Monday, June 16, 2008

Trademarkmama Embodied, or, my two loves collide

I went to Target on Saturday. For me, no surprise. In fact, on my way there, I mused over writing a blog post about how Target comes in third in places I am at the most (work, and home, being first and second, and sometimes in that order, sometimes not).

There are two Target stores somewhat nearby, and the one we tend to frequent has these huge, red, well, balls out front. I think they're supposed to keep you from driving into the store or something. Everytime we go to this Target, Erin's eyes light up at the huge balls, and she exclaims "ba!" and insists on running between each of them and touching them at least 7 times before we're permitted to enter.

On Saturday, we did not go to the big balls Target. We went to the OTHER Target which, lamentably, is big ball free.

Yet, when we approached the store, Erin exclaimed "ba?"

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Did my daughter just demonstrate an understanding of Trade Dress?

For ye of the uninitiated, Trade Dress typically refers to the look and feel of something (a store, restaurant, product packaging, website, etc.) that serves as a source indicator for the company. It's like a trademark, except it is not an actual word or slogan. One of the most famous examples of Trade Dress is the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle. Even if you take the label off the bottle, you still recognize the shape of the bottle as being from Coke.

Anyway, Target has done a great job of associating itself with the color red, thus arguably making the color red part of Target's Trade Dress.

And, I SWEAR, Erin somehow got this. I am convinced that when we approached the non-ball Target store, which is entirely red (like the balled Target store), she recognized the red, and associated it with the other Target that had the balls. And then wondered where the balls are.

balls. balls. balls. (sorry, just had to)

On Saturday, my daughter grasped a concept that even some the junior attorneys that work with me cannot grasp. Freakin' awesome.


SciFi Dad said...

Not to diminish her accomplishment in any way, shape, or form, but is it possible she recognized the target logo on the building, or maybe on the doors?

(I don't know... I live in Canada, where Target is nothing more than a really scary place where I know my life savings would end up if my wife had unfettered access.)

for a different kind of girl said...

I hope you spend a portion of your work days discreetly clearing out a corner office for Erin so she can slip in one day soon and start to work.

And I will deny this if pressed, but sometimes when I go to Target (A lot, OK? A lot...), I also light up at the huge balls and perhaps sometimes drape myself over them (A lot, OK? A lot...).

trademarkmama said...

Sci fi dad: you know, I thought that at first too. Still would have been something to be proud of, trademark recognition and all. But then I realized that, from her angle, she couldn't SEE the bullseye logo. That's when my eyes welled up...

FADKOG: you should have said 'balls' more in your post. and there is no need to deny your love of Target. It runs through us all...

Samurai Beetle said...

Exactly how does a junior attorney get a job in the trademark industry without understanding this concept???

I'm a designer so maybe it comes second nature, but seriously just how is this concept difficult to grasp?

Congrats on the clever daughter! That just rocks.

JonMcP said...

Funny. My daughter (20 months) and I recently visited our local Target. Someone had just been smoking in the elevator in the parking deck when we got on (this is NC, after all)... now, literally EVERY time she sees the Target bullseye logo, be it in a newspaper insert, TV, whatever, she says "Peee Yeeew".

I'm sure Target would not be pleased. But seriously- how wild that someone that young can associate a symbol with an experience.