Velcro Gets a New Grip

5Velcro is such a simple product. Designed in 1941 by a Swiss engineer, its design is based on a burdock burr, a seed covered in hundreds of hooks that naturally catch onto the miniscule loops that cover fur, hair, and clothing. Based on this concept, Velcro is a hook-and-loop fastener that has helped people organize, contain, and corral miscellaneous stuff for more than 55 years. Astronauts use Velcro, hospitals use Velcro, even your grandmother uses Velcro. It is a very practical, functional product that surrounds us and has a million different uses in our lives. But, it is perhaps not viewed as a creative product. (Unless you remember when David Letterman wore a Velcro suit and launched himself onto a Velcro wall!)

The company aims to change that viewpoint with a new campaign – “A Million Uses” – showing how products can help with everything from gardening, to crafts, to sports. The promotion was developed to showcase the many ways in which Velcro can be inserted into consumers’ daily lives. The campaign includes traditional and social media to give a broad reach and penetrate new market segments.

Look around you. How could you better organize your world using Velcro ties?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

1. Bring Velcro strips to class for students to use in this exercise.
2. First show the David Letterman video to get students’ attention: Discuss how companies can reinvigorate old products and brands with new ideas.
4. Bring up Velcro’s Web site to show the various uses and categories: www.velcro.com5. Show videos to start students thinking about applications: Divide students into teams. Have each team select a target market and a category for use (ex: mothers and kitchens, teachers and classrooms, students and dorms)
7. Have each team develop five new uses for velcro for their target market and category.
8. How would the students market velcro to the target market?

Source:, Ad Age Daily, 6/4/13

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