2020 Wrap-Up: The 10 Weirdest Promo Stories From This Year
Here at PM, our job is to inform first and foremost. But, when your job is to report on something that relies so heavily on creativity, you get the chance to have a little bit of fun with it, too.
When we’re looking for stories, one of the best ways to determine if a story will work is to think, “Would I text this to my friends and say, ‘Check this out?’” If the answer is yes, then it’s probably something others would get a kick out of, too.
So, let’s revisit some of those out-there stories, shall we? (Click the article titles to read.) Here are our 10 favorites from this year.
1. The Adult Bookstore Next to Four Seasons Total Landscaping Went All Out on (Safe for Work) Branded Merchandise
Four Seasons Total Landscaping nabbed most of the headlines after Rudy Giuliani’s visit. But it was its neighbor, Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore, that might’ve won the merchandise battle. What’s funny is that the store didn’t even think it would make branded merchandise at first. But now, it’s all in.
You can never predict exactly what the internet will obsess over next. If you had “TikTok kids decide a Sharpie pen is a must-have item” on your 2020 bingo card, well, congrats.
It was with good intentions that South Dakota introduced its new slogan for fighting opioid use in the state. But “Meth. We’re On It” didn’t quite hit that intended mark. It did, however, hit the merchandise mark, as it quickly popped up on T-shirts. Hey, it still spread the word just fine.
The weird part of this story wasn’t even that Supreme made branded Oreos. (We’re well past the point of being surprised by anything Supreme does.) The weird part here was that they were selling for as high as $89,000, and that was just for a raffle ticket for the chance to get a pack.
Did you know there’s a secret gift shop in the basement of the CIA's headquarters? Sadly, unless you either work for the CIA or have a CIA employee in your family, there’s not much you can do with that information (except maybe use it as a fun fact at a cocktail party).
6. Kanye's 2020 Presidential Merchandise Is Expensive, Possibly Plagiarized and a Lesson for Future Candidates
It was tough to take Kanye West’s presidential run that seriously, but you knew that even if his policy ideas weren’t going to be fully fleshed out, his marketing ideas would be. That wasn’t entirely true, since some of the main designs were blatant rip-offs of existing Streetwear brands. Also, the items were wildly expensive.
Puzzles were, understandably, all the rage this year. But this all-red, single-tone puzzle from Heinz was almost impossible to decipher. Maybe it’s a good fit for people traveling home for the holidays who want to limit conversation with extended family. “Oh, sorry, Uncle Dave, I can’t talk. I have to figure out this ketchup puzzle.”
The NFL draft is usually an opportunity to see some really sharp suits and snappy dressers. But, work-from-home has changed our wardrobe a bit, so we can’t fault Raiders draftee Henry Ruggs III for wanting to be comfy on his big night. And Old Spice got a nice little boost, too.
Dunkin’ enlisted one of the biggest names in entertainment, the D-O-double-G himself, the artist formerly known as Snoop Lion, to help advertise its new Beyond meat product line.
This was, without a doubt, the weirdest ad campaign of the year. It seems like forever ago in the Before Time where we could all just talk about how Planters killed Mr. Peanut to make him a baby or something for the Super Bowl ad? (Not sure exactly, we might’ve been getting snacks during that commercial break.) Planters commemorated the icon’s death before his phoenix-like rise from the peanut shell ashes, and it was weird.
Check back next week for the rest of our 2020 Wrap-Ups as we close out the year. The rest won't be as weird, but they should still be a good time. Thanks for reading!