Everybody loves a good parody. So when the irresistibly corny Snuggie infomercials went viral, amateurs and professionals alike lined up to make fun of the goofy blanket with sleeves. Allstar Products Group, makers of the Snuggie as well as other campy products like EmeryCat and Bumpits, however, are laughing all the way to the bank. Snuggie is said to be one of the most successful as-seen-on-TV products of all time. Sales in 2009 were through the roof, all while the spoofs kept sprouting up online.
Now Allstar Products Group has decided to enlist these smart alecs for its next television commercial. The company launched The Snuggie Fan Club website, where aspiring television commercial directors can post their own takes on the now infamous Snuggie commercial. Visitors to the site can vote for their favorite Snuggie parody and the winner receives $5,000, a trip to New York City and a chance to appear in a Snuggie 2011 television commercial. Allstar has enlisted social media and the world of viral video to spread the word about the contest. It’s a pretty hip marketing plan for a company that also sells magic brownie pans.
The folks at Snuggie did a wise thing by embracing the good-natured ribbing. Brands who get in on the joke are able to take the punches while also laughing with their customers. Time and time again, we’ve seen the benefits of lightening up. From politicians on Saturday Night Live to controversial celebrities on commercials, a little good-natured self-effacing acknowledgment goes a long way. Frankly, I think more brands could stand to lighten up. For example, a blunt “Sorry we effed up” ad campaign from BP wouldn’t make things completely better, but it would at least make the company seem less evil.
But what do you guys think? Does being in on the joke translate to sales? What brands could uses a little self-parody? And fess up – have you ever bought anything wacky from TV?