Clarkson vs YouTuber – I did a thing!

Unless you live under a rock, you know who Clarkson is. Once again, he’s recently done his best to get ‘cancelled’, but we’ll gloss over that for now.

For this more light-hearted bit of ‘news’, let me introduce you to an Australian fella named Alex Apollonov. Didn’t know the name? No, me neither until I Googled him.

You might know his YouTube channel; ‘I did a thing.’

He currently has 3.7 million subscribers and puts out some extremely popular videos (amongst certain demographics, anyway).

They usually involve bad ideas, rudimentary engineering, and self-peril. Have a watch for yourself – it’s difficult to explain the content he makes, other than to say it’s endearingly stupid.

You may have already jumped the gun about why these people from separate sides of the world crossed paths…

Jezza’s company Curdle Hill Farm Ltd (i.e. Diddly Squat) trademarked his famous phrase ‘I did a thing!’ in October 2021, to use on t-shirts and merchandise. 

The result?

Yep, YouTube’s ‘I did a thing’ threatened legal action, with tongue firmly in cheek, Tweeting;

“My cousin’s girlfriend’s sister is a lawyer, and she is pretty good. You better watch out”

Yes, it was a year ago, but it makes me smile and sets up the next bit… 

Anyway, no love lost and was lost and the Twitter community smirked, but it makes you wonder what a minefield a trademark can be.

Does someone else with a global audience already ‘own’ it?

What or who might you accidentally be associating yourself with?!

Lee wrote a great blog a little while ago called Effective Automotive Brand Naming, so I won’t copy his homework and go down that rabbit hole.

For a business to really prosper, you do need a clear, well-defined brand. It is important to distinguish between a brand and trademarks though. A trademark can be a name, logo, colour, phrase, or even a sound that identifies your brand.

Brand, as your identity, is much wider. It’s your image, personality, culture, and reputation. Here’s more about developing a brand identity on our blog from Sam.

You can easily find plenty of stories about some unintentional (and some very intentional) trademark disputes. A few countries don’t seem to play by the rules (ahem, China) but that’s a conversation I’m not qualified to get involved in.

With your identity, what’s important is being unique, taking legal ownership of what makes you unique, and knowing when to brush it off gracefully when you accidentally tread on someone’s toes.

If you want to chat about any aspect of brand strategy, positioning, visual identity or even naming (especially considering the above) we’ve been doing it for 25 years – give the office a call on 01332 372 728 or pop over an email.

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