I saw a commercial on television from NYSE Euronext in which an announcer says:
How does GM accelerate? By designing, building, and selling the vehicles the world wants today, and into the future; and by choosing the New York Stock Exchange to 'exccelerate' their business.
At the end of the ad there is text that reads nyse.com/exccelerate.
The first time I saw this ad (and another like it), I wondered idly "What are they trying to sell me?" and then forgot about it. I saw it again while watching The Daily Show with my wife, and asked her what she thought they were selling. "Lifestyle?" she mused.
I saw the ad again and decided to search to see what it was they were trying to do. Maybe it was intentionally vague, designed to drive people like me crazy, compelling us to search for their product or service, find out more about it, and ultimately pay them for it.
I Googled "nyse excelerate." The first few results had nothing close to what the ad said (or did they?). This confused me, as I though surely a major corporation's nationally advertised product or service would have at least a few hits on Google. Is this some scheme designed to get me to expend a lot of effort so that I feel obligated to buy something in order to avoid cognitive dissonance?
A few days later I saw the ad again, and noticed my mistake. It's "exccelerate," and not "excelerate." There are two C's. It's not just a stupid mashup of "excel" and "accelerate;" it's a really stupid mashup of "excel" and "accelerate."
This time I typed the URL given in the commercial into my web browser, sure in the knowledge that this time I would learn what the hell it is that justified however much money it costs to run ads during new episodes of the Daily Show.
[Update: A few weeks after I posted this, NYSE seems to have fixed the website.]
If you clicked the link in the second paragraph, you already know what happened... it didn't work! The page doesn't load! Firefox says The connection has timed out. "WTF?!" I exclaimed, stirring the dog from its sleep.
The URL gives a clue - entering in the text from the commercial leads you to http://www.nyse.com:42100/exccelerate/, which isn't a web server (I checked using both my computer and my phone just in case I had faulty DNS interfering)!
Finally, I Googled "nyse exccelerate." This time I found what I'd been seeking. The first link is to www.nyse.com/exccelerate/. Aha! You need the www in the address, the ads' text notwithstanding.
Finally at the Exccelerate website, I look for an explanation of what it would mean for me if I wanted to excel-- exccelerate my company (like newly non-bankrupt GM!). The site says:
When a company decides to transfer or go public on the NYSE, they're taking a giant leap forward on a journey that will transform their business... Our unique market model combines light-speed technologies enhanced by human judgment... that [enable] companies to excel and accelerate.
OK, so basically they want me to list my public company on their stock exchange. Evidently this can get me some serious exposure (Solarwinds got "Online banner advertising on leading tech websites"!), plus they'll have a party where some guy might ride a horse indoors.
I could go on, but I'll just wrap up here with a brief recap:
Bo Bayles Annex >