Hasbro Has Trademarked Play-Doh's Signature Smell

Play-Doh Commercial

When you think about Play-Doh, there are quite a few sensations that come to mind. The look, the feel, the smell... Well, Play-Doh is hyper aware of its everlasting brand, and the company realizes that smelling a fresh can of Play-Doh is nearly as delectable as, well, playing with it. That's why, after more than 60 years of providing simple (and very messy) entertainment for children, Hasbro is taking the next step with Play-Doh. Specifically, they are trademarking the smell of their popular product. In a press release, Jonathan Berkowitz, the senior vice president of Global Marketing for Play-Doh, had the following to say about licensing his product's memorable fragrance.

The scent of Play-Doh compound has always been synonymous with childhood and fun. By officially trademarking the iconic scent, we are able to protect an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans for years to come.

That's basically a long-winded way of saying "we're iconic, and ready to make more money," but it's understandable. As the announcement (opens in new tab) notes, Play-Doh is an iconic part of childhoods across a variety of locations. After generations upon generations of providing easy, (mostly) carefree delight for young people everywhere, it's understandable that Hasbro would finally want to capitalize on one of the most recognizable parts of one of their most beloved products. If anything, it's surprising they didn't do it earlier. Seems like something a corporation of its stature would think to do decades before.

Nevertheless, the unique scent, which is described in the official press release as "a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough," is a key factor to its indelible success. It's also the reason why many parents have to make sure their children haven't eaten their toys, but that's neither here-nor-there.

It's pretty remarkable that for sixty-something years, Play-Doh has mostly kept true to the same formula. Sure, there have been different colors, shapes, accessories and additions made, but Play-Doh has basically been Play-Doh for six decades. And the smell is, no doubt, key to its staying power. It simply wouldn't be the same without it. The allure wouldn't be quite as strong. Some things change. Some things always stay the same. Thankfully, Play-Doh still smells great, even years later.

The appeal of Play-Doh remains so great, in fact, that Hasbro once considered making a whole movie about the mushy glop of fun. The family film, clearly trying to capture the same audience as The Lego Movie, was set to be distributed by 20th Century Fox and directed by Paul Feig (Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids). There hasn't been word about the project since then, however, so there's a pretty good chance that it isn't picking up steam. No matter. Play-Doh still remains very popular.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.