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Archive for June, 2009

Paris Hilton’s trademarks are no joke

Posted by ipelton on: June 30th, 2009

Despite a persona as a celebrity/tabloid/reality star, Paris Hilton (or her advisors) knows a thing or two about trademarks.  I happened to catch her on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night while channel surfing and she brought up the fact that she had registered and protected her trademarks.  In today’s celebrity obsessed and media driven world, lots of people are famous for little more than being a celebrity and hanging around other famous people.  But Paris has perfected this, and she has shown that she is more than just a famous name and face, Paris Hilton is a brand and she is making money (probably a substantial amount) from it.

She owns several registrations for

And apparently her new catch phrase is “That’s Huge”.  Paris Hilton Claims ‘That’s Huge’ As Her Trademark Phrase

She understands that by “branding” herself and her catchphrases they become more than entertainment, they become potential money makers.  She has perfume, clothing, and jewelry attached to her name. Not to mention TV shows.

Being famous for being famous is one thing, but making money off your “brand” that is famous because your are famous is a talented feat and Paris Hilton has pulled it off, perhaps better than anyone else.

Love it or leave it – Staples®

Posted by ipelton on: June 30th, 2009

Love it!

Here is the Staples® office supply store logo:

Why do love it? It is Simple.  It has a Message.  It is Subliminal and contains a Double Entendre.  The “L” is a “staple”.  A staple is a type of office supply. but it also means raw materials.  Staples® sell the staples (raw materials) you need to run your office.  Simple but brilliant.

Lesson: A name – or a logo – does not need to be fancy or complicated to convey a powerful message to your customers.

Love it or leave it – The Hut

Posted by ipelton on: June 29th, 2009

Leave it – The Hut

Apparently Pizza Hut, in an effort to turn itself around in this economy is re-branding itself as “The Hut” with a new logo.

See: http://www.idsgn.org/posts/pizza-the-hut/

New Logo for The Hut

New Logo for "The Hut"

To me, the Hut does not sound like a place to get a great mean.  “Pizza Hut” is marginally better.  Unless the modifications at “The Hut” include a menu that does not focus on pizza, I think this logo, brand, and restaurant are bound to fail.  The Hut sounds like a desperate attempt to be cool and to appeal to youth. Also, the new logo (and old one) have only one image – that of the roof.  Is the building really the best thing about your brand, your food, your restaurant?

Lesson: If you change your brand, do you risk alienating your current customers? What message are you communicating with this change?  To me, the change to “The Hut” communicates desperation and an appeal to youth.

Love it or Leave it – Citi Field logo

Posted by ipelton on: June 28th, 2009

Citi Field logo – leave it

This logo for the new New York Mets stadium fails for several reasons.

- It looks like the Domino pizza logo.

- It conveys nothing about Citi financial services or baseball (OK, I admit it does contain an umbrella and may suggest the shape of a baseball diamond.

- The Citi name is the focus, not the field or the opening of the new stadium, which seems to just scream pure corporate sponsorship (I admit, I am a bit of a baseball purist and in general find too much advertising connected to the games — I know that position is somewhat contrary to my position as a trademark attorney promoting brand development!)

- To me, all it says is: we paid a lot of money to attach the Citi name to this stadium and had to find a way to put our name on the uniforms and everywhere possible to try to justify the investment.

- Last years special Mets logo commemorating the final season at Shea stadium was much more interesting, it features the NYC skyline, some of the stadium, and a much more interesting design.

Lesson: Don’t waste valuable advertising space by failing to communicate a message.

Love it or leave it – FedEx logo

Posted by ipelton on: June 28th, 2009

Love it or leave it – trademarks that impress me or disappoint me

FedEx logo (love it)

I am very fond of the FedEx logo.

FedEx Express logo

FedEx Express logo

The name and logo convey speed.  There is a hidden arrow in the logo subliminally suggesting speed and getting your package from one place to another.  (http://www.moillusions.com/2006/05/fedex-logo-optical-illusion.html)  The FedEx brand name is unique and easy to remember.  And it is consistent.  All FedEx services are branded “FedEx”. FedEx bought Kinko’s several years back and until recently the service was called “FedEx Kinko’s”.  Now it is being re-named FedEx Office. All of FedEx’s services feature the FedEx name and logo and a generic term, so they all promote the overall brand, its consistency and service.

Lesson: Cohesiveness makes a brand even stronger.  A five letter brand name and logo can convey a real and important message, in this case speed.