Earlier this year, we wrote about the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
, which has a bit of a cult-like following among fans of the show. As we wrote, the show was doing a cool thing to connect with fans, by doing a live tour
and screening a new episode in theaters around the country. It was a cool idea, and we were surprised other TV shows didn't do things like that. But, of course, the rest of our favorite "CwF + RtB" business model equation is beyond connecting with fans, you also have to give them a reason to buy. And reader Jeff
alerts us to something else that the show recently did. In an episode last month that involved the various characters in the show discussing their new product ideas
, at least one of them, the Dick Towel (um... NSFW) was turned into a real product
(again, NSFW) and offered for sale for $20. According to Jeff, in an email he recently received from the site, so many people have ordered that they're a little late in shipping, and it looked like over 4,000 towels had been sold. Connect with fans and giving them a reason to buy appears to work with television shows as well... Of course, others have tried similar things as well, and there's even an entire company, Omni Consumer Products
, that tries to license brands from movies to turn them into real products...