Velcro targets trademark abusers again with singing lawyers

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Trademark protection traditionally has been a dismal art, with such brands as Kleenex, Xerox and Tabasco aiming humorless trade ads or disapproving emails at journalists or others who misuse their names generically.

Velcro—and that is a registered trademark for the hook-and-loop fastener folks—takes a different approach. An initial #DontSayVelcro video last year featured singing lawyers. Now the brand has a follow-up featuring real and profane responses provoked by the first video. "Hook and loop your heads out of your asses," is one of the kinder ones recounted, again by the singing lawyers, in the new effort by Walk West.

Fun aside, the campaign is working, according to Julie Barry, director of global brand for Velcro Cos. "It's created a dialog online that hasn't existed before," Barry says. "Now we have users on Twitter, YouTube or Reddit correcting each other."

Among celebrities who've joined the dialog are Anderson Cooper and John Mayer. Cooper added the initial effort to his Ridiculist, a segment on his CNN show rounding up absurd headlines. Through a Twitter dialog with @VelcroBrand, Mayer learned that shoes from his childhood that he thought were made with Velcro really weren't (and of course that he shouldn't say Velcro).

"With the positives, you also get some of the trolls and negative comments," Barry says. "Some of them were quite funny. So we thought we could bring closure to that original concept with a follow-up video that incorporates actual feedback."

There will be more videos this year and next, she says.

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