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October 18, 2009

K: I do not claim to understand the appeal of the snuggie (it’s a blanket with sleeves!), but the snuggie ads never fail to make me laugh uncontrollably. Maybe it’s just me, but these ads are just so ridiculous, they work! It’s like the advertisers said to themselves, “how on earth do we market a blanket with sleeves? No one is ever going to buy this, so let’s just make the cheesiest ad ever for fun…” What is it about it that’s so appealing? Why don’t people just wear a robe? Why not wear more layers? WHY? I certainly am not the first to question it.

This ad below is my favorite. Oh, let me count the ways!!!

First, there’s the guy who’s simultaneously “raising the roof” and doing the “cabbage patch” while cuddling with his wife, who’s reading a book.

There’s the “win lose or draw” game a family is playing where the drawing on the board is…a snuggie!

There’s the family who again, “raises the roof” while camping against what is clearly a painted backdrop.

There’s the dog. wearing glasses. reading a book. while wearing a snuggie (and the dog does NOT look amused).

There’s the old couple wearing their snuggies in public, at the movies.

And then my absolute FAVORITE part of this commercial: The part where there’s an audience of people wearing the snuggie and doing the wave! BUT WAIT! It gets even better because if you look closely, you’ll notice a grumpy looking man who does not participate in the wave because he’s cold, cause he isn’t wearing a snuggie!

After doing some research (cause that’s what makes this “smart”), I found an article from the NYTimes looking into this particular ad campaign.  What’s particularly interesting is that the Slanket, Snuggie’s competitor, was actually established 2+ YEARS prior to the snuggie. And there’s a host of “blanket with sleeves” products that either pre-date the Snuggie or are copy-cats. The Slanket is a success on it’s own, but the Snuggie has reached cult status with sales of over 4 million units in the past year. That implies that the Snuggie’s success is largely due to a successful advertising and marketing strategy. And yes, the advertisers are well aware that the commercials are ridiculously cheesy. They claim that their aim was to enter the pop culture stratosphere…and clearly, they knew what they were doing.

S: Okay, some of you know I’ve wanted a snuggie for a while.  I actually have one at home in San Diego but keep forgetting to bring it back with me to the Bay, perhaps unconsciously for fear of being judged.  But as a social psychologist I do have to say that their marketing tactic was a little counter-intuitive.  They took all of the cheesy infomercial bits and almost parodied them in order to get our attention.  And then we realized (okay maybe not K) that the product wasn’t a bad idea and would be nice to have around, especially at the cheap price when compared to the Slanket (2 for $20 whereas the Slanket is $40 or more).  But this commercial has to be the best, as long as everyone is laughing I think their business will continue to grow.  Although I’m not sure they should try to break into the pet market…dogs don’t laugh, even if they do wear glasses!

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