Gawd, I feel like such a chump when obvious marketing works on me.
But right now, you’ll need to excuse me while I offer bloggy fellatio to the marketing department at Hot Pockets for what they did at the Blogher Conference that I went to last week. Somebody at Hot Pockets needs to get promoted.
It all started here, with this guy:
What is THAT, you ask? Why it’s Herbie the Hot Pocket. I got Herbie as one of the many, many free swaggerific pieces of swag at the Blogher Expo.
Herbie and his peeps are a buncha freakin’ geniuses.
Exhibit A: My children just finished their dinner of, you guessed it, Hot Pockets.
Now listen. There are some bloggers out there who makes tons of money from plugging products. Let me assure you: This is not a paid post. In fact, I’m just hanging my head in shame that I was played SO EASILY by this company.
But it’s free …!
So here’s how I’ve come to this place in my life, where I am spending time and energy writing an entire blog post about pre-packaged, microwaveable food.
My friend and I were walking through the Blogher Expo, overwhelmed, impressed and terrified at the freebies all the vendors were giving out. (HEY! Ask me about my free vibrator! No lie.)
At the Hot Pockets booth a woman waved a stuffed animal at my friend and I. “Ooh, my son loves Hot Pockets!” exclaimed my pal — who is decidedly NOT the type of chick to exclaim about things very easily. “I have to get one for him!” She giggled, because her son is 18 and a goofball — just the type to appreciate a stuffed animal of his favorite stuffed food.
“This is Herbie the Hot Pocket!” said the woman in the booth. “Would you like one?”
“May I have two?” I asked. “I have two kids. I can’t go home with just one.”
“Sure,” she said. “Can I get you to fill out this survey for me real quick?”
So let’s recap: This conference is crawling with women bloggers — many of whom self identify as “mommy bloggers.” They miss their kids. Like me, many of them are looking to build an impressive collection of FREE STUFF to take home and surprise the munchkins with after the conference is over. Free stuffed animal? Bingo.
And then since I took something — two somethings, in fact — I felt obligated to fill out the survey.
Let me explain the pure genius of the marketing questions. One might say that they were a bit leading, in that every question was carefully crafted to inform the survey taker about how awesome Hot Pockets really are.
I don’t have the survey in front of me, but if memory serves, the questions had a tone somewhat like this:
1. How many times a week do you eat Hot Pockets?
c. Too many to count
d. Hey! I’m eating one RIGHT NOW!
2. What do you like best about Hot Pockets?
a. The super-doooper-plooper high-quality ingredients
b. The awesome price that makes you feel like you OWN that grocery store
c. The way they look at you like you’re beautiful when you just woke up in the morning
d. The way they sometimes put on fake Muppet voices because they know you love the Muppets and they love to make you laugh
3. When you go to the store and see a Hot Pockets display, what’s your most likely reaction?
a. Urinating in the aisle because you can’t contain your excitment
b. Knocking over a nearby display as a diversion so you can scoop up ALL the Hot Pockets for yourself
c. Silent tears, signifying your thanks that yes, the Universe really is good.
4. If you were on a desert island, which flavor of Hot Pockets would you most like to make love to you while waiting for rescue?
1. Sausage and pepperoni
2. Pepperoni and sausage
3. Double meatball and sausage
Fuck me, it fucking worked
And you know what? By the time I was done with the survey, something had happened to me.
In nine years of motherhood, it had never occurred to me to feed my children Hot Pockets before. My ex-husband went through a Hot Pockets phase, so to me they seemed like Dude Food, not kid food.
But I found myself filling out the survey and going, “What? Is there really nutrition in these things? I never really thought about it. Would my kids eat this stuff without giving me a bunch of crap? And even if they don’t like ’em, it’s worth a try, right? I mean, you just throw them in the microwave … how easy is that? ”
My friend was snickering as we walked away. “I can’t wait to get home and give Ian his Hot Pocket! Bwah hah hah!”
Herbie finds a home
Got home. Gave the kids their loot in bright orange Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax grocery bags. (FYI: The DVD is coming out on … oh, yesterday. It came out yesterday. You heard it here first.)
One guess what the #1 favorite item was. (I mean, after they used all the stickers for the Orajel decorate-your-own toothpaste. And finished eating their Udi’s gluten-free cookies and their candy necklaces that are apparently a great, memorable freebie giveaway for something?)
Can I get a shout-out for Herbie?
Since all of Megan’s stuffed animals are female, she promptly renamed hers Hailey.
And Benjamin renamed his … Hot Chocolate the Hot Pocket. Genius.
Both kids SLEPT with their Hot Pockets that night. And every night since.
Hot Chocolate the Hot Pocket went to daycare today. He was introduced to the teachers and then kept Benjamin company during naptime.
You knew this was coming.
We went to the grocery store after I picked the kids up.
I spotted the Hot Pocket display on an end cap. Hating myself before I even spoke, I said, “Hey kids! Look! THOSE are Hot Pockets! You know, like your stuffed animals! See?” I took one down. “They have ham and cheese inside some of them. And look, Benjamin, this one has meatballs! You love meatballs! Maybe we should try some!”
Listen. Don’t judge.
Or go ahead.
I was still pretty tired from the conference and the herpes and alla that, so if I could get outta cooking dinner, I was going to go for it.
Just call me Mrs. Hot Pocket
While nuking the Hot Pockets, the Blogher Conference replayed in my head. Some of those women were making serious, serious bucks repping certain products. I was still uncertain that I wanted to go that route myself, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I, Trish Sammer Johnston, could be the new Hot Pocket spokesblogger …
Maybe we could even make commercials ….
Maybe one that went like this …
I’d wear a red and white gingham apron and a Mrs. Cunningham dress. My kids, the Irishman and his kids would all come pouring into the kitchen, hungry from playing baseball in the front yard.
“Mommy, I hungry!” Benjamin would say.
“Me too! Me too!” Everyone would shout.
The Irishman would come over and plant a kiss on my cheek, then look at me tenderly and say, “Babe, we played so hard. We’re starving!”
I’d give the camera a knowing a smile and a little wink. Then, from the microwave, I’d pull a full size platter of Hot Pockets. They’d be piping hot and artfully arranged on the plate with little sprigs of parsley. Everyone would cheer, say “ALL RIGHT!” in unison and high five each other.
The Irishman would pluck a Hot Pocket right from the tray and take a big bite. “Babe, no one’s pockets are as hot as yours,” he’d say.
Then Hot Pockets would send me to conferences all around the country. People would recognize me from the commercials. They’s see me and scream at each other, “OH MY GOD!!! IT’S THE HOT POCKET LADY! I LOVE HER!” Then they’d swarm the Hot Pockets booth and I’d hand out Herbie Hot Pockets to everyone and pose for pictures.
I want to be your Hot Pocket
So I think it’s pretty clear what needs to happen here. I need Hot Pockets to NOTICE me so that we can begin our gorgeous and lucrative new relationship.
So how do I that? I guess I should tweet them. Maybe something like this:
@hotpockets I all but gave your marketing department a blow job on my blog today. Let’s talk, bitches.
That should work, right?
I can just smell my future. And it smells like ham and cheddar.
How ya like me now?
One other thing I learned at this conference: I need a buncha readers if I’m ever going to conquer the world on the old bloggity.
So if you liked this, share it with yo friends.
In return, I’ll come to your house and cook you a Hot Pocket. Fer sure.