In the annals of unintentional product placement, The Romney/Etch A Sketch affair has been a particularly brand-friendly case study. It’s not always a happy occasion when a brand is thrust into the spotlight by events outside its control, but when Mitt Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom compared the candidate, already perceived as an equivocator, to the classic erasable drawing toy (“You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again”), the only victim was the Romney campaign.
Etch A Sketch fared just fine, the episode merely reminding people of an analog favorite from their childhood. The Ohio Art Company, maker of Etch A Sketch, reported that sales had jumped 3000 percent on the back of coverage of the political boner.
Now, the company is weighing with with its own messages. A well-timed, if safe, campaign features ads that acknowledge its role in a political news event, but carefully stay away from a political position. The ads make reference to political leanings but stick to a neutral stance (sample copy: “We have a left knob and a right knob for each political party. But remember, when both work together, we can do loop de loops”) and end with the tag line: Etch A Sketch Is Proud To Be Part of The National Conversation.
See the ads in the slide show above.