We don’t normally use product symbols like ® and ™ in our news stories, but we think the “Lawyers of Kleenex®” might well be reading this, so we’ll make an exception this time (well, on first mention, at least).
In a Gravity Labs social media campaign for the Kimberly-Clark facial tissue, the "Lawyers of Kleenex" “took over” the brand’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for a week, with one new posting each weekday from Nov. 2 to Nov. 7.
“We're here…to talk trademark usage! (Woo!),” they wrote in one. “Let's put the 'rad’ in trademark.”
That text was accompanied by a “Lawyers of Kleenex” visual showing two hands creating a heart shape around an ® symbol.
Other posts have included a video of office balloons spelling out “Thanks for saying ‘Kleenex brand tissue,’” with text from the “lawyers” reading in part, “We can even get pretty close to bending the acceptable Office Balloon Guidelines when we see someone using our name correctly.”
Another post showed a Kleenex thank-you cake, with these words: “Thanks for saying Kleenex brand tissue. By using the whole term in, but not limited to, a text, tweet, social post, website, chat or any and all references in perpetuity, helps us protect our trademark to the highest extent allowable by law.”
“We need to protect the reputation we’ve earned,” Jon Horn, Kleenex’s North American vice president of marketing, explained to Marketing Daily via email. “The Kleenex® brand invented the category nearly 100 years ago and we believe nothing compares to an actual Kleenex brand tissue.”
“This campaign is our light-hearted way of sharing gratitude to those who use the brand in the correct way,” he continued, “while reminding people this cold and flu season that not every tissue is created equal.”
Mike Roe, chief creative officer of Gravity Labs, said in a press release that Kleenex didn’t want “boring and invisible trademark protection messaging. We all felt lawyers get painted in a pretty bad light. So, we looked for ways to give the Lawyers of Kleenex a light-hearted personality.”
With that in mind, here's one of the "lawyers’’’ many responses to social comments: “We're new to social media, but we're really excited. Jeff wore sneakers today! Sneakers! This is a man who made everyone in the car sign waivers before he gave them a ride to our company picnic.”