Well, I suppose codependency is better than slaughter, but still. (Or, the strange case of the Nauga)

Oh, Naugahyde. Advertising geniuses figured the public would be hesitant to accept a synthetic fabric, so they invented an animal for it to come from... one that would willingly shed its skin rather than be killed for it, admittedly, but still, that's just weird, man.

The past is another planet.

5 comments:

Shelly said...

I loved those commercials and the Nauga. I seem to recall being able to buy them as toys. I might even have had one. The past might be weird, but so will the present appear to folks in the future.

Richard Bensam said...

Um, I was there at the time and that's not really how I remember it. Yes, that ad campaign did exist...but it was all in fun and transparently obvious that no one was supposed to be fooled by the spurious claim. I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that Snopes.com has the wrong end of the stick here in making the claim that the nauga was invented to ease consumer fears. We had our flaws back then, but we were not quite that dumb.

Shelly, you can get the dolls here:

http://www.naugahyde.com/promoitems_nauga.html

Bill D. said...

I admit I'm making some rather broad assumptions here. And I like the Naugas, I think they're fun and pleasantly monstery in that Sesame Street kind of way. I just always thought it was funny that they went and invented an animal to make it seem more hide than hyde, rather than just being all "Look what we did... with SCIENCE!"

Shelly said...

Hmmmm.... those dolls might just tempt me! :)

And I remember the ad campaign being loads of fun, very tongue-in-cheek. I remember wonderful magazine ads with pictures of the Nauga. If nothing else, it was memorable. People knew the name Naugahyde and that makes for a successful ad campaign.

Richard Bensam said...

Yeah, definitely a Muppet similarity there. I reckon the Nauga also has more than a bit of Maurice Sendak in its (nonexistent) DNA.

By the way, here's a good overview of the campaign and the rationale behind it:

http://sellsellblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/advertising-greatness-1-nauga.html