A lot of buzz on Brawndo right now, the fake energy drink from the underrated dystopian nightmare Idiocracy that is now being sold in actual stores. But this article about the weird success of Brawndo from Sunday’s New York Times Magazine hints at something far grander in scale:
This happened not because of a movie-studio marketing brainstorm. (Twentieth Century Fox released the film briefly and without much enthusiasm in 2006 before tossing it to the DVD market, where it has gained a cult following.) It happened because of an “Idiocracy” fan in Oakland named Pete Hottelet. A graphic designer with very particular pop-culture tastes, Hottelet has started a business devoted to bringing to life certain products from movies. His business is called Omni Consumer Products, a name borrowed from the fictional megacorporation in “Robocop.” In addition to Brawndo, Omni has acquired from Paramount the license to market Sex Panther, a made-up cologne from the Will Ferrell vehicle “Anchorman” (“150% More Awesome Than Any Other Cologne. Ever.”).
Lindsay and I had an idea at one point for a blog feature called “Dream Merch”, which would basically be stuff from movies and TV that we thought people should actually put into production. Of course, ours would have just been horrible Photoshops and poorly written descriptions, whereas this guy takes it to the max and calls China and is like “give me a quote” and China’s like “3 cents” and he’s like “Sold. Let’s move some units.”
You’re doing great, Mr. Hottelet, now please put your money where my mind is:
Brawndo and Sex Panther are cute, but let’s cut the shit please and get to making the good stuff.