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TODD SMITH — Ohio State seeks to trademark ‘The’


The Buckeyes are aiming to be “The” brand in college sports!

Ohio State University is seeking to trademark the word “The” when used on items marketed for sale, according to a trademark application filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The filing, made a couple of weeks ago, aims to protect the school’s formal name – The Ohio State University – from being used without permission on clothing and other merchandise.

The university has been vigorous in its efforts to protect trademarks that hold unique value to the Buckeyes, filing trademarks for phrases such as “The Shoe” and the names and likenesses of former coaches Urban Meyer and Woody Hayes. 

In 2017, the aggressive efforts nearly hit a roadblock when the attempt to file a trademark for the use of “OSU” on clothing and apparel was formally opposed by Oklahoma State. Eventually, the two schools came to an agreement that allowed both OSUs to benefit financially from their acronyms. 

The good news for fans of one of the most commonly used words in the English language is that Ohio State does not appear to have “the” on lockdown for uses outside of its association with the university’s name – and of course, that would be a big time fumble of the King’s English.

Future Tech Trends

The Future Today Institute publishes a report of the IT trends of the future, and how it will impact the economy.

In 2019, the number of innovations mentioned in the forecast almost doubled compared with the previous year. Technologies are being developed faster than ever. In order to keep up, consider these tech drivers for 2020 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence

Scientists at Stanford University think that by 2030, all U.S. cities will use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure public safety. In their opinion, the AI will help prevent crimes and even act as an assistant in court proceedings.

Solutions based on AI have already spurred many IT trends of the future: from smart home to speech recognition, face recognition, and even imitation of emotions. Elements of artificial intelligence – machine and deep learning – are now used frequently in robotics. And researchers at the Future Today Institute suggest that soon, artificial intelligence will become part of all modern innovations.

  • Voice and visual product search

According to a recent forecast, by 2021, the leading trading companies will begin to introduce a visual and voice search for goods. Using AI technology, large online stores can better understand the desires and interests of consumers. Analysts predict that as a result of innovations, the revenue of trading platforms will increase by 30%.

  • Individual approach to the online buyer

Using AI, an online store, can display products individually for each user, depending on their behavior on the site. Thanks to technology, it will be possible to adjust the site models in real time using a continuous stream of data on visitors’ transactions.

Transportation Innovations

  • Autonomous vehicles

Cars with autopilot is another trend of the future (based on the concept of artificial intelligence). Tesla already allows drivers to turn on the autopilot in their cars, provided they keep an eye on the road. Uber has launched nearly 100 autonomous cars on the streets of Pittsburgh. However, while the innovation is only being tested, a company employee is constantly in the car to monitor the work of the algorithm and security.

According to the forecast, by 2030, half of all autos will be equipped with an autopilot function. And in a note for Forbes, analysts even speculate on how insurance companies will evaluate risks, based on the growing number of unmanned cars.

Autonomous cars are the wave of the future.

Logistics automation

Analysts believe that the automation of cargo delivery is a very relevant topic not only for carriers but also for large online stores. When retail sales grow from 9 to 30%, companies are faced with the question of how flexible they can be in the delivery of goods. The demand for transport management systems of the supply chain will surge in the coming years. And, cloud services for logistics automation will significantly optimize the delivery of goods.

User Experience

User experience helps to distinguish the company from competitors. Design based on user experience will continue to develop in parallel with the latest technologies. Traditional interfaces are transformed into voice or even neural, the so-called “brain-computer” and will also be actively used in robotics. The task of high-quality user experience will remain unchanged – to make technological innovations as convenient and understandable as possible.

Big Data

Analysis of large amounts of data is already used by companies. With the increasing amount of information and the development of AI, not only will  Big Data develop, but also the field of application of this technology. Opportunities for analyzing loads of information will be applied in all areas. Big Data will be one of the tools of internet marketing. This technology allows folks to quickly process huge amounts of data based on consumer behavior.

Spammed Mic: Pumpkin Spice Infused Meat Product Couldn’t Be Good

It wasn’t enough to have pumpkin spice and foamed milk heaped into our coffee. Now the fall fetish has invaded the world’s most popular canned meat! What’s next pumpkin spice lip-gloss?

Spam has announced it is jumping on the seasonal flavor train by offering pumpkin-flavored meat in a can. Spam, which is already-cooked pork with a slightly salty taste, will reportedly come in a new Pumpkin Spice flavor, which the brand jokingly teased back in 2017.

The Hormel subsidiary posted a mock-up of the product on Facebook with the caption “Just in time for fall – SPAM® Pumpkin Spice! OK, it might not be real, but you can still put it on your holiday wish list! Would you?”

Spam’s “Pumpkin Spice combines deliciousness with creativity, allowing the latest variety to be incorporated into a number of dishes, from on-trend brunch recipes to an easy, pick me-up snack,” the company said in a statement

The Pumpkin Spice trend has been around for years and was seemingly launched by Starbucks when it introduced it’s wildly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte more than 15 years ago. Starbucks has since introduced its Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier and earlier each year. Dunkin’ has also introduced a line of pumpkin flavored drinks and treats. And it seems yet another iconic food has been invaded: there’s now a pumpkin spice Cheerios (for a limited time).

No amount of spin can save us now!

You can’t put lipstick on a pig, and you most certainly can’t make Spam prettier. It’s like serving pickled eggs on your finest china, pig’s feet in a champagne glass or pork rinds on yo mamma’s silver. They just don’t go together!

Spam sho nuff don’t need any pumpkin spice. Pass me the original with a side of sardines in mustard sauce – on a paper plate!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» TODD SMITH is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Deane | Smith, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm – based in Nashville, Tenn. – is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, follow him @spinsurgeon and like the ageny on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanesmithpartners, and join us on LinkedIn  http://www.linkedin.com/company/deane-smith-&-partners.


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