It has been a while since a billboard campaign has caught my interest and attention, but the currently running Absolut Goes Dark ads are an exception worth noting:
Isn’t it interesting — at least in this context — how the simple references to Jack, Johnnie, and Jim, draw an obvious comparison to the distilled spirits brands Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, and Jim Beam? We’ve discussed here before similar fair comparative advertisements — in the context of Vodka brands no less — and brand leader references.
Although the JIM BEAM brand has been federally-registered a very long time, it doesn’t appear the brand has sought protection for the truncated version of its name, JIM.
Same story with JOHNNIE, but not so with Mr. Daniel — he seems to know more than Jack about protecting trademark truncations, having obtained a federal registration for JACK standing alone, more than a decade ago, and he recently used this specimen to keep it active:
Swedish Absolut is not only on a first name basis with these well-known distilled spirit brands, but it also appears to know how to own federally-registered rights in the shape of its bottle:
Now, if Absolut were to truncate its name, should it target a low calorie version that allows drinkers to target their Abs? Look what one finds when searching for Abs Vodka . . . .