People are laughing at your brand, where are you?

If you haven’t seen it – or want to laugh again – check out this classic Jim Gaffigan bit on Hot Pockets.

Great huh? I’ve probably seen this skit about a dozen times now – but for whatever reason, this time I wondered how the folks at Hot Pockets saw it.

And there’s no doubt they see it – a Google search of Hot Pockets returns Gaffigan at #3! The video itself has 1.5 million views on YouTube.

After doing some digging, I was able to find an interview with Gaffigan at Brightest Young Things (apparently written by another Cale):

BYT: Have there been any serious talks with the Hot Pocket people on being their official spokesperson or anything like that? Or have you heard from their lawyers yet?

JG: Nope. Some people that work for Hot Pockets came to my Denver Paramount Theater show. They brought these hot pocket boxes the size of suit cases for me to sign. I wrote “these are WMD’s” on the boxes. The HP people seem to have a good sense of humor about all of it.

But other than a few Jim Gaffigan fans from Hot Pockets getting some autographs, the brand largely seems silent.

How should they respond? Should they at all?

I say, why not?

And I say it because Todd Defren – the PR and social media guru at PR-Squared – convinced me with his thoughts on how in the age of social media, brands no longer control the message. And while you may not be in control, it doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Check out his post on how “participation is marketing.”

So, Hot Pockets, why not treat it as an opportunity? Sure, Jim slams your product for a solid 5 minutes – but there’s always a way.

For starters, why not fight fire with fire? How about making a humorous video response that’ll show up when I search for Gaffigan’s Hot Pockets bit?

Off the top of my head, I imagine the message could have some good-spirited fun with the fact that Gaffigan pretty much lives off his Hot Pockets skit, or it could call out his inner monologue. Or maybe it could portray Gaffigan as the young boy who pulls on the hair of the girl he secretly crushes on – exposing his “true love” for the Pocket!

A supplemental strategy could be to offer assistance on some of the issues Gaffigan points out – namely, how the product comes with this funky sleeve and it seems like the only two forms to consume it in is either center-frozen or “boiling-lava hot.”

So why not let us know, what’s with the sleeve? Any tips on how to avoid the frozen core or the tongue-scarring heat?

Those are just a couple of opportunities I see. Ultimately, I think it’s important for the Pocket folks to take a moment to admit that Gaffigan – like any good comedian – is funny because his work resonates with an audience. A big, big audience.

So why waste the opportunity? Why not join in?


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