I know, I know… it’s just a robe that you wear backwards. But the Snuggie(TM) has hit the pop culture scene as much as any infomercial product ever has. It’s as ubiquitous as The Clapper, the ShamWow, or anything the late, great Billy Mays ever hawked.
Before Billy’s untimely death, he “co-starred” in a reality-type show with fellow infomercial stand-by Anthony Sullivan called “Pitchmen,” which followed would-be inventors as they pitched their products, first to Billy and Anthony, then to Telebrands or a competitor, then to the public through an infomercial. It was a fun look inside the infomercial business.
The Snuggie(TM) people have broken out into the mainstream in a big way, creating all kinds of officially licensed products, from professional teams to weird leopard and zebra prints. The Cleveland Cavaliers decided to have some fun and get some good press along the way with a promotion last week in which they gave away red Snuggies(TM) with the Cavs logo and set a Guinness Book of World Records mark for the “largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets.”
It’s a fun PR stunt, and got lots of pickup. To me, it shows a couple of things. One, that the Cavs, who have done a few other fun promotions in the past, aren’t depending on just having Lebron James on their team to sell tickets. These events help the team connect with the community and fan base, something they might really need if James ends up signing elsewhere at the end of the season. Two, it shows that, marketed properly, if it seems to fill a perceived need, just about anything can be sold to the public and become a phenomenon.