The 17 Most Recognizable Trademark Sounds

Many of the most famous trademarks are actually sounds. They can be commercial jingles or even a single note. The seventeen most recognizable trademarked sounds include:

  1. The musical notes used to identify the television network NBC, which are G, E, and C. These notes were first broadcast over the radio in 1950.
  2. The lion's roar that opens MGM films.
  3. “Sweet Georgia Brown,” a song used by The Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.
  4. The Russian-style song used by the videogame Tetris.
  5. The five notes used by Intel.
  6. Cartoon character Homer Simpson's catchphrase “D'Oh!” which is owned by Fox.
  7. The nine-bar musical opening to 20th Century Fox films.
  8. The theme for Looney Toons owned by Time Warner.
  9. The letters “AT&T” spoken aloud with background music.
  10. Checker's Restaurant's “Cha-Ching.”
  11. The “Yahoo!” yodel.
  12. The standard ringtone on Nokia phones.
  13. The jingle for Mister Softee.
  14. America Online's “Hello and Welcome to Movefone.”
  15. The New York Stock Exchange's opening bell and crowd noise.
  16. The popping sound in two and six tones used by TIvo.
  17. The giggle of the Pillsbury Doughboy.

“Genericized” Brands (Synonymous With Their Product Categories

There are some brands that have become so popular that they have become synonymous with the product that they represent. For example, the brand Band-Aid is now used as shorthand for all adhesive bandages, even though it actually represents a single type of bandage produced by Johnson & Johnson. Similarly, many people refer to all gelatin products as Jell-O.

Other brands that have become synonymous with their product category include:

  • Frisbee, a type of flying disc.
  • Butterscotch, a pudding flavor that was once a trademark of Parkinson's.
  • Kleenex, a popular tissue brand.
  • Windex, which is a type of glass cleaner.
  • Q-Tips, which are one brand of cotton swab.

The Most Ridiculous Trademark Attempts Ever

Because trademarks are so valuable, it's common for people to apply for a trademark in an effort to build their brand. However, since there are very specific requirements for registering a trademark, there have been several ridiculous attempts to register a trademark that had no shot at approval.

Snooki, one of the stars of the MTV show Jersey Shore, once tried to trademark here nickname. Unfortunately for her, the claim was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Likelihood of confusion was the reason given for the rejection, as there was already a cartoon cat named Snooky that had been given a trademark.

Another infamous failed trademark was applied for by New England Patriots football team. In 2008, they won every game in the regular season and were poised to win the Super Bowl, which would have resulted in a perfect 19-0 season. Sensing a chance to build their brand, the Patriots attempted to trademark “19-0.” However, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, making their season record 18-1, completely defeating the purpose of their trademark.

The smiley face is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world, in part thanks to its use in Wal-Mart advertising campaigns. In 2006, Wal-Mart attempted to trademark the smiley face, despite the fact that the symbol has existed since the 1970s. Wal-Mart was so insistent that they owned the smiley face that they once sued an artist for parodying the mark. Eventually, the case went to the courts, where it was determined that the smiley face was a part of the public domain.

Most Valuable Brands in the World

A company's brand can be a large part of its total value, and some of the top brands in the world are valued at billions of dollars. 

For instance, Honda, a world-famous car manufacturer, has brand value of 18.5 billion dollars. One of the reasons Honda's brand is so successful is that they are committed to customer satisfaction. According to one report, Honda has one of the highest customer retention rates of any automobile manufacturer.

Amazon is another of the world's most valuable brands with a brand value of $23.6 billion. This company is always looking for ways to increase its brand value, including acquiring Goodreads, a website focused on providing book recommendations. By purchasing Goodreads, Amazon was able to make its customers feel like they were a part of a community without worrying about a loss of privacy.

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