Mega Brands 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.