January 30, 2019
Zippo was recently granted an audio trademark, or ‘soundmark’ from the US Patent and Trademark Office, for the unmistakable sound made by its windproof lighter.
The brand announced its trademark by way of an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) video. ASMR is a technique using soothing visuals and sounds that is believed to bring about positive feelings. In addition, Zippo has partnered with Buzzfeed to create a series of ASMR videos to celebrate its iconic lighter sound. The first video from the collaboration is titled “People Make an ASMR Video for the First Time.”
Fans and collectors have commented extensively on the satisfying ‘click’ heard when one flicks open the Zippo lighter lid. The company claims that research has shown that over three-quarters of adults can instantly identify the sound upon hearing it. The company intends to file for similar trademarks in the European Union, Canada, China and India.
The Zippo sound joins a small category of other famous protected sounds, which includes the MGM Lion roar and the Mockingjay whistle from the Hunger Games movie franchise.