fire and Ice,” and the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones” based on it, the Wall is a colossal fortification that stretches for 300 miles along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. It is over 700 feet tall and made of solid ice. It was built to defend the realm from the White Walkers who live beyond it.

The Wall from ‘Almost Human’

The Fox sci-fi cop show “Almost Human” was set in 2048 in a city divided by a giant wall. The Wall separates the good part of the city from a lawless zone populated by terrorists. (Note: This entry added on April 30, 2014.)

Photos: The Wall from HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; covers of “Wonderwall,” “Sugar Walls” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”; another photo of the “Game of Thrones” wall; and the Wall from “Almost Human.”

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