Brand Names That We Call Generic Products

How many products can you think just off the top of your head that have become widely known by their generic names?

There is an actual term for this — It’s known as “Genericide”. This is the term used when a product name becomes a generic name for the item. Check out the examples a little further down the page. Some items that fall into that category include baby oil, bandages, zippers, trampolines, thermos, cellophane, escalator and dry ice.

The “trademarks” in the list below are still legally protected as such but are often times commonly used by consumers in reference to an item in general or in a generic sense. As a rule, these names are still widely known by the public at large as “brand names”. The competition, however, knows better than to use them.

We’re not really supposed to say “kleenex” when we want “tissue,” but some of us still do. Another example is Scotch tape when referring to generic tape — Another is Xerox when we mean photocopy.

Here’s a list of several more examples:

  • “AstroTurf” when we mean artificial turf
  • “Band-Aid” when we mean adhesive bandage
  • “Bondo” when we mean auto body filler
  • “Brillo Pad” (or “SOS Pad”) when referring to any type of scouring pad made with steel wool embedded with soap
  • “Bubble Wrap” when we mean inflated cushioning
  • “ChapStick” when we mean lip balm
  • “Clearasil” when we refer to an acne medication for the face  and skin care
  • “Clorox” when referring to any bleach
  • “Coke” when referring to any soft drink or soda pop in general
  • “Crayola” when we mean crayons
  • “Crazy Glue” when referring to any type of fast-acting or instant glue
  • “Crock-Pot” when we mean slow cooker
  • “Cuisinart” when we mean food processor
  • “Dictaphone” when we mean dictation machine
  • “Discman” when we mean portable personal CD player
  • “Dust Off” when we mean canned air spray or compressed air used as a dust cleaner for keyboards and electronic items
  • “Elmer’s” when referring to any type of adhesive glue
  • “Formica” when we mean plastic or wood laminate
  • “Frigidaire” when we mean refrigerator
  • “Frisbee” when we mean flying disc
  • “Glad Wrap” or “Handy Wrap” or “Saran Wrap” when we mean plastic wrap cling film
  • “Google” when we mean looking up something in a search engine
  • “Hacky Sack” when we mean footbag
  • “Hoover” when we mean vacuum cleaner
  • “Hersheys” (or “Nestle Quick” or “Carnation”) when we mean chocolate syrup
  • “Hula Hoop” when we mean toy hoop ring
  • “iPod” when referring to any type of personal portable media player
  • “Jacuzzi” when referring to any hot tub or whirlpool bath
  • “Jeep” when referring to any compact sport utility vehicle
  • “Jell-O” when we mean gelatin dessert
  • “Jet Ski” when referring to any stand-up personal watercraft
  • “JumboTron” when referring to any large screen television
  • “Kleenex” when we mean facial tissue
  • “Kool-Aid” when we mean cold sweetened flavored drink
  • “Kotex” when we mean tampons or soft feminine hygiene pads.
  • “LazyBoy” when we mean recliner
  • “Levis” when referring to denim jeans
  • “Matchbox” or “Hot Wheels” when referring to any die cast toy cars
  • “Nintendo” when referring to any older video game console or system
  • “NOS” (“Nitrous Oxcide Systems”) when referring to any nitrous systems
  • “Onesies” when we mean an infant bodysuit
  • “Otter Pops” when we mean ice pop or any plastic tube-filled-frozen-snack with flavored sugary liquid
  • “Pam” when we mean a cooking spray to keep the frying pan or similar pot from having food stick to it.
  • “Pampers” when we mean diapers.
  • “Photoshop” when we mean photo manipulation
  • “Ping Pong” when we mean table tennis
  • “Play-Doh” when referring to a modeling compound clay for children
  • “Pledge” when we mean furniture spray
  • “Polaroid” when we mean instant photograph or instant camera
  • “Popsicle” when we mean an ice pop or any frozen confectionary treat on a stick
  • “Porta-Potty” when referring to a portable self-contained outhouse
  • “Post-its” when we mean sticky notes
  • “PowerPoint” when we mean electronic presentation
  • “Q-tips” when we mean cotton swabs
  • “Rollerblade” when referring to inline skates
  • “Scotch Tape” when we mean clear adhesive tape
  • “Sea-Doo” when we mean sit-down personal watercraft
  • “Semtex” when we mean plastic explosive
  • “Sharpie” when we mean permanent marker
  • “Ski-Doo” when we mean snowmobile
  • “Scott Towels” (or maybe “Bounty”) when we mean paper towels
  • “Speedo” when we mean skin-tight swim briefs
  • “Stanley Knife” when we mean utility knife
  • “Styrofoam” when we are referring to extruded polystyrene foam
  • “Super Heroes” when we mean superhero (“Super Heroes” is co-owned and trademarked by Marvel & DC Comics)
  • “Tampex” when referring to tampons
  • “Tarmac” when referring to asphalt road surface
  • “Taser” when we mean electroshock weapon
  • “Teflon” when we mean a type of cookware for the stove with a protective coating on the inside to keep food from sticking to it.
  • “Tonka” when referring to any type of kid’s toy trucks
  • “Trojans” when referring to condoms
  • “Tupperware” when referring to any type of modular food storage containers
  • “Tylenol” when we referring to any over-the-counter pain reliever/fever reducer
  • “Vaseline” when we mean petroleum jelly
  • “Velcro” when referring to any hook-and-loop fastener
  • “Walkie-Talkie” when referring to any portable handheld radio or two-way radio transceiver
  • “Walkman” when we mean portable personal stereo player
  • “WaveRunner” when referring to any personal watercraft
  • “Wet Naps” or “Handi-Wipes” when referring to a moist towelette or wet wipe
  • “Windex” when referring to any glass and/or hard surface cleaner
  • “Winnebago” when referring to any Class A Recreational Vehicle or motorhome
  • “Wite-Out” when we mean correction fluid
  • “X-Acto Knife” when referring to a precise cutting utility knife
  • “Xerox” when we mean photocopier or to make a photocopy
  • “Zig Zag” when referring to any rolling papers used for marijuana or tobacco
  • “Ziplock Bags” when referring to any type of reusable, re-sealable zipper type storage bags
  • “Zippo” when referring to refillable lighters



Below are a few examples of trademarks that have lost their legal protection — at least in the United States:

  • “Aspirin” — originally a trademark of Bayer AG
  • “Cellophane” — originally a trademark of DuPont
  • “Dry Ice” — originally a trademark by Dry Ice Corporation of America
  • “Escalator” — originally a trademark of the Otis Elevator Company
  • “Kerosene” — originally trademarked by Abraham Gesner
  • “Mimeograph” — originally trademarked by Albert Dick
  • “Thermos” — originally a trademark of Thermos GmbH
  • “Touch-Tone” — originally a trademark of AT&T
  • “Trampoline” — originally trademarked by George Nissen
  • “Videotape” — originally a trademark of Ampex Corporation
  • “Yo-Yo” — originally a trademark of Duncan Yo-Yo Company
  • “Zipper” — originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich

While linoleum, coined by its inventor and patent holder Frederick Walton, is the first product ruled by a court as generic, it was never trademarked.

Are there any others that you can think of that apply to this subject?

Most Popular Brand Advertising Mascots of All Time

charlie_tunaMascots used in advertising over the years are the backbone of nearly all ronald_macdonaldsuccessful “image conscious” companies in the United States as well as worldwide. Mascots and icons conjure up all sorts of nostalgic images from childhood through present day. Many of the well remembered ones stood out in our minds as either funny, heartwarming, stupid, absurd or provocative. They also had another important element ….. having an identifiable character, a catchy jingle, or a Kool_Aid_mancool well thought catchphrase.

Some of the best-loved ads of the 20th century have names like Charlie, Tony, Ronald, Betty and Mr. Peanut. Others, like Joe Camel, the Marlboro Frito_BanditoMan and the Kool Penguin, may not have been  as beloved, but grew to have immense worldwide impact and could instantly be identified with their respective product. Even Fred and Barney were used for advertising Winston Cigarettes at one time ….. before all the negative implications of how hazardous smoking was on our lungs and how impressionable they were on hamms-bearyoungsters.

From frozen vegetables to packaged cake mix, from fast food to automobile tires, these well thought out, carefully drawn characters are the personifications of businesses that began small but grew to become dominant brands within their twinkie_the_kidrespective fields ….. thanks in large part to their famous icons.

This list below represents the majority of the most remembered, as well as successful, print and billboard ads, television commercials, product endoresements, mascots, icons and logos of all time. These have all made a powerful dent in our subconscious and made a powerful and longlasting impact in the marketplace. From the thousands of mascots and ads, these were the ones that stood out the Nesquik_bunnymost. The criteria used here is based upon overall effectiveness, longevity, recognizability and cultural impact.chester_cheetah_basketball

Enjoy your trip down memory lane. Be watching for a forthcoming post featuring product catchphrases. I will have a link when the post is created.

UPDATED:  2 links have been recently added  that relate to this post – You can check them out at the bottom of this posting.


See how many of the cereal brand mascots you remember in the collage below.




  1. Mickey Mouse – Walt Disney Company/Disneyland/DisneyWorldenergizer_bunny
  2. Energizer Bunny – Eveready Energizer Batteries
  3. Tony The Tiger – Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Cereal
  4. Charlie The Tuna – Starkist Tuna
  5. Trix Rabbit – General Mill’s Trix Cereal
  6. Speedy – Alka Seltzer
  7. Poppin’ Fresh The Pillsbury Doughboy – Pillsbury Rolls/Products
  8. Jolly Green Giant – Green Giant Vegetables
  9. Nipper The Dog (fox terrier) – RCA Victor Company
  10. Frito Bandito – Frito Lay Corn Chips
  11. Chicken of The Sea Mermaid – Chicken of The Sea Tunaernie_keebler_elves
  12. Elsie The Cow – Borden Dairy Products
  13. Miss Chiquita – Chiquita Bananas
  14. Ham’s Bear – Hams Beer
  15. M&M’s – M&M’s
  16. Mrs. Butterworth – Mrs. Butterworth Pancake Syrup
  17. Spuds McKenzie – Bud Light Beer
  18. Gidget The Taco Bell Chihuahua – Taco Bell Restaurants
  19. Dig ‘Em The Frog – Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks Cereal (renamed Honey Smacks)
  20. Sugar Bear – Post Super Sugar Crisp (renamed Golden Crisps)joe_camel
  21. Snap, Crackle & Pop – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal
  22. Jack – Jack-In -The-Box Restaurants
  23. Marvelous Magical Burger King (the older cartoonish mascot – 2 versions) – Burger King Restaurants
  24. Chef Boyardee – Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta
  25. Ronald McDonald – McDonalds Restaurants (also included here could be Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, Grimace & Birdie)Gecko
  26. Kool Aid Man – Kool-Aid Drink Mix
  27. Joe Camel – Camel Brand Cigarettes
  28. Lucky The Leprechaun – General Mill’s Lucky Charms Cereal
  29. Sonny The Cuckoo Bird – General Mill’s Cocoa Puffs Cereal
  30. Toucan Sam – Kellogg’s Froot Loops Cereal
  31. Martin The Gecko – Geico Auto Insurance
  32. Geico Cavemen – Geico Auto Insurance
  33. Morris The Cat – 9 Lives Cat Foodtootsie-pop-owl
  34. Colonel Sanders – Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurants
  35. Sugar Pops Pete The Prairie Dog – Kellogg’s Sugar Pops Cereal (renamed Corn Pops)
  36. Cornelius The Rooster – Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  37. Mr. Peanut – Planters Peanuts
  38. Great Root Bear – A & W Root Beer & Restaurants
  39. Cap’n Crunch – Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Cereal
  40. Buzz Bee – General Mill’s Honey Nut CheeriosMr_Clean_circle
  41. Chester Cheetah – Cheetos Crunch
  42. Quiky The Bunny – Nestle’s Quik (later changed to Nesquik) Chocolate Mix
  43. Mr. Clean – Mr. Clean
  44. Snuggle Bear (Teddy Bear) – Snuggle Fabric Softener
  45. Dutch Boy – Dutch Boy Paint
  46. Mr. Rollback – Wal-Mart Stores
  47. Big Boy – Big Boy Restaurants
  48. Sambo & Jolly Tiger – Sambo’s RestaurantsBig_Boy
  49. Punchy – Hawaiian Punch Drink Mix
  50. Choo Choo Charlie – Good & Plenty Candy
  51. Count Chocula – General Mill’s Count Chocula Cereal
  52. Frankey Berry – General Mill’s Franken Berry Cereal
  53. Boo Berry – General Mill’s Boo Berry Cereal
  54. Sailor Jack & Bingo – Cracker Jacks
  55. W.C. Fritos – Frito Lay Corn Chips
  56. Foster Farm Chickens – Foster Farms Chicken
  57. Geoffrey The Giraffe – Toys R UsCracker_Jack_mascots
  58. Aunt Jemima – Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix & Syrup
  59. Buster Brown & Tige The dog) – Buster Brown Shoes
  60. Kenner Gooney Bird – Kenner’s Toy Company
  61. Quisp – Quisp Cereal
  62. Sun-Maid Raisins Girl – Sun-Maid Raisins
  63. Granny Goose – Granny Goose Potato Chips
  64. Michelin Man (aka Bibendum) – Michelin Tires
  65. Bullseye (the Miniature Bull Terrier) – Target Stores
  66. Kool Penguin – Kool Cigarettesjolly_green_giant
  67. Exxon Tiger – Exxon Gasoline
  68. Aflac Duck – Aflac Insurance
  69. Chuck E. Cheese – Chuck E. Cheese Pizza (formerly Pizza Time Theater)
  70. Helping Hand – Betty Crocker’s Hamburger Helper
  71. Little Foster – Foster’s Freeze Restaurants
  72. Kernel Kleenup (aka “The Little Man”) – Western Exterminator
  73. Little Miss Sunbeam – Sunbeam Bread
  74. Umbrella Girl – Morton Salt
  75. Tropic-Ana – Tropicana
  76. Coppertone Girl – Coppertone Sunscreenmario
  77. Sock Puppet – Pet Supplies
  78. Reddy Kilowatt –
  79. Jeff – Burger Chef Restaurants
  80. Vlasic Stork – Vlasic Pickles
  81. Gorton Fisherman – Gorton Seafood Company
  82. Cool Spot – 7-Up Soft Drinks
  83. White Knight – Ajax Laundry Detergent
  84. Ajax Pixies – Ajax Cleanser
  85. Betty Crocker – Betty Crocker Baking ProductsDig-em-frog
  86. Anderson Soup Twins – Anderson Soup
  87. Campbell’s Soup Kids – Campbell’s Soup
  88. Quaker Oats Man – Quaker Oats Cereal
  89. Twinkie The Kid – Hostess Twinkies
  90. Budweiser Frogs – Budweiser Beer
  91. Brawny Lumberjack – Brawny Paper Towels
  92. Brother Dominick – Xerox
  93. Mr. Bluelight – K-Mart Stores
  94. Carvel Ice Cream Guy – Carvel Ice CreamToys_R_Us_geoffrey_mascot
  95. Culligan Lady – Culligan Water Softener
  96. Hy Finn – Standard Oil of California
  97. Jello-O  Baby – Jell-O
  98. Jared – Subway Restaurants
  99. Mr. Owl – Tootsie Rolls & Tootsie Pops
  100. Gerber Baby – Gerber Baby Food
  101. Josephine The Plumber – Comet Cleanser
  102. Juan Valdez – National Federation of Coffee Growersambos
  103. Kedso The Clown – Ked’s Brand Sneakers
  104. Mr. Bubble – Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath
  105. Keebler Elves (Ernie The Elf) – Keebler Foods (Crackers)
  106. California Raisins – California Raisins Advisory Board
  107. Happy Cows (Talking Cows) – Real California Cheese/Milk
  108. Little Caesar – Little Caesar Pizza
  109. Little Old Winemaker – Italian Swiss Colony Wines
  110. Madge The Manicurist – Palmolive Dish Washing Detergent
  111. Marky Maypo – Maypo CerealPunchy
  112. Marlboro Man – Marlboro Cigarettes
  113. Indian Maiden – Land-O-Lake Butter/Dairy Products
  114. Maytag Man – Maytag Appliances
  115. Little Mikey (the Freckly-faced Kid) – Life Cereal
  116. Mrs. Olson – Folgers Coffee
  117. Mr. Goodwin – Crest Toothpaste
  118. Mr. George Whipple – Charmin Toilet Paper
  119. Goodyear Blimp – Goodyear Tire Company
  120. Mother Nature – Chiffon Margarineelsie
  121. Sunny – Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal
  122. The Noid – Domino’s Pizza
  123. Orville Redenbacher – Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popcorn
  124. Popsicle Pete – Popsicle Frozen Pops
  125. Polar Bear – Icee
  126. Slush Puppie – Slush Puppie
  127. Oscar Mayer Bologny Kid – Oscar Mayer Bologny
  128. Manny, Moe & Jack – Pep Boys Auto Partslittle_ceasar
  129. Rosie The Waitress – Bounty Paper Towels
  130. Ty-D-Bol Man – Ty-D-Bol Toilet Cleaner
  131. Uncle Ben – Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice
  132. Honeycomb Kid – Post’s Honeycomb Cereal
  133. Yipes The Zebra – Fruit Stripe Gum
  134. Klondike The Polar Bear – Klondike Ice Cream Bar
  135. Mr. Meow – Meow Mix Cat Food
  136. Scrubbing Bubbles – Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner
  137. Fruit of The Loom Guys – Fruit of The Loom Underwear/Sleepwearm&ms
  138. Mario – Nintendo Entertainment System
  139. Sonic The Hedgehog – Sega Video Games
  140. Duke The Dog – Bush’s Baked Beans
  141. Kash (with the googly eyes) – Geico Auto Insurance
  142. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – Stay Puft Marshmallow Company (actually a fictitious mascot from the movie Ghostbusters)

Below are two of my favorite current ads running that feature an ensemble cast of mascots from the past. Can you identify them all?




PLEASE NOTE:  If you enjoyed this post of Most Popular Advertising Mascots … youPillsbury_Doughboy pasquallymay want to check out two other posts in this blog. One has over 300 of the more popular Catchphrases Expressions & Slogans of the 50’s – 60’s – 70’s -80’s – 90’s. A number of sayings and catchphrases that caught on from these advertisements will also be reflected in this post. The newest post contains TV’s Greatest Commercial Ads of Slogans, Jingles, Taglines & Catchphrases.

Simply click on the links below to continue your nostalgic journey down memory lane. 🙂

“The Hostess Four”