All hail the Etch A Sketch
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Mar 23, 2012 | 2106 views |  0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tablets are all the rage, from iPads to Kindles. Dell, Toshiba, Motorola, Samsung and Acer are but a few of the companies making tablet-style computers as fast as they can.

They’ve all been upstaged by that tablet of the 1960s, the Etch A Sketch.

That children’s art toy has been thrust into the nutty world of the 2012 Republican primary season thanks to an off-the-cuff comment Wednesday by Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s top advisor. In an appearance on CNN, Fehrnstrom was asked about a candidate’s transition from a primary campaign to the general campaign against an opponent from a different party.

“Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again,” he said.

Two days later, Fehrnstrom’s mild comment has made Etch A Sketch a must-have punch line for Romney’s adversaries. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have repeatedly registered gotcha-points by employing the Etch A Sketch reference as proof of Romney’s flip-flopping political stances. The Democratic National Committee has chimed in.

And Etch A Sketch?

Well … The Associated Press reported Thursday that stock in the product’s company, the Ohio Art Co., had nearly tripled since the Fehrnstrom comment. Etch A Sketch’s sales on Amazon.com have increased more than 1,500 percent. Everyone, it seems, is either talking about Etch A Sketches, hording Etch A Sketch-company stock or ordering an Etch A Sketch online.

It’s the dream scenario for companies trying to market their product to the masses. What better way than to get it in the hands of a presidential contender — and have them talk about it on national TV?

And to think, Ohio Arts didn’t spend a dime to get this prime-time exposure. Talk about good (business) fortune.
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