I became aware of this product via the TSA’s blog and their Instagram photo (on right) of a confiscated electroshock weapon, disguised as a pack of Marlboro cigarettes.
Here, on the one hand, we have a weapon designed to be convincing enough to be “disarming” and to pass as a pack of cigarettes. But on the other hand, its manufacturer was apparently also concerned about running afoul of Marlboro’s trademark protection. So they sabotaged the verisimilitude of the product and deliberately misspelled it as Marllboro. Not that this extra “l” would really be sufficient to avoid consumer confusion.
(The Marllboro Stun Gun’s packaging and videos of similar products in use…)
There are other manufacturers of “Marlboro” cigarette pack stun guns who have chosen to spell the brand name correctly. The screen shot above of the stun gun being activated is one of those, but right now we’re more interested in the ones with the extra “l.”
If the tall “l” and “b” in the original Marlboro logo were meant to remind us of cigarettes rising out of the pack, then by adding another tall “l” they are, in effect, giving their consumers one more. In other words, “You get a lot (more) to like with a Marllboro.”
Note my generic use of the brand name “Taser” in the title of this post. These simulated cigarette pack stun guns are not made by Taser.
From Wikipedia’s List of generic and genericized trademarks:
Acronym for a fictional weapon: Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. Taser is a registered tradename, prompting a backformed verb “to tase” which means “to use a Taser on…”
As in, “Don’t tase me, bro!”