Sunday, February 08, 2009

Why People Buy Stuff?

Weinman at TV Guidance has already covered this product and its creepy advertisement campaign in several amusing posts, but when I read that the Snuggie recently passed 4 million in sales I had to watch the commercial again and try to figure out..what's the attraction?

CNBC's Squawk On The Street's Erin Burnett even went so far as to proclaim the success of the Snuggie as proof that television (or TV advertising) as a medium isn't dead. I don't know if I'd go that far...what Allstar Products Groups President Scott Boilen had to say makes a little more sense:

Scott Boilen, president and CEO of Allstar Products Group, the company that conceived and markets the Snuggie, credits pop culture for some of its success and not necessarily the resurgence of TV.

"Every once in a while, a product transcends advertising to become part of pop culture," Boilen said to USA Today in an article by Maria Puente.

Puente also pointed out the Web phenomenon the Snuggie has become.

"Indeed, Snuggies seem to be everywhere. See them on Facebook - nearly 250 groups, pro and con; one fan club lists 5,999 members," Puente wrote. "Watch them on YouTube - nearly 300 parody videos posted, including one titled ‘The Cult of the Snuggie,' with 146,000 views as of Tuesday."
But then again, they seem to be saying that mocking a product can lead to people wanting the product. What the huh?

I still don't get it. The Snuggie is fugly, and that shot of the family in their cultish-looking Snuggies at the baseball game makes me want to run so far away from these things, and yet...they're making someone a killing.

Are the makers of the Snuggie really giving people what they want? Or do people just want what we give them. Maybe we do overthink all of this making quality shows and products. Maybe it is really only about keeping it simple, or stupid, or both.


Carleen said...

My husband's grandmother was given one for Christmas by the pharmacy that services the retirement village where she lives. She thought it was stupid so she gave it to me. I'm not sure what to think of that but I was curious enough to open it. The horrifying Chinese chemical factory stench that radiated out upon opening the plastic wrap was alarming. Then there was not enough Downey or Bounce in the city to eradicate the electricity that thing generated. I accidentally forgot it at my in-laws house.

morjana said...

Hi, Will.

To be honest, I don't see the attraction for cellphones, much less iPhones, iPods, and a whole host of those type of gadgets.

I'm not against technology.

But I'm not for technology that is ... annoying, irksome, and costs an arm and a leg either.

But snuggies? What's wrong with robes, pajamas and slippers?

I just think our Western culture has been programmed into the "buy anything new" mode.

We need to learn how to save...

jimhenshaw said...

As you know, I map the Zeitgeist through my own personal experience. Some time ago, I noticed that that a lot of people, where turning down the heat a little.

Maybe that's an attempt to be environmentally responsible or save a few bucks on the gas bill. Simultaneously, I observed that the nice folks at Costco always had some new couch blanket/throw thing on display.

So I guess somebody just figured out a way to take the warmth along when you moved around the house.

On the other hand, it could be that a lot of people sense the Spanish Inquisition is coming back and want to be properly attired.

wcdixon said...

haha...good comments

But Morjana's right. We're programmed to keep buying the new...and it's really just a bathrobe, isn't it? I mean, isn't it?

Michael F said...

These are futuristic clothes, and proof that finally we are in the future.

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