Marketing's New Red-Hot Seller: Humble Snuggie
After 4 Million Sold, There's Waiting List for Blanket With Arms
By Jack Neff
Published: January 26, 2009
BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- The Snuggie blanket launched nationally on direct-response TV in October, just as the economy was slowing to a crawl, so the timing seemingly couldn't have been worse. However, it turns out the timing couldn't have been better.
Snuggie: Pullback by advertisers allowed marketer to buy cheap remnant time.
Photo Credit: Matt Armendariz
The quirky little blanket with sleeves has become the raiment of the zeitgeist, with more than 4 million units sold in just over three months and more than 200 parody videos on YouTube. Fox News honed in on a woman wearing a Snuggie as she braved the cold attending Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20, five days after Ellen DeGeneres donned one on her daytime talk show.
Ms. DeGeneres has joined a host of folks mocking the oddball Snuggie ad, which shows people chatting on the phone down on their sofas or attending sporting events in a garment that looks like something out of "Star Wars" or a Franciscan monastery. One of the most popular ads, with more than 125,000 views as of last week, proclaimed a "Cult of the Snuggie." Its opening text declares: "In a godless and cold world, there is but one place to seek warmth and salvation" as a segue into the next two minutes.
With 4 million of the blankets already shipped or on order, or just under $40 million in retail sales, Scott Boilen, president of Allstar Marketing Group, Hawthorne, N.Y., is laughing all the way to the bank. The company behind the Snuggie is moving the blankets out the door as fast as it can get Chinese suppliers to crank them out.
That's sometimes frustrating for customers who want them faster than the promised four-to-six-week delivery time, he said. "People want this product so bad, they want it as soon as they order it," Mr. Boilen said. "And we received so many more orders in the beginning than we anticipated."