Legal Marketing

Lawyers for Velcro use music video to offer thanks for angry feedback on trademark plea

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Those aren’t lawyers on Velcro Companies’ new music video thanking the public for its angry feedback. They are actors playing lawyers.

But in-house lawyers were involved in the making of the video, Corporate Counsel reports. And they believe the company’s “Don’t Say Velcro” campaign has been successful, even if some people did have a negative, F-bomb-loaded reaction to its plea to save its trademark.

Velcro wants people to use VELCRO® Brand (as an adjective, as in “VELCRO® Brand fasteners) when referring to its product, and to use “hook and loop” when referring to scratchy, hairy fasteners made by other companies.

Velcro released an initial video last September in which actors playing lawyers explain in song that the Velcro patent has lapsed and the company will lose its trademark if the word is used to refer to all hook-and-loop fasteners. Some actual in-house lawyers also made appearances in the original video.

“We’re asking you not to say a name it took 50 plus years to build,” one character sings. “But if you keep calling these Velcro shoes, our trademark will get killed.”

In the new video, the same characters return, singing aloud comments posted to the original video. “ ‘Who are all these [bleep]ing clowns,’ an angry viewer asked us,” they sing. “Kevin says, ‘Please hook and loop your heads out of your asses.”

The characters then point to commenters who, though unhappy with Velcro’s request, managed to call fasteners “hook and loop.” The first video appeared to have an impact offline, too, according to Alexandra DeNeve, who is Velcro’s senior counsel for trademarks.

DeNeve tells corporate counsel that the company has seen a drop in trademark misuse since the launch of the first video, which garnered more than 550,000 views.

“The point of the video is, you may not have liked the message, but you heard it and you responded to it and that’s what’s important to us,” DeNeve told Corporate Counsel.

DeNeve said corporate lawyers worked with the company’s marketing team to make the videos. Now in-house lawyers at other companies want to use the videos in presentations and training she said.

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