According to this article in Ad Age, branding guru, Al Ries, wants Guatemala to change its name to Guatemaya.

Guatemala is a country rich in heritage. It was the cultural center of the Mayas, the most advanced civilization in all of North and South America. Even today, 43 percent of Guatemala’s population of 14 million people are of Maya descent. Many still speak dialects of the Maya language.
With mountain ranges as high as 10,000 feet and a culture seemingly unchanged for 500 years, Guatemala is a tourist paradise. Scattered throughout Guatemala are hundreds of spectacular Maya ruins. Cities, temples, houses, playing fields. The relics of a glorious past. More spectacular than the Pyramids of Egypt or the Taj Mahal of India, and built for the living rather than the dead.

It makes sense, on paper. But we’re talking about a nation here, not a brand.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I think Al should change his name to: Al Rieson. Cause he can give you a reason for just about anything from the 1950’s school of branding.

  2. Stephen Montgomery says:

    if Al has his way I’m buying stock in map and globe makers

  3. Saab May Be “Born From Jets,” But Al Ries Wants It Dead

    Al Ries, once again fixing the ad world’s problems all by himself in his Ad Age column, has a couple of suggestions for GM: Hummer: Scrap the brand. Hummer sales last year represented only 1.3% of GM’s unit volume. A…

  4. The name of a country, an actor or a product from a marketing viewpoint is the same thing. The purpose of a marketer is to SELL more stuff, whether it’s money or people’s willing to support something. I don’t know Al’s reasoning to get to Guatemaya but it’s perfectly valid to propose a change of name, even a country’s.

  5. Yeah I think changing the name is a little over the top. Though I’m really interested in the heritage and the history, you should check out this video I just found. It’s incredible: