Infomercials. We all know they are the most ridiculous commercials on TV.  Poor production, “celebrity” endorsements, pointless products that solve a problem none of us knew we had…the list goes on. YET, they still exist and not only exist, but are thriving.

I had all but forgotten about infomercials the past couple years (I don’t watch too much TV and am cableless) until late last year when I subconsciously was drawn in to learn about the Sham-Wow.

Vince, the headset, a product called “Sham-Wow,” what’s not to love? As much as I knew I should peel my eyes away, I couldn’t help but watch this entire spot. One time. That’s all it took for the product name to be embedded in my head and asking friends if they had seen the commercial and also shared a laugh.

Sidenote – the best part has got to be this line:

“Olympic divers, they use it as a towel.”

I can see it…”Michael Phelps, congrats on your 8 Olympic gold medals…wait…is that a SHAM-WOW?!”

Following my obsession with the Sham-Wow (no, I didn’t actually purchase one), a co-worker tipped me off to the Snuggie. That’s right, the blanket with sleeves. Seriously?

What I’m most mesmerized by is the cult status of this product. Not only has this spot garnered millions of views on YouTube, but the USA Today reports nearly 250 Facebook groups (one page has over 8,500 fans) and almost 300 parody videos about the Snuggie as well. There is even a Web site called Snuggie Sightings.

Results?

Over 4 million Snuggies have been sold in just over 3 months. Wow.

Lessons?

Successful infomercials have tapped pop culture and capitalize on some basic word-of-mouth fundamentals. Sure, there is subtle humor, cheesy scripts, overt drama along with utter simplicity and practical application to everyday life. But these are interesting products that give people a reason to talk to one another.

In addition, in the case of the Snuggie, they have allowed the conversation to explode by accepting rather than trying to fight off spin-off spots that mock their product. They’re using content creators to their advantage to naturally help drive word-of-mouth in a very honest, open manner. In other words, it’s marketing genius and a testament to the power of the social Web in it’s ability to propel a “viral” (like David Mullen, I’m tentative to ever use that word, but this is an exception) campaign.

Go ahead, get ya Snuggie on.

-Scott

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Isn’t the ‘Snuggie’ just a dressing gown put on backwards? lol

    –Liam Goodacre

    Reply
  2. i’m torn between the Snuggie and the Shamwow

    Reply
  3. Ha! Get ’em both, how can you resist?!

    Reply
  4. […] big brands rolling out new videos every week that garner hundreds of thousands of views. The recent Snuggie phenomenon is a perfect […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Scott Meis

SVP, Digital Content Strategy @ Weber Shandwick Seattle. Outdoors. Adventure. Travel. I dig the Foto.

Category

Online Marketing, Social Media

Tags

, , , , , , , ,