at the intersection of brands, media and culture

The End of a Fadmaker

In Brands, Consumers, innovation on January 20, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Wet Hula Hoop
Originally uploaded by DewCon

Early in my career, I remember seeing a posting on Craigslist for a marketing position at Wham-O. After I changed my pants, I applied and they had the good sense not to hire me.

Wham-O is a cultural brand with an amazing track record of creating fads that impact the social landscape. Last week it lost its founder Richard Knerr at age 82. That makes me sad.

From The NYT: Richard Knerr died last week at the age of 82. He co-founded Wham-O, the corporation that brought us the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee and the SuperBall.

Mr. Knerr and his partner, Arthur Melin, who died in 2002, were able to pull off one of the most difficult tricks in marketing: starting a fad. Repeatedly. Like quantum mechanics and comedy, not everybody can do it.

  1. […] up an apple pie flavored hot dog at a tailgating party for the Patriots… I am talking about Richard Knerr, co-founder of Wham-O. Millions of Americans have been hurting themselves in their respective […]

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