The story of the Snuggie is a phenomenon that has fascinated me since the minute I first learned of it. I remember the first time I saw the Snuggie was on a late night television commercial.(See video at end of post). I could not believe what I was seeing! A bunch of strange wizards sitting around their houses in a strange wizard uniforms. The commercial showed us that with the Snuggie a person could “use your hands”, ” use your remote”, “read a book”, or “use your laptop”. The coup de grace of the entire commercial is from around 1:01 to 1:04 of the video where it first shows a mother and her three kids wearing the EXACT same snuggie as they casually roast marshmallows by a fire. The commercial then shows a couple and their daughter wearing identical Snuggies at an outdoor sporting event cheering enthusiastically while everyone around them is in a winter coat. The father must have declared, “We are going to this football game, and we WILL wear Snuggies to keep warm.”
I was laughing hysterically after I saw the ad, and had to rewind it on my dvr at least ten times to fully capture what I just saw on the tube. I talked to a couple of my friends in the week after I saw the ad, and much to my amazement they had seen it also. It seemed that in the next few weeks everyone was talking about the Snuggie, and how absurd the commercial, along with the actual product, were. That is the point though. By creating such a strange advertisement for “a blanket with sleeves” the creators of the Snuggie were able to capture our attention.
The commercial was so over the top we couldn’t help to bring it up at a cocktail party or with co-workers at an office. Besides the commercial being so unique, the product became unique also. However, the Snuggie is so unbelievably simple;a blanket, which we use everyday, that had sleeves, which we wear everyday. The creators of the Snuggie took an item we use every night(blanket) and turned it into something more than that. To America , this item transformed to a Snuggie instantly. It took on an image in our heads as a clothing item we could wear disguised as a blanket. The Snuggie became a breakaway brand.
Besides what I mentioned above,I have a few reasons about why I believe the Snuggie became a breakaway brand and sold over 20 million units:
1. The “I’m going into my happy zone and not thinking about work or anything else bothering me mode”. I believe that when many people came home from work and put on a Snuggie they felt like they were freeing themselves for the rest of the evening. The Snuggie became a symbol of comfort and relaxation. People were thinking “I’m getting out of my work clothes, putting on this Snuggie, and watching American Idol and a movie for the next six hours.” The process of putting on a Snuggie became a purification process to transition from work and stress to contentment and joy.
2. The Snuggie became a novelty item. When the Snuggie was introduced people wouldn’t (unless they were crazy) wear it to go to the grocery store. The Snuggie was worn in the confines of home. However, when a person would invite others over for company it was very smart to break out a Snuggie if he or she owned one. The Snuggie became an instant conversation starter and would almost 100% guarantee a few laughs. Inevitably, a few people at the party would insist on taking pictures and post them on Facebook. The pictures would help the Snuggie go viral quickly. Eventually, people would create social events like house parties and bar tours around the theme of wearing a Snuggie.
3. The name “Snuggie” is a perfect name for a blanket with sleeves. Just say it to yourself. Snuggie. The name reeks of comfort, warmth, and happiness. Business people should never underestimate the name of a product, and how it will make the consumer feel.
There are probably a bunch of other great reasons the Snuggie became such a smash hit that we can’t pinpoint. What are your opinions?