Tag Archives: marketing

Redesigning the College Snuggie

Let’s face it. There’s been a lot of talk about Snuggies in pop culture this year. “The blanket with sleeves” came out of nowhere and gripped the nation. From themed bar tours to the Washington Post’s annual Peeps diorama contest, you’re never far from Snuggie’s influence.

And if that weren’t enough, the brains that brought you the outstanding three-color collection have upped their game and expanded their product line to include… collegiate licensed Snuggies!

If you haven’t seen them in their full glory, take a gander:

Picture Source: Blanket Wars (Even better, this picture is from a blog post entitled “OU Will Choke Versus Texas.”)

How does one make an eyesore like the Snuggie even more hideous? Make it look like it was made from the contents of the clearance rack at the fabric store. That fabric ain’t just for pajamas anymore!

Though I’m not (yet) a member of the cult of the Snuggie, I understand why people would buy them. Who doesn’t like being warm? And being able to eat whilst wearing a blanket? Or the ability to change channels without exposing bare arms to the draft of a room?

I also understand why people would want collegiate Snuggies in particular. Every sports fan relishes the opportunity to show off a little team spirit. I mean, if I got a Snuggie, you’d be darn sure I’d get a college team one. (Looks like I’d have to get Texas though, because the makers of Snuggie don’t offer a UVA one. Good research on that one, I must admit. They know their audience, and UVA alums likely wouldn’t bother with a Snuggie: it would clash with their ties or pearls.)

Well, instead of continuing to mock Snuggie, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and offer a design suggestion: K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.) Good design should be minimalist, simple and straightforward. Not cluttered.

How should Snuggie go about this? Pretend to make team sweatshirts, just with tons more fabric. Like this:

Or this:
Yes, UVA can have its own Snuggie after all!
Texas should prominently display the Longhorn logo on burnt orange. Carolina the interlocking NC on its signature Carolina blue hue. Virginia Tech would use the interconnected VT. Florida: the Gator. The Jayhawk for Kansas. You get the picture. Make it simple. Make the primary team color the star, not the blinding repetition of several logos.

How would you redesign the collegiate Snuggie? Would you make them like replica jerseys with the ability to personalize a name and number on the back? Add a belt in a contrasting color? Build in a foam finger at the end of one sleeve? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Final two pictures edited from this image.


Filed under ACC, college basketball, college football, commercials, fashion, graphic design, marketing, mascots, sports, Texas, UVA

If Your Headline Sucks, You’re Screwed

Welcome to advertising. PR. Journalism. All communication really.

Did the headline grab you? If not, chances are you wouldn’t have gotten this far.

A savvy blog post from 2007 made its rounds on Twitter today, preaching the necessity to capture one’s audience with an attention-grabbing headline.

Sure, we’ve been told in journalism, PR and advertising classes again and again to snag attention with headlines.  “If your headline is boring, why am I going to want to read your [copy, article, pitch]?,” you may have heard a professor rhetorically ask.

John Jantsch (the blog’s author and author of Duct Tape Marketing – The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide) argues that the headline is an ad’s best opportunity to reach the consumer and if it doesn’t happen within the first three seconds, the chance is probably lost forever.  Jantsch says:

“It is a scientifically proven fact that 5 times as many people read headlines as read the body copy of an ad. So with the headline, an advertiser has spent about 80% of their advertising dollar. It doesn’t take a genius to realize then the headline is the most important part of any ad.”

80%?  Wow, that’s a lot of money riding a quick one-liner.  If you think about it, the headline is like the pitch within the pitch.  But that’s the challenge we encounter every day as communicators.  Will a newspaper choose your story pitch if the headline bores them?  Probably not, and perhaps more likely, the journalist won’t read your entire news release.  Will Mr. Newspaper subscriber read your story if they yawn while reading the title?  Likely not.  The same works for ads.  As Jantsch later says, if the reader isn’t ensnared in the first few seconds, they’ve already turned the page.

Not surprisingly, this made me more cognizant of what I read today.  Most days I sift through what I’ll read and not read subconsciously.  But today there were a few examples that gripped me right away from the headline.  And you know what?  I usually read the “body copy” or full article in these cases as a result:

ACC Screws Itself – Wow, that’s harsh.  Can you say that?  You have my attention.  How?  Why?  Tell me!

Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam. – I expected this article to be about everyone’s favorite canned meat. That, and the article was on the front page of the New York Times site.  What’s so important with Spam right now?  And four mentions in the title alone?  Well turns out the article was about spam emails on PDAs in Iraq.  Not the most enthralling topic, but the repetition and urgency of the headline got me there.

Uncovered!  The Unseemly Side of Quilts – Quilts have an unseemly side?  What on earth?  I thought they were just blankets that sat on your couch unused until the day you’re too lazy to get up and turn up the thermostat when you’re cold and watching TV.  I’m intrigued…

Dozing Employee Wants Her Job Back – So she wants to work again so she can sleep and get paid for it?  Of course she wants her job back, but can she get it?  So many questions.

What was the last headline that grabbed you?  Why do you think it did so?

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Filed under writing