Photo: By seq on Flickr
Once one of the most popular toys in all the land, Etch A Sketch has been long forgotten by the mainstream.That is, until Mitt Romney’s aide came through with a gaffe that quickly went viral on the web.
If you didn’t catch it, Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom said on CNN, “well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”
It prompted a crazy day for the Ohio Art Company — makers of the iconic toy. Etch A Sketch exploded on Twitter and quickly began trending.
It came as a shock to the folks who represent the Ohio Art Company, who were being pummelled by an onslaught of calls emails. McKay Poppins at Buzzfeed called up the besieged PR firm, and spokesperson Nicole Gresh seemed really excited:
“This has been a pretty crazy day for me since 2:00pm compared to a normal work day,” Gresh told Buzzfeed. “The last time I fielded a press phone call about Etch A Sketches is when it made the Guinness Book of World Records [in June 2011].”
Not only is it getting loads of free buzz, but it has already made a tangible difference. From Matt Townsend at Bloomberg:
“The thinly traded toymaker more than tripled to $12.50 on one transaction of 500 shares at 10:41 a.m. in New York on the over-the-counter market. It was the biggest intra-day move for the shares since at least 1980.”
And of course, the Ohio Art Company had to say something about it too, and it did so in the cheesiest form possible. Yet, in a strange, grandmotherly way, it comes across as kind of charming.
Here’s the pun-laden statement the company posted about its once-mighty brand:
Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognised and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashion political debate.
We are pleased with the added attention being drawn to Etch A Sketch which is truly one of the most recognisable, iconic and fun toys ever developed. As one of the most classic toys of all time, Etch A Sketch has always sold particularly well with today’s consumer. It is too early to tell, but we are hopeful to see if there is an uptake in sales given this recent exposure.
The Ohio Art Company has been in the toy business for more than 100 years and Etch A Sketch for over five decades. Our company values bringing smiles to kids faces and providing hours of fun playtime for young kids.
Senior VP Marketing & Product Development
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.