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Okay, I have to admit it, I am now a recovering Olympics junkie. If there were 18 hours of coverage a day, I may not have seen all of it, but I sure got my fair share.

The Olympics for me is far more than the glory of sport.

With multi-millionaire tennis players, cyclists and basketball players competing, it really is more about marketing and brand awareness than it is about anything else. As I mentioned in a tweet the other day “if MacDonalds and Coca Cola did not care about the Olympics. . . would we?”

It is not only about the corporate brands, but the personal ones as well.  Christine Sinclair‘s Bronze Medal in Olympic Soccer will be marketed far more than we will market Canada’s only Gold Medal, Rosie MacLennan in trampoline.     For that matter, Sinclair will be marketed far more than the person who actually scored the winning goal, getting Canada the Bronze Medal in soccer, Diana Matheson.

Is this fair, no not really, it is marketing.   Sinclair was built up as a hero by the media and probably her own consultants, long before she arrived in London.   She was the focus of the Canadian team and she will get the glory of something that was truly a team effort.

However, the biggest winner in terms of Olympic Marketing was not even an official sponsor.  

Nike was everywhere.

It did not matter the sport, or the team, the unmistakable Nike Swoosh was visible throughout the games.  That is brand awareness and marketing at it’s finest.    The word Nike did not have to appear anywhere, the swoosh said it all.

So all of this leads me to the question of greatness.   Who is truly great and why?    Does it take a medal around your neck or a billion dollar advertising budget?  

I say no.  

Greatness is the ability to achieve goals set by you and be comfortable in knowing that success is measured over a lifetime, not in a moment in time.   Let us help define your greatness and Get YOU Noticed!

One of the most challenging things about developing a name for your product, service or organization is finding one that can be owned.

Registered as a trademark and then protected from use by others, in other words. It is always essential in your process to have more than one name you can live with, because some monikers on your shortlist will already be owned, or will not be "distinctive" in legal terms - meaning that because they're in sufficiently wide usage, no one person or organization can validly claim ownership.


But how will Charlie Sheen fare in his recently announced attempt to register 22 catchphrases, including "duh, winning," "the Vatican assassin" and "tiger blood"?

As was the case for his publicity-lusting celebrity brethren, the distinctiveness test will prove decisive.

Of the above three phrases, "duh, winning" could be the most difficult challenge, because those words just don't have the ring of distinctiveness. On the other hand, he could be successful if he establishes that enough of the public associates "duh, winning" with him.

As for "the Vatican assassin" and "tiger blood," they have the ring of Charlie's drug-addled brain alone. Which could provide at least tenuous support for his assertion, another of the trademarks he seeks: "I'm not bi-polar, I'm bi-winning."

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Trademark Wars Online

The European Court of Justice

Image via Wikipedia

Google won a significant legal battle in Europe, critical to its business model.

The European Court of Justice ruled that advertisers could use trademarks that they did not own as keywords in their google adwords.

Here is how Google explains the trademark decision.

"Google aims to provide as much information as possible to users so that they can make informed decisions. 

For this reason, we have been awaiting a series of decisions by the European Court of Justice that explore the extent to which trade mark rights can be used to restrict information available to users. 

The first of those decisions was delivered today. 

The question before the court was whether advertisers should be allowed to choose keywords freely when reaching out to users on the Internet

In other words, if advertisers are allowed to show advertisements when another company's brand name is entered as a search query. Trade marks are part of our daily life and culture, helping us to identify the products and services that we may be looking for. They are key for companies to market and advertise their products and services. 

But trade mark rights are not absolute. 

We believe that user interest is best served by maximizing the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts. 

For instance, if a user is searching for information about a particular car, he or she will want more than just that car's website. 

They might be looking for different dealers that sell that car, second hand cars, reviews about the car or looking for information about other cars in the same category."

This is a very important decision for both franchisee associations and franchisees.

A franchisee association may want to draw attention to its website by using ad and targeting the franchisor's trade marks as key words.  The franchisee association may not have permission to use the franchisor's trademark on their own website, so constructing online advertising targeting those keywords may be the next best thing.

A franchise may want to advertise on the internet using the franchisor's trademarks as keywords, but not advertising the franchisor's trademark on his or website.

This critical ruling by the European Court of Justice would allow the franchisee association and the franchsiee the necessary latitude to compete online.

Will the North American Courts follow suit?  A very important issue to follow.

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