Inventor of Hook-and-Loop Fasteners Launches Humorous Educational Campaign to
Combat Trademark Misuse
BOSTON – September 25, 2017 – Since inventing hook-and-loop 60 years ago, Velcro Companies has created fastening solutions for everything from space suits and stadium turf to baby diapers and blood-pressure cuffs. Today, the company launched a new major public education initiative for its registered trademark, “VELCRO®.” The centerpiece of the digital campaign entitled, “We ® the World,” is an original song educating the general public about the famous VELCRO® Brand and proper use of its trademark.
“Just don’t say Velcro,” the video pleads, using a chorale of “attorneys” to communicate the legal importance of proper trademark attribution. “You call it Velcro, but I’m begging you, this is a *bleeping* hook-and-loop,” sings the choir directed by Penn Holderness, a vlogger and content creator noted for featuring his family in creative videos about “Xmas Jammies” and daily life. The song continues to explain that the popular fastening solution is called hook-and-loop (not “Velcro”) and that VELCRO® is a registered trademark and a brand name. While humorous, the lyrics illustrate Velcro Companies’ business imperative to create a distinction between VELCRO® Brand hook-and-loop and hook-and-loop manufactured by other organizations.
“We are taking an unconventional approach to draw attention to an important issue and to encourage people to understand our heritage and future,” said Fraser Cameron, CEO, Velcro Companies. “The fasteners we invented are part of everyday life and widely imitated by other producers, and some people mistakenly call them ‘Velcro’ or use the term to explain the fastening mechanism. We are proud to launch this campaign and to sharpen awareness of our brand and protect consumers from products falsely associated with it.”
Utilizing the music video as the central creative element, the campaign includes advertising across social media platforms and surprises for individuals who engage with @VelcroBrand on Twitter in the next few days. Raleigh-based Walk West created and produced the video with agency partner and creative consultant, Penn Holderness, who is serving as lead writer and creative director. Watch the clip and learn more about the trademark guidelines at www.dontsayvelcro.com.
“Protecting a trademark is a critical issue not often part of today’s business narrative,” said Susan Montgomery, Executive Professor of Law and Business, Northeastern University. “Individuals and companies that inaccurately use a trademark are undercutting the decades a company has devoted to securing that circled R. Incorrect trademark use also puts consumers at risk for buying substandard, wrongly labeled products.”
In 1941, Swiss inventor George de Mestral invented and patented hook and loop, after observing the burdock plant burr stick to his clothing and dog. Shortly after, the VELCRO® Brand was born to commercialize this important invention. The word “Velcro” is actually an invented word – an amalgam of the French words, “velour” and “crochet”. See the full story of hook and loop here.
To learn more about Velcro Companies and the VELCRO® Brand, please visit: www.velcro.com.
About Velcro Companies
As a “coined” or “fanciful” trademark in legal parlance, the VELCRO® mark is entitled to the strongest trademark protection under the laws of most countries. Today, the VELCRO® trademark is registered in almost every country in the world, and is the subject of over 300 trademark registrations worldwide.
Velcro Companies is a technology-driven, global organization providing fastening solutions that solve problems in simple, elegant and surprising ways for businesses and consumers around the world. We have a heritage of innovation spanning more than 50 years and own over 400 active patents and numerous trademarks, including the VELCRO® trademark, which is registered throughout the world. We develop and deliver solutions for customers through an integrated production and service system that includes manufacturing locations in the United States, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and China and sales offices around the world. To buy genuine VELCRO® brand products and to find out more about our company, visit www.velcro.com.
Note to editors
At Velcro Companies, we are proud that VELCRO® brand products have become a part of everyday life, but that ubiquity sometimes produces confusion. The VELCRO® trademark should be used only when referring to genuine VELCRO® brand fasteners. Non-VELCRO® brand products should be identified by their functional terms, such as “hook and loop,” “self-adhesive straps,” and so forth.
The VELCRO® mark should never be used as a noun or a verb. The term “Velcro Companies” should be used when referring to our company and its executives. The proper use of the VELCRO® trademark assists us in safeguarding the integrity of the VELCRO® brand, and helps to protect consumers from products incorrectly sold as VELCRO® brand products. For further information on the proper use of the VELCRO® trademark, please see the guidelines on our website.
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Director of Global Brand