Can Weezer sell albums online? (with a little help from their viral friends)

Weezer is no stranger to YouTube. In 2008, the group put many viral video stars in the video for its single Pork and Beans. This week, the Snuggie loving band took its internet fanboy status to a new level, announcing the launch of its new album by appearing in 15 new videos created by popular YouTube users.

Weezer is just the latest big brand to hitch its cart to smaller, more nimble digital success stories hoping to win new fans (hello Gap ads featuring the Foursquare founders). Can internet goodwill sell albums?

Weezer takes ironic branding to a new level with its own Snuggie

Consumers can laugh with — or at — your product. As long as they’re buying it. That’s the lesson that the makers of The Snuggie have learned. The sleeved blanket manufacturer created a tongue in cheek add that went viral online. And now the band Weezer has joined the cult.

Frontman Rivers Cuomo told RollingStone that Weezer will release its own branded Snuggie called the Wuggie, to coincide with the release of its new album. The news is good for the Snuggie, and also has a lesson for other sleeved blanket manufacturers (there are a few).

The Snuggie was not the first to come up with this idea. In fact,
they were at least third to market with a product that combined the warmth
of a blanket with the sleeves of a sweater. Creators of The Slanket and the Freedom Blanket both vie for that claim.

But not many people realized they had been trapped by the limitations of blankets and sweaters until Snuggie ads appeared on TV.