WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Procter & Gamble has applied to trademark popular acronyms including “LOL” and “WTF” in its attempt to attract younger consumers.
- The American multi-national consumer goods corporation registered the trademark applications in April but it has not been approved yet.
- Aside from LOL (laughing out loud) and WTF (what the fuck), P&G has also applied to trademark two other acronyms—NBD (no big deal) and FML (fuck my life).
The largest consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, has filed applications to trademark acronyms widely used by millennials in social media, for its household products. Applications for four popular acronyms including LOL (laughing out loud), NBD (no big deal), FML(fuck my life), and WTF (what the fuck) made their way into the US Patent and Trademark Office in April. These new terms will be used on its liquid soap, detergent, hard surface cleaners and air fresheners.
While P&G company has yet to comment on their latest move, Board member Nelson Peltz previously asserted that millennials want brands that they ‘have an emotional attachment to.” This is also a strategy to attract younger customers. According to Statista, a statistics portal, millennials in the U.S. are expected to raise the company’s annual spendings to $1.4tn by 2020.
Although P&G’s strategy may prove to be amusing among customers if their applications will be approved, using familiar language a company assumes its target market speak can sometimes backfire.
“19-0” refers to an unbeaten season which the New England Patriots attempted to trademark, two weeks before they lost to the NY Giants at the Super Bowl.
Another was the yellow smiley face that Walmart tried to trademark. It had gotten the company into legal battles with The Smiley Company in Brussels and has lost in its attempt to sue Charles Smith for making a mockery of the symbol.
Disney was forced to withdraw its application to trademark Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) after a petition of 21,000 signatures within 24 hours was released.
Others fared better in their applications. These included the word “face” in connection to its telecommunication services by Facebook. Paris Hilton sued Hallmark greeting cards with her trademark “that’s hot”, while Rachel Zoe trademarked “bananas”.
It’s unclear what P&G will do if their trademark applications are approved. Aside from being sold along with the company’s well-known items like Febreze, Fairy and Mr. Clean, how would they name their products with these acronyms? Well, WTHK (Who The Heck Knows)?
Source: The Guardian