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Snuggie: The Blanket With Sleeves (That Solves All Life’s Problems)

This post comes with a story, so please bear with me.

Among other things I do, I (J.P.) teach Rhetoric. Rhetoric, simply, is the art of persuasive speech.  In my class, the students primarily study Aristotle’s aptly-named Rhetoric, but sometimes I want to share with them something a little more contemporary, something that truly speaks to their generation. I think that infomercials are one of the best modern examples of persuasive communication and it’s for this reason I introduced them to the Snuggie: the blanket with sleeves.

The students seemed to appreciate the simple structure of the commercial:

1) Present a problem: “You want to stay warm without raising your heating bill and you are incapable of performing mundane tasks like answering the phone while entombed in the shroud-like confines of a blanket. Also, for some reason, everything is in black and white.”
2) Offer a solution while footage switches to color and peppy music begins: “Now, you can own a Snuggie! You’ll be able to stay warm while enjoying a wide range of activities!”
3) Show how the benefits of the solution makes life amazing!

Little did I know how much they had appreciated it…

Two days after my birthday, just as I was getting ready to begin Rhetoric, our headmaster called me down to his office to help him with a computer problem. I asked a student to tell the rest of the class what the day’s assignment was and to have them begin on it, and followed the headmaster. After talking with me for a few minutes, the headmaster walked with me back to my classroom so I could retrieve a USB drive that contained some diagnostic utilities. When I got back to the room, the lights were off, the kids had their heads down on their desks and I was led by the headmaster to the far side of the room.

What followed was nothing less than amazing. My students has remixed and personalized the Snuggie commercial for me: “Mr. Stephens, do you find it miserable teaching in a freezing cold classroom? Do you find it difficult to write on the board when your hands have frostbite on them?”  After presenting the problem, the lights came on, the music started (“Wannabe” by the Spice Girls), and the dancing and singing began. Oh yeah, and one student burst from the closet skating on a scooter while wearing a leopard-print Snuggie.

They didn’t skimp on the benefits of the solution, either. “Mr. Stephens, with your new Snuggie, you’ll be healthier, taller, stronger, more athletic, smarter…your hands will be nice and warm and you’ll be able to give us all A’s!” “You could even make it the official costume of Lunch Money!” At this point the students all dropped to their knees (approximating Lunch Money fan height) and waved their hands in the air while screaming “I love Lunch Money!”

In the end, I was presented with an awesome card, my new Snuggie…

My leopard print snuggie

…a DVD copy of The Iron Giant (they may have felt sorry for me after I showed them my copy on VHS)…

J.P. with The Iron Giant

…a handmade Snuggie user’s guide…

Snuggie User's Guide

(Note the chart.)

…and a cookie as big as my head!

Cookie as big as my head

At this point, it’s probably gratuitous to say that I have the greatest Rhetoric class ever. That’s one thing about Rhetoric, if the suck up this well, then they’re obviously getting the idea! As a small thank you to them, I will now conclude with a photo that I hope captures the magnificence of my birthday celebration, my students, and of course, my Snuggie.

Behold the Snuggie

P.S.- If any potential clients are reading this and you’re interested in a Snuggie-themed engagement shoot please contact us–we are definitely the photographers for you!

P.P.S.- After lecturing my students about copyright, I should probably mention that the first, second, and fourth pictures were taken by students and they retain all rights to them.

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4 Responses to “Snuggie: The Blanket With Sleeves (That Solves All Life’s Problems)”

  1. Berkeley says:

    This is beautiful.

  2. Sarah says:

    Ingenious.

  3. Stacy Bowen says:

    What a marvelous class. So creative! Of course the teacher must be pretty special too!

  4. Jenny says:

    Absolutely fabulous!

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