IP Information & News

LOL, WTF, FOMO, NBD — P&G gets down with the kids

Christopher Banister

By Christopher Banister

Trade Mark Attorney

Would you be more likely to buy household cleaning products that were marketed with commonly used digital messaging acronyms? Have you ever looked at a bottle of Febreze and wished it would make you ROFL?

Well you may be in luck. Proctor & Gamble (P&G), the American multinational consumer goods corporation, has recently filed some very interesting trade mark applications in the United States.

Among them are applications for the letters ‘LOL’ (laugh out loud), ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) and ‘NBD’ (no big deal). I’m sure you know what WTF stands for without making me spell it out.

Each application (if accepted and registered) would provide P&G with exclusive rights to these acronyms in relation to various household cleaning goods in Class 3 (e.g. dishwashing detergents). It’s not clear what plans the company has for these trade marks yet — but we can (and will) speculate...

Perhaps these applications signal a bold new marketing approach. Acronyms like these are commonly used by millennials on electronic messaging services such as SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. And since millennials are fast becoming the largest demographic in the United States, accordingly, businesses are having to shift their promotional strategies to ensure that their brands remain attractive and relatable to customers.

It will be interesting to see whether these applications will be accepted by the USPTO and the extent to which P&G plans to use these acronyms in future marketing campaigns. Watch this space for more on the millennial cleaning revolution!

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