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Kleenex hires ‘lawyers’ so consumers refer to its product correctly


By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

November 2, 2022 | 5 min read

The ‘Lawyers of Kleenex’ have taken to social media to publicly thank those who use the Kleenex brand name correctly.

heart hands

Kleenex's 'lawyers' are ready to kindly enforce the correct use of the brand name / Credit: Kleenex

Kleenex is taking legal action to ensure sniffly people everywhere are using their trademarked name correctly. Hint: it’s a “Kleenex brand tissue,” not just any branded tissue.

The brand today revealed a social media stunt designed to educate the public about the correct use of the Kleenex brand name, to keep its trademark protected and publicly thank those who use it correctly. For example, if you say, “Grab a Kleenex,” to generally refer to any tissue, you’re using it wrong. The campaign introduces a fictional legal team, lightheartedly referred to as the ‘Lawyers of Kleenex,’ to tell consumers to instead use the term “Kleenex brand tissue” when referring to its product.

”On the Kleenex brand, while we understand the importance of trademark protection, we also realize it’s not something most people think about,” said Kleenex’s North American vice-president of marketing Jon Horn. “With the ‘Lawyers of Kleenex’, not only do we want to educate people about the proper way to use our brand name – we want to do it in an approachable and humorous way.”

The campaign started with a ‘legal letter’ from the Lawyers of Kleenex, which stated: “While Kleenex has a big organizational heart, they retain no US or global patents on said ‘heart.’ So, we have reconciled that our best course of action is to share outward messages of our general thanks – but not limited to – swimming gratitude for using the Kleenex brand in the correct way while reminding our loving audience that not every tissue is Kleenex. After all, our branded Kleenex tissues are the best and should be protected as such.”

The ‘Lawyers of Kleenex’ campaign was developed by Gravity Labs, a Chicago-based advertising agency.

“Right off the bat, the Kleenex team had a vision for this campaign,” said Gravity Labs’ chief creative officer Mike Roe. ”Although they didn’t know what they wanted, they certainly knew what they 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. When we sketched an image of suit sleeves putting heart hands around a circle R trademark, well, we knew we’d found our personality.”

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