We live in a very cynical and sarcastic world. One of the ways that people (myself included) feel a little bit of control or power is to make fun of things. I am not saying this is healthy but I am saying it’s just reality. As a result, products can often live and die by the amount of buzz generated that is derogatory and designed to make fun of it rather than promote it (even though it still does promote it which is often the point, right?).
One of the most derided and lampooned products of recent memory is the Snuggie. While I laughed when I first saw one of the cheesy infomercials about the ‘revolutionary’ product, I have to admit that seeing how much my daughter loves her Snuggie knock-off (now isn’t that ironic) makes me think twice.
Heck, I have seen them as giveaways at sporting events with team logos. For all of abuse the Snuggie looks like it actually sells and maybe makes some money along the way. The folks who produce this infomercial icon are even embracing social media and telling people it’s ok to parody the Snuggie. In fact they invite it! They have seen the parodies on YouTube and are taking it a step further.
Allstar Products Group, which makes the Snuggie and other as-seen-on-TV products like the “Perfect Brownie Pan Set,” apparently thinks all this buzz is a good thing. The company grabbed some of the less-insulting parodies and posted them on the Snuggie Fan Club website, and it has announced the Snuggie Choice Film Awards – a request for “commercial, short film, documentary or parody” videos.
Sounds pretty silly. But the ‘winner’ will get $5,000, a trip to New York City and a chance to appear in one of the sure to be classic Snuggie infomercials for 2011. Check out the Snuggie Fan Club website to see what’s new in the world of Snuggie parodies.
Welcome to marketing in the age of new media. It’s the ultimate “If you can’t beat’em, join’em” approach and I bet it will work. Why? Well, let’s go back to my first point that people are sarcastic and cynical. If you are Allstar Products Group you can recognize that the exposure and buzz can only help your product even if people are under the impression that they are making fun of your product. You see, people who make fun of products actually promote them so maybe the stupid ones are the ones thinking they are getting over on the company. Allstar has also created a Facebook page and a Twitter presence to complement these efforts.
Here is a good example of what is being done in the name of Snuggie parody.
Can you turn something that you have with your business into a parody buzz machine? Is there anything about your offerings that are a known joke of sorts in the industry but one that people still buy? Is there anything better than a person or company that is willing to laugh at itself?
The Snuggie may be a joke to many but when the cash register rings at Allstar Product Group I bet they’re laughing for very different reasons.