WWE: The 10 Wildest Marketing Gimmicks in WWE History
The WWE is one of the wildest sports industries in the United States, and they need wild marketing campaigns to get people involved with the product.
Since they first started targeting the youths of the world in the '80s, the ridiculousness of some of the products is unheard of, but it’s a shame they don’t put out as many crazy products these days.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of products that leave me scratching my head, but some of the marketing ploys of the past were far from good ideas.
With that said, I have compiled a list of 10 of the wildest and weirdest marketing gimmicks that made our childhoods great. Enjoy!
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10. WWF Create Your Own Wrestler Play-Doh Set
Play-Doh was one of the greatest products of our youth, but its creative limitations were dependant on whether or not it was dried out or had hair in it.
WWF came up with a way to take your boring old yellow and red Play-Doh and turn it into Hulk Hogan.
Nothing said ruining your mom’s carpets like elbow-dropping a clay Randy Savage deep into the shag rug from the '70s.
9. Hornswoggle Finger Ring
Have you ever had the urge to sport a ring that has the face of one of your favorite wrestlers adorned on it? Of course you have—who hasn’t?
The WWE has the perfect gift for you with the Hornswoggle finger ring, but it’s not just limited to the ultimate Hornswoggle fans.
When I go to propose to my girlfriend, I don’t want anyone else on her finger other than Hornswoggle because he knows what love is all about. Giving a woman a Hornswoggle ring is the international sign for "I love you."
8. Jake the Snake Squirt Gun
Don’t be fooled WWE fans—this may look like a PEZ dispenser, but this was one of the best childhood weapons in my arsenal.
I would entice my friends to come over and grab a PEZ, but when they got close, I would use my Jake the Snake Roberts squirt gun to ruin their afternoons.
If that wasn’t enough, the water came through Roberts’ teeth so you could feel like you were spitting on your friends instead of getting in trouble for doing the wrong thing.
7. Batista Bear with Navel Tattoo
Just when you thought navel tattoos couldn’t get any cooler, the WWE puts out a stuffed bear that has the same stomach tattoo as former WWE star Dave Batista.
While Batista was described as an Animal in the ring, this is exactly what I thought of when they started using that nickname and making those comparisons.
The only thing that really saves this plush toy from being weird is its oh-so natural soul patch that really shows the kind of cool that Batista was.
6. Maximum Sweat Action Figures
I know when I was a kid that I couldn’t handle my sister having all the fun with her baby wets all night, and I wanted my own soggy toy.
There was never anything that met my criteria until I came across the WWE action figures line, Maximum Sweat.
These action figures came with water bottles that you could fill up to dose your figure in sweat and your kitchen floor in dangerously slippery water.
5. WWF Talking Soap
When I think of taking showers, I always think of using electronic bars of soap that talk to you while you scrub.
The Rock was the bar that I got as a kid, and I remember Dwayne Johnson heckling me when I was trying to shower.
I can’t believe electronics in the shower never caught on for WWE, but I know that it wasn’t because of a lack of trying either.
4. WWF Wrestling Pillow Buddies
This was my personal favorite WWE toy of the '80s and '90s because it gave the kids with no friends a playmate that they could wrestle during the broadcast of Raw and Nitro.
From the Ultimate Warrior to the Million Dollar Man, these toys resembled the best stars in the WWE at the time and the fact that you could hang out with them was intriguing to children.
This is a product that, if WWE was smart, should be brought back immediately and never go away again. I would totally get a CM Punk Pillow Buddy.
3. DX Yarmulke
When Degeneration X was at its peak in the late '90s, I knew that it was just a matter of time before they took the next natural step.
That next step was mass-producing DX Yarmulkes for the people of the world that needed to rep the DX colors even at the holiest of times.
So next time you tell your neighbor to suck it like Triple H and Shawn Michaels, make sure your hand motions don’t rock the Yarmulke off your head.
2. John Cena Gnome
Yes, this is an actual product that the WWE is currently trying to sell to the masses.
I enjoy the funny products that the WWE puts out, and I know that there are people out there who rushed to order this for themselves or for the front yard of a loved one’s home that is begging for a gnome.
But not just any gnome, a John Cena Gnome.
“Did you see my new John Cena Gnome? No, I missed it. Yea, that’s cause you can’t see it.”
1. Ice Cream Bars
People can laugh all they want at this gimmick, but we kids we were falling all over ourselves to get these semi-delicious treats adorned with the likeness of our favorite wrestlers.
There are two things that kids love: wrestling and ice cream. And the WWE has known this for years.
The old advertising campaign that saw Jimmy Hart pushing the ice cream with Hulk Hogan on it has become one of the fondest memories of my childhood.
For the children of today, biting into John Cena or Randy Orton may not have the same satisfaction as biting into Randy Savage or the Ultimate Warrior.