Biden Campaign Launches Branded Fly Swatter After VP Debate Moment, Sells Out Immediately
If you want to kill a fly, you have to be quick. Like, Karate Kid quick.
It turns out, if you wanted to buy a Joe Biden branded fly swatter, you also had to be quick. Speed is the theme here, as the Biden Campaign wasted no time at all creating this item after a fly landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head for a moment during the debate last night.
By the time many people saw that the “Truth Over Flies Fly Swatter” existed, it was already too late. The item sold out quickly. Zach McNamara, merchandise director for the Biden Campaign, said in a tweet that the campaign sold 15,000 of them by midnight after the debate. Altogether, it sold 35,000 in 24 hours.
After first posting this joke during the debate, the Biden Campaign basically had the idea gifted to them. Chances are, someone on the team had this idea at the same time as the general public, but it certainly looked like Twitter willing something into existence.
Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly. https://t.co/CqHAId0j8t pic.twitter.com/NbkPl0a8HV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 8, 2020
As they say: Ask, and you shall receive.
oh yeah, we did that https://t.co/E2tKPecTKV pic.twitter.com/DIbZLz2SoE
— Zach McNamara (@zpmcnamara) October 8, 2020
This is the current state of political merchandise, for better or for worse. Something happens or someone says something, and the designs are already finished and in production. Everything that comes even close to a viral moment or a meme becomes a piece of merchandise.
The Trump Campaign was similarly quick with "Fill That Seat" shirts available at its online store just after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though that was a matter of days, not minutes. It's also similar to what we saw from Kamala Harris last year during her run for the democratic nomination, when she released a T-shirt so quickly after a debate that people wondered if the moment was pre-planned.
We’re less than a month until election day, so you can be sure that this isn’t the last of these quick-turnaround campaign designs we'll see.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.