Brand Identity CaseThe Supreme Court is considering a case about poop jokes: Jack Daniel’s vs VIP Products. The case is about whether VIP Products infringed upon the whiskey maker’s trademarked bottle shape and label when it sold a toy named “Bad Spaniels”. There is copy on the bottle about a dog dropping “the old No.2 on your Tennessee carpet.”

Sounds like a pretty silly case already!

“Jack Daniel’s loves dogs and appreciates a good joke as much as anyone. But Jack Daniel’s likes its customers even more and doesn’t want them confused or associating its fine whiskey with dog poop.”

The real question is how to balance the needs of the marketplace with the demands of free speech. Trademark law in our industry, which gives companies an exclusive right to use the imagery associated with their brand to market their products, necessarily limits free speech.

Federal trademark law sometimes permits companies to sell products that parody a famous trademark – you would think that this is the case here. Most consumers are smart enough to tell the difference between an authentic product and a joke seeking to mock or ridicule that product.

There was also a previous case Louis Vuitton v. Haute Diggity Dog, which involved dog toys make to look like handbags. But they didn’t associate their product with feces.

It will be interesting to see what happens, but it is unlikely that a judge will come up with a better way of protecting both companies’ interests. I certainly wouldn’t want a parody of MEDiAHEAD going around!

You can learn more about the case here.

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Make your bed every morning!I can’t explain it, but if my bed and bedroom are a mess when I leave for work, the day goes to hell in a handbasket quickly.

My mother was very strict about chores, and the biggest one was making your bed every morning before you start your day. She even reminded me constantly as an adult, and especially when my life was going awry, to make my bed.

What is it about making your bed that allows you to be productive all day?

It may sound silly that such a small task would influence the rest of your day, but the survey found that completing this chore actually gives people an early sense of accomplishment that then helps them feel more productive throughout the rest of the day. More than eight in 10 bed-makers felt this way.

You don’t have to look far in most work environments to spot the most organized employees. You know, the ones who are rarely without their planning journal or regularly checking their smartphone or tablet for notifications on the next client video conference. Chances are, they’re part of the 72 percent of bed-makers that like to organize and plan.

Those who make their bed each morning also tend to have much healthier habits, like organizing, eating healthier, setting personal goals, and following their routines and schedules—and they usually get a better night’s sleep. If that doesn’t persuade you to start making your bed each morning, I don’t know what will!