Earlier this month E.J. Schultz of AdAge wrote about Kraft’s plan to revive Jell-O:
“For Kraft Foods Group, J-E-L-L-O has spelled disappointment of late. The brand — once known for fun advertising starring the likes of Jack Benny and Bill Cosby — has struggled to find its identity in recent years, while marketing reductions have been met with sales declines.”
Mr. Schultz was focused on revival of the business, apparently not the revival of something trademark types might wonder about, namely, whether the plan is designed to avoid trademark genericide, since many would include the brand name on any Trademark Genericide Watch list.
With that introduction, do you notice anything different about the new product packaging for Jell-O set forth above? Trademark types with a keen eye will because something is missing.
I’ve used Jell-O packaging examples for years to illustrate the legal tactic of including the word “brand” in close association with the brand name to help influence meaning and consumer understanding that the Jell-O name is a brand, not generic (gelatin dessert).
I’ll typically explain that the brand managers employing this kind of tactic must have nervous trademark types behind the scenes working overtime to prevent trademark genericide.
These previous examples of Jell-O packaging illustrate the explicit “brand” reinforcement tactic:
So, does the fact that the word “brand” appears to have vanished from the new Jell-O packaging indicate the responsible trademark types are no longer concerned about genericide?
If so, is there survey data to support a more relaxed approach? If not, how long before the next kind of revival becomes necessary?