Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game

Do you 'photoshop' images before posting them online? Do you 'xerox' your documents? Do you ask the shopkeeper for 'surf' when you buy detergent? You are not alone. These are some of the brands whose popularity has made them synonymous with the products they represent. Here's a look at some such names.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Do you 'photoshop' images before posting them online? Do you 'xerox' your documents? Do you ask the shopkeeper for 'surf' when you buy detergent? You are not alone. These are some of the brands whose popularity has made them synonymous with the products they represent. Here's a look at some such names.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Surf is the name of a detergent marketed by Unilever in several countries, including India, Ireland and South Africa. While Hindustan Unilever, the Indian company in which Unilever owns majority share, also makes the Wheel and Rin brands, Surf is by far the most recognized brand, so much that it has become synonymous with all types of detergents or washing powders. No matter which brand of detergent they want to buy, people ask the shopkeeper for Surf.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
In India, to Xerox means to photocopy. Period. Xerox Corporation is an American company that manufactures and sells a range of photocopiers, printers, digital production printing presses, etc. The company came to prominence in 1959 with the introduction of the Xerox 914, the first plain paper photocopier using the process of electro-photography. Today, there are several companies that manufacture photocopy machines, such as Canon and HP, but the popularity of the Xerox brand is such that documents are mostly 'xeroxed', not photocopied.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Band-Aid is an adhesive bandage. It was invented by Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson for his wife, who used to cut and burn herself while cooking. Dickson then suggested the idea to the company, which produced and marketed the product as Band-Aid. Today, several companies, local and multinational, manufacture adhesive bandages, but when children get bruised while playing, mothers ask the chemist for a Band-Aid.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Vaseline, a brand of petroleum jelly, is another product from Unilever that has become synonymous with all types of petroleum jelly. Among the several personal care brands marketed in India by Hindustan Unilever, Vaseline and Pond's (the talc and cream) are among the oldest and most popular ones. Vaseline was initially made by the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, a firm that was acquired by Unilever in 1987.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
There was a time when every personal stereo was referred to as a Walkman. The Walkman is actually a brand owned by Japanese electronics company Sony. A prototype of the device was built in 1978, and the Walkman was first marketed in 1979. Several electronic companies such as Panasonic and Sharp have manufactured their own versions of the device, but could never really match Sony's product. With mobile phones and the iPod taking over the role of music players, portable audio players are no longer in great demand the way they were when audiocassettes were around.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Yes, this is a brand name too. A Thermos, or rather a vacuum flask, was invented by Scottish physicist and chemist Sir James Dewar in 1892. The first vacuum flask for commercial use was made in 1904 by German company Thermos. Dewar had failed to register a patent for his invention, and the product was subsequently patented by the company. Today, the word is synonymous with vacuum flasks all over the world.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
There is perhaps no liquid antiseptic in India as popular as Dettol, a brand owned by UK-based Reckitt Benckiser, which also owns brands such as Durex and Harpic. While there are other popular brands, such as Savlon, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, Dettol is what you will be most likely handed when you ask the chemist for an antiseptic.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Again, this was a brand that was synonymous with toothpaste for several years. William Colgate and Company was set up in 1806 by William Colgate, a soap maker. The company was bought by Palmolive-Peet in 1938, which led to the formation of Colgate-Palmolive-Peet. The word Peet was later dropped from the name. Colgate-Palmolive markets a wide range of products, the most popular among them being the Colgate brand of toothpastes and Palmolive line of soaps and personal care products.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
'Photoshopping', or digitally altering images, comes from the word Photoshop, a picture/graphic editing program by Adobe Systems. The program was initially developed in 1987 by Thomas Knoll, a PhD student in the United States. Adobe purchased the licence to distribute the product in September 1988. Today, several software companies make photo editing programs, but every time we see a digitally altered image, we say it's 'photoshopped'.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as Aspirin, is an analgesic used to relieve minor aches and pains. The trademark is owned by German company Bayer. An equally popular medicine is Disprin, owned by Reckitt Benckiser, which the company says is a fast-acting formulation of Aspirin. In India, the drug was introduced in 1977.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
There was a time when Mobil and engine oil were interchangeably used. Mobil was an American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Mobil continues to be a widely used brand name in the new entity. Both Mobil-branded petrol and Mobil engine oil have dominated sales in the United States during the '40s and the '50s. There are three main Mobil sub brands—Mobil 1, Mobil Delvac and Mobil Industrial.
Megabrands: 12 runaway hits that changed the game
Think hydrogenated vegetable oil, think Dalda. The brand's story in India begins in the early 1930s, when Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Co (today's Hindustan Unilever Ltd) wanted to manufacture vansapati locally. At that time, the fat was imported in India by Dada, a Dutch company. Dada became Dalda after Hindustan Lever (the company became Hindustan Unilever in June 2007) introduced an 'L' in the name. Today, while there is no clear leader in the cooking oil category, Dalda and hydrogenated vegetable oil remain synonymous. Dalda is currently owned by Bunge Ltd.

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