December 5, 2018 - Classic American brand Zippo today announces the sound trademark of its iconic windproof lighter. Having infiltrated pop culture for over eight decades, appearing in over 2,000 movies, countless music videos, and held high at festivals and concerts, the Zippo lighter has won the hearts and minds of people the world over.
The Zippo lighter’s ‘click’ is now officially among the most recognizable sounds in the world. Granted first in the United States, with other markets set to follow, the trademark has been awarded in recognition of Zippo’s careful manufacturing process which produces the highly distinctive sound, synonymous with the windproof lighter. It joins an exclusive line-up of other trademarked sounds including The Hunger Games’ Mockingjay Whistle and famed MGM Lion roar, among others.
In 2018, Zippo continues to show up in all aspects of popular culture – most recently infiltrating the global phenomenon of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Characterized by soothing sounds and visuals, ASMR content has taken the world by storm, with YouTube inundated by videos of sensory evoking sounds. From recordings of whispering voices and the heightened audio of everyday objects, to spine tingling ice crushing and stroking of fluffy pillows.
Fans and collectors of the Zippo lighter have long realized the irresistible satisfaction of flicking open the lid and firing up the windproof flame, and now the ASMR creators and community are taking this one step further, utilizing Zippo lighters to delight their audiences’ ears. With the Zippo windproof lighter showing up in ASMR content all across the world and to celebrate the trademark news, Zippo and BuzzFeed have partnered to explore the trend further.
Available exclusively on BuzzFeed’s YouTube channel the video documents first experiences of people creating their very own ASMR content and the triggers that affect people on a very individual level.
In a survey of 1,000 adults*, nearly two thirds of people said they interact with an object with their hands to relax, as a distraction, or for enjoyment. When asked about the effect of ASMR, nearly half recognized that is relieves anxiety. One in 10 said that it can help them feel more energized, creative, productive, and even better able to problem solve and overcome obstacles like writers block. Additionally, 70% of people stated that familiar sounds, such as the Zippo Click, instigate a positive emotional response.
To further celebrate the sonic signature and diverse sensory experience it offers, the brand has curated an ASMR lighter collection.
Lucas Johnson, Senior Brand Manager, Global Marketing at Zippo comments: “People have recognized the unmistakable ‘click’ of a Zippo lighter for decades, and now new research has revealed that over three quarters of adults would instantly be able to place the sound. It’s an exciting time for the business to be granted this trademark in acknowledgment of our sonic signature. The growing ASMR community has organically integrated the Zippo lighter into their world and it felt like a natural space for the brand to explore as part of sharing our momentous trademark news with the world. From a talisman to a tool, people continue to surprise and delight us with the many uses of a Zippo lighter.”