Showing posts with label Kleenex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kleenex. Show all posts

May 23, 2014

Brand Names

Many words we use are really patented or trade marked names owned by specific companies. Here are a few of names that have become more-or-less generic, but are still owned.

Breathalyzer, Bubble Wrap, ChapStick, Crock Pot, Dumpster, Jacuzzi, Jet Ski, Kleenex, Ouija Board, Ping Pong, Popsicle, Rollerblade, Seeing Eye Dog, Styrofoam, Taser, Velcro, Zamboni

Jun 1, 2012

10,000 Zambonis

The ice making business was booming way before household refrigerators were common. In 1939 Frank Zamboni and his brother had been in their ice block business for years, but refrigerators were becoming popular enough that they saw things quickly changing.

They had an inventory of many large refrigeration units, so they decided to open an ice rink. It was there that Frank came up with a way to resurface the ice. Originally it took three men an hour and a half to get it done, but in 1949 he invented the precursor of the ice machine we know today.

Now one man could resurface an ice rink in ten minutes. Like Xerox and Kleenex, Zamboni is a trademarked word that we now use to refer to all ice resurfacing machines. In April 2012, the 10,000th Zamboni was sold and delivered to the Montreal Canadiens.

May 10, 2011

Gillette and Objectionable Hair

In November 1902, King (his real name) Gillette filed a patent for a safety razor that was a modest improvement on previous models.  It sold for $5, the equivalent of about $100 today. He told his staff that, “The whole success of this business depends on advertising.” Then he proved it.

Many countries do not share the hygiene habits we do in the US. Did you ever think about why we do things differently? Maybe it is not so much custom as it is the power of advertising. After selling millions of razors and blades to men, Gillette developed a new insecurity for women and he called it 'objectionable hair'.

The Journal of American Culture reveals that women shaving, in particular their underarms, was caused by magazine marketing.It says the hair-free underarm revolution was created by a marketing blitz from Gillette called The Great Underarm Campaign.


It began in May 1915, in Harper's Bazaar magazine. The first ad "featured a waist-up photograph of a young woman who appears to be dressed in a slip with a toga-like outfit covering one shoulder. Her arms are arched over her head revealing perfectly clean armpits. The first part of the ad read, 'Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.'

Within three months, the once-shocking term "underarm" was being used. A few ads mentioned hygiene as a motive for getting rid of hair, and most appealed strictly to the yearning to be hip.

Gillette changed a nation and has sold billions of razors and blades in the process. This is the same company showed us that one blade was not enough, then two, then three, then four, and now five blades make the perfect shave. Reminds me of two and three ply toilet paper. The Gillette products became so ubiquitous that the name became as synonymous with razor as Kleenex is with tissues.

Sep 10, 2010

Personal Kleenex

 Here is an interesting gift for the hypochondriac in the family. My Kleenex  provides users with the opportunity to get their favorite unlicensed photo or drawing printed on their Kleenex box. Customers can create their own designs and styles, can choose from dozens of backgrounds, add their own personal digital photo, and then generate a 3D preview to see what the box will look like.

The boxes are $4.99 each.  Think of the many occasions you could use this. 'I heard you been cryin, because I been lyin, Cheer up. . .' 'Heard you are getting married, divorced, having a baby, etc.' 'The next time you sneeze, think of meez.'  I'm sorry, I'll quit now.