Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

When Humor IS the Product Design

There are lots of products out there that might accomplish some silly task like “stress relief” but whose real and primary purpose is humor. The Tiddy Bear more than applies here, it’s actually best in show. But I don’t want to ruin the joke for you, so watch the video and then I’ll say my piece.

With people more and more saturated with advertising messages that scream about lifestyle and how to be cool, it’s actually refreshing to run into an ad that looks as though it belongs on Saturday Night Live but that is taking itself completely “seriously.” I think the manufacturers know that they could have just released a square cube with a strap on it and called it Seatbelt Relief, and that the Tiddy Bear was clearly a better strategy. It’s a brilliant strategy, in fact, because in an attention economy, it’s something that will get people talking and in the meantime, they’ll sell a few since it solves an albeit trivial need. It’s still a little frustrating (to me anyway) that we’re still a culture not above manufacturing products that have two and three year lifespans as products and decades long lifespans as garbage, but whatever; I still think we’ll get there. Asking for a totally sustainable product lifecycle for the Tiddy Bear just sounds silly, doesn’t it?

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