Child in a Doojo sleeve blanket

A sleeved blanket is a body-length blanket with sleeves usually made of fleece or nylon material. It is similar in design to a bathrobe but is meant to be worn backwards (i.e., with the opening in the back). The product has been marketed by various brands but the original company was Slanket created by Gary Clegg, then other companies like Snuggie, Snuggler, Doojo, and Toasty Wrap, copying the brand later. It comes with varying sizes, colors and qualities of materials but similar basic design.[1]

Popularity

A woman wearing a blue Snuggie

In late 2008 and early 2009, the SNUGGIE brand of sleeved blankets became a pop culture phenomenon,[2][3] sometimes described humorously as a "cult".[2][4][5]

The product became famous after a direct response commercial promoting the product was aired. It was featured on television programs like Today, where cast and crew donned SNUGGIE blankets for a segment, which was described as looking like a Black Protestant choir.[6] Others have described mass-snuggie wearing as looking like a Harry Potter convention.[7] The Associated Press likened it to a "monk's ensemble in fleece" and proclaimed it the "ultimate kitsch gift". The SNUGGIE brand sleeved blanket initially sold singly for $14.95, and later in sets of two for $19.95.[citation needed]

The Slanket was mentioned in an episode of NBC's 30 Rock entitled "The Ones". The product has also been ridiculed as a "backwards robe" or simple reinvention of the coat on radio and television talk shows in the United States.[2] Comparisons have also been made with the Thneed, a highly promoted, amorphous garment in the Dr. Seuss story, The Lorax.[8]

On January 30, 2009, a group organized a pub crawl wearing Snuggies in Cincinnati.[9] In the following months, they went on to complete over 40 more across the nation. Later, a group organized a Snuggie pub crawl in Chicago to raise money for an African orphanage, which led to similar events throughout the United States.[3][4] Derek Hunter, an employee at the conservative think tank Americans for Tax Reform, started a Facebook page called "The Snuggie Cult"; he convinced fellow conservatives including Joe the Plumber, Tucker Carlson, and Andrew Breitbart to pose wearing the robes.[10]

The phenomenon resulted in sales of the SNUGGIE brand sleeved blanket and its rivals that far exceeded their distributors' expectations: more than 4 million Snuggies as of December 2009[11] and 1 million Slankets as of February 2009.[5] The phenomenon has even resulted in variations such as "Snuggie for Dogs"[12] and Snuggie with printed patterns.[13]

Spectators attempting to break the Guinness World Records record for the "largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets" at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 6, 2010

In the summer of 2009, the Designer SNUGGIE was released to the public, as well as the Snuggie for Kids and the Snuggie for Dogs.[14]

On March 5, 2010, at a Cleveland Cavaliers game, Snuggie wearers broke a world record for sleeved blanket wearing. Over 22,500 fans wore custom-made, limited edition Cavaliers Snuggie blankets for 5 minutes. A Guinness World Records representative was on hand to present the official World Record certificate to KeyBank, the Cavaliers, and Snuggie.[15] However, in just a little over a month, the feat was broken during a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim home game when over 40,000 spectators wore a promotional Hideki Matsui sleeved blanket for five minutes.[16]

In March 2018, Allstar Marketing Group, owner of the "Snuggie" brand, was fined $7.5 million by the US Federal Trade Commission for deceptive marketing and ordered to provide refunds to deceived customers.[17]

Parodies

Several hundred parodies of the commercial have appeared on YouTube, as well as numerous fan pages on Facebook.[2][10] Mockings of the product and its commercial have also been made by comedians such as Daniel Tosh, Jay Leno,[5] Ellen DeGeneres,[2] Bill Maher,[18] Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Tim Burton, Loulogio (in Spain), Tim Hawkins, and on iCarly, as well as website parodies and Lacie and Olivia.[19] jacksfilms's YouTube parody, entitled "The WTF Blanket", has reached over 25 million views as of 2023.[20]

Commercial variations

The product was first commercialized as the Freedom Blanket.[5]

The Slanket was created by Gary Clegg using a sleeping bag in Maine in 1998 (before the Snuggie). Clegg's mother made him a blanket with a single sleeve for use in his cold dorm room. Clegg later developed that into the Slanket with two sleeves.[21][22]

The SNUGGIE sleeved blanket product has been sold in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It was marketed primarily through a television commercial.[23] As of January 2009, over 20 million of the product had been sold.[2][11][24]

Another variant, the Toasty Wrap, has been sold via infomercials hosted by Montel Williams as a method for saving on heating costs.[25] However, based on the similarities of the Toasty Wrap's advertising to that of SNUGGIE, BrandFreak suggested that it is probable that both brands originate with the same manufacturer.[26]

The rock band Weezer released its own Snuggie blanket in November 2009, which is available in solid blue with the name "Weezer" on it in white font. It has been dubbed the "Wuggie".[27]

It is sometimes marketed as a "comfy blanket".[28]

The former business GO-GO Blanket holds the US patent for child-sized sleeved blankets.[citation needed] GO-GO Blanket was created as a travel blanket for children that claimed compliance with federal safety regulations for car seats and strollers.[29] Another competing product is the Oodie, a knee-length sleeved and hooded blanket founded in Australia.[30] An Italian version sold in Europe, Canada, and Japan is the "Kanguru," which includes a large front pocket reminiscent of a kangaroo's pouch.[31]

In 2017, a U.S. trade court ruled that the product should be classified as a blanket, rather than clothing, as government lawyers had been trying to claim. In the United States, the tariff on imported blankets is 8.5 percent, whereas the tariff on imported "pullover apparel" is significantly higher at 14.9 percent.[32]

See also

References

  1. ^ "How to tell the difference between a Snuggie and ..." Chicago Sun-Times. January 31, 2009. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Puente, Maria (January 28, 2009). "Snuggie gets a warm embrace from pop culture". USA Today. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Yaniv, Oren (March 25, 2009). "Revelers ready for New York City Snuggie pub crawl". New York Daily News.
  4. ^ a b Harmanci, Reyhan (March 29, 2009). "Warming to the cult of Snuggie". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ a b c d Newman, Andrew Adam (February 26, 2009). "Snuggie Rode Silly Ads to Stardom Over Rivals". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Celizic, Mike (February 4, 2009). "Matt said he'd never wear a Snuggie, but..." Today's Family Blog. NBC News. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009.
  7. ^ Halper, Jonah (February 17, 2010). "Snuggie Should you be snuggling up with a Snuggie?". infoNOTmercial. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Lind, Dara (January 12, 2009). "You Shall Know Them By Their Slankets". Culture11. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009.
  9. ^ "Zebra Snuggie". Snuggie Pub Crawl.
  10. ^ a b Gavin, Patrick (March 27, 2009). "Conservatives embrace the Snuggie". Politico. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  11. ^ a b Heher, Ashley M. (December 21, 2009). "The Snuggie could have been an episode of 'Seinfeld'". New Haven Register. Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  12. ^ Spak, Kara (October 30, 2009). "Snuggies go to the dogs". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2009.
  13. ^ "Latest Snuggie Photo Submissions". Blanket Humor: The Website with Sleeves. November 21, 2010. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  14. ^ xeniagirl007 (September 5, 2009). "Ridiculous Snuggie commercial". YouTube. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "CAVS Snuggie™ Night brought to you by KeyBank". NBA.com. February 27, 2010. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010.
  16. ^ Carpenter, Eric (April 17, 2010). "Angel fans cozy up to new world record". The Orange County Register.
  17. ^ "FTC Sending Refund Checks Totaling More Than $7.2 Million to Consumers Who Bought Deceptively Marketed "Buy-One-Get-One-Free" Products, Company often billed consumers without their consent". Federal Trade Commission. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Leo, Alex (May 26, 2009). "SlumWow! Bill Maher Brings You The Latest Craze In Infomercials (VIDEO)". HuffPost. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  19. ^ Rivenburg, Roy (December 26, 2009). "Snuggies for Monsters!". Not The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 26, 2009.
  20. ^ jacksfilms (January 22, 2009). "The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody)". YouTube. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  21. ^ Budda (October 19, 2006). "The Slanket". GadgetSpy. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008.
  22. ^ "Feeling chilly? The answer may be the Slanket". RTÉ News. November 24, 2008.
  23. ^ Stephey, M.J. (January 13, 2009). "Suffocating in Snuggies: That Ubiquitous TV Ad". Time. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  24. ^ Schmidt, Mackenzie (December 21, 2009). "2009, The Year of the Snuggie: A Handy Timeline From 'The WTF Blanket' to Weezer's Wuggies". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011.
  25. ^ Clifford, Stephanie (December 21, 2008). "Montel's Back, and Does He Have a Deal for You". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2009.
  26. ^ Malykhina, Elena (February 11, 2009). "How do Snuggies and Toasty Wraps differ, and should you care?". BrandFreak.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009.
  27. ^ Dombal, Ryan (May 26, 2009). "Meet the Wuggie, the Weezer Snuggie". Pitchfork.
  28. ^ WWE Wrestling Superstar Merchandise, WWE Clothes, Action Figures & More. WWEShop. Retrieved on August 27, 2013.
  29. ^ "What's a Go-Go Blanket". Go-Go Blanket. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  30. ^ "The Oodie Story". Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  31. ^ Giaquinta, Giada. "Kanguru, diffidate dalle solite coperte". Shopping a Milano (in Italian). MilanoToday. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  32. ^ Swanson, Ana (March 6, 2017). "Why a weird legal dispute about whether the Snuggie is a blanket actually matters a lot". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2017.