Unravelling The Snuggie

Last week, in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, columnist Rob Walker tries to unravel (yes, that's a pun) the "Snuggie" phenomenon.

A quick refresher (as if you really needed one; The Snuggie has become as culturally ubiquitous as pet rocks of the 1970's):

Walker begins:
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Snuggie — you know, the blanket with sleeves. Or rather, a blanket with sleeves: the Slanket, the Freedom Blanket, the Book Blanket are all quite similar, and all predated the Snuggie. But why the Snuggie? Surely no one thought that the startling success of this oddity — sales topping $60 million — was a story of innovation, or an engineering or design breakthrough.
One theory is that the Snuggie has caught on because it’s comforting — as if, in these recessionary times, we have become a nation of Linuses...

A second theory holds, more prosaically, that when rates for television commercials fell as mainstream advertisers started pulling back, infomercial-style peddlers took up the slack...

This factor is hard to dispute, but it cannot, by itself, explain why this specific bit of “As Seen on TV” flotsam has attracted so much interest.
Two reasonable explanations, but as he noted, they seem a bit undercooked.  So here's my take on why the Snuggie proved more popular than previous versions:  Part of it may just be in the timing -- a blanket made for "cocooning" right when the economy is forcing people to become homebodies again -- but even more than that, I think the mystique is really all in the name.

"Slanket" sounds like a cover for your Slinky, combining "sleeve" and "blanket" was too clever by half.

"Freedom Blanket" sounds like another post 9/11 political message; wear while enjoying your Freedom Fries.

"The Book Blanket" sounds like a cloth book cover; at any rate, it specifies too limited a usage.

But "Snuggie" tells you everything you need to know -- it's something to snuggle up in; Plus its sounds warm, cuddly and emotionally satisfying, qualities no other name comes close to evoking.

(You can even wear one while typing at your computer -- not that I'm admitting anything...)


Anonymous said…
1 Word...SnuggieBook.com

The Social Network with Sleeves

Popular posts from this blog

TV star skewers Minneapolis advertising egos

Innuendo -- It's the American way

Read the list! See the movie poster!