Friday, April 22, 2011

Peeps on Earth, Good Will To Men, Women, and Children

Spring has not yet sprung in New England.

By this time of year, we’ve generally had a string of sunny, sweater-weather days. Maybe even a couple of days when you can tie that sweater around your waist.

This year, alas, we seem to have traded a long, dreary and miserable winter for what is shaping up to be a long, dreary and miserable spring.

Baby, it’s cold outside. And wet.

Not that I was expecting the leaves to be out quite yet, but we should be seeing more of a nimbus of green on the trees than we are at this point. Sure, a couple of the hearty magnolias are out on Beacon Hill, and a couple of daffodils have shot their heads up in our front garden. But I have yet to see one damned red red robin come bob-bob-bobbin’ a long.

But I have, of course, seen my first Peeps, peep-peep-peepin’ along the shelves of CVS. Not to mention on Friendly’s menu topping off some special Peep sundae. I took a pass, choosing to expend my occasional Friendly’s calories on the small Happy Ending hot fudge with coffee ice cream.

I will say this for the peeps at Just Born: they are colossally brilliant marketers.

Sure, it helps to have a product that is well-known, well-loved, associated with childhood, squishy, sugary, bright colored, both fun and silly, and has a generally goofy-weird aura about it. I can honestly say that I have never marketed a product that had any of these attributes, let alone all of them.

That said, the Just Born marketers are extremely good at what they do in terms of working with the Peep sub-culture that has grown up over the years. They could have just treated all of their products as equals, focusing equal time on Hot Tamales and Ike & Mike. But they have recognized and embraced the special character, charisma and genius of Peeps.

If you’re feeling especially crafty this weekend, you might want to craft up a Peeps TopiaryPeeps topiary. I’m betting you won’t even need to directions, since this appears to be the craft degree-of-difficulty equivalent to making Pudding-in-a-Cloud for dessert. (“Gee, Sarah, how do you make it?…Oh, you mean I just have to plop a dollop of pudding in a somewhat larger dollop of Cool Whip?”) But, thanks to Just Born marketing savvy, you can find the instructions here.

AnPeeps pool caked I don’t want to force my ideas on anyone, but a certain someone in our family has a birthday coming up, and this Peeps Pool Cake looks right up her alley. I will do my part to help turn this into a reality, if anyone’s interested. Thank goodness for blue jello!

Me? I can’t wait to bite the head off my first fresh Peep this Sunday at my sister Trish’s. Nothing says spring like that first chomp down on that fresh, sugar-dimpled Peep. Yum!

Especially at this time of year, we all need to keep this in mind: it’s a Peep’s world. We just live in it.


Can’t get enough about this topic? See my earlier Peep-inspired Easter-ish posts:

Product Innovation in the Peep-able Kingdom, Not a Peep Out of You and The Harley Davidson of the Candy World.

And, of course, you should check out this year’s entries to the Washington Post’s Peep Diorama contest.

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