RetroAnalysis: Freezy Freakies


Americans have a history of reacting oddly to cold weather. During the Revolutionary War, Washington’s army famously camped out throughout a brutal winter at Valley Forge with their feet wrapped in rags, which, in retrospect, seems like a pretty dubious body heat retention strategy. In this age of social media, when polar vortexes grip wide swaths of the continent, the default response seems to be posting a picture of ones single-digit car thermometer reading on Facebook. And then there was the short-lived winter wear fad from the 1980s known as Freezy Freakies.

After viewing the commercial for Freezy Freakies, one is tempted to chuckle at how easily-amused kids seem to have been thirty years ago, compared to now. Its hard to imagine the current generation of children who have grown up on X-Boxes and Playstations being terribly impressed with a glove that displays a cartoonish UFO when it gets cold. Of course, one would probably say the same thing of 21st Century adults, but that didn’t stop Coors Light from coming out with a Freezy Freaky-esque bottle label a few years back…

The Marketing Smart Aleck can’t help but wonder if Coors’ strategy was to subliminally appeal to the nostalgia of Gen X-ers who grew up wearing Freezy Freakies gloves. Or maybe it’s just proof that some gimmicks are cyclical and will resurface every few decades, even if they  fail to deliver any tangible value whatsoever (I’m looking at you, 3D movies). All I know for sure is that on the February night that I’m writing this post, it’s 18 degrees Fahrenheit outside. And regardless of whether my gloves or beer labels change color, 18 degrees is freakin’ freezing.

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