Weird Al Gets a Branded Merch Bump After T-shirt Appears on ‘Stranger Things’
Scoring a mention on “Stranger Things,” whose Season 3 episodes have set Netflix viewership records since their July 4 debut, has become the athletic equivalent of suiting up for the Golden State Warriors. In other words, there is always going to be a shot at glory, with promotional prowess being the case for the people and companies referenced on the show. Weird Al Yankovic has become the latest extra-marketable commodity thanks to a T-shirt worn by Dustin Henderson, a character on the show.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Weird Al's debut single “My Bologna,” and that tune receives a nod in the second episode of the new "Stranger Things" slate. That comedic take on the chart-topping “My Sharona,” however, could not outdo the apparel inclusion in the next episode. In including the Weird Al shirt in the airing dubbed “Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” the “Stranger Things” brain trust remained true to giving plenty of nods to nostalgia. And, like with the influence it had on the Science Museum of Minnesota, the executives inspired the performer to become a merch mover.
Taking to Twitter yesterday as a follow-up to an Independence Day tweet, Weird Al gained some third-party bragging rights by announcing that he is ending the 3-D T-shirt’s hiatus as a commercial item, with Comicbook.com noting that the suddenly must-have casual product of the summer has sold out, though more will soon be available.
If it's good enough for Dustin, it's good enough for YOU! For the first time since the '80s, we're stoked to offer this "In 3-D" T-shirt (as seen on @Stranger_Things 3). https://t.co/JF1cyTFoQS pic.twitter.com/boMCvdhRbz
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 8, 2019
#StrangerThings3 is the best season yet, and not just because Mr. Clarke is listening to “My Bologna” in episode 2 and Dustin is wearing a Weird Al T-shirt in episode 3. (Wait, no, that’s EXACTLY why.) pic.twitter.com/wuix5hP6fS
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 5, 2019
Considering that “Stranger Things” (owing to its title, for starters) explores out-of-the-ordinary occurrences, it makes perfect sense for Weird Al to be gaining a popularity boost from the program. His name alone would justify his inclusion, and since he experienced his heyday in the 1980s, it seems his admirable eccentricity is once again going to allow the musician to say “Eat it” to his critics.
From a branding standpoint, this is undoubtedly going to help Weird Al to sell a few more tickets for his summer tour, and the shirt, which includes the cover art for his second studio album, should be a cash-register ringer at his concerts. While the top’s presence in the show might not do for his catalogue what, say, the movie “Yesterday” is doing for The Beatles’ output among younger listeners, it is sure to situate Weird Al as a proper addition to the world of those who flip for the Upside Down