Puns and humor can be a great way to catch a consumer's eye and help people remember your brand, which is why many successful companies have incorporated puns into their slogans (e.g. Weight Watchers Frozen Meals "Taste. Not waist." and Holiday Inn "Pleasing people the world over"). For companies looking to hop on the humor train, there are eight types of puns to choose from ranging from purely visual to more classic wordplay.
While gag gifts and practical joke novelties can seem like cheap tricks, for some they mean big business. Consider My Pet Rock for a moment, which became a fad in 1975. Creator Gary Dahl ended up selling more than 5 million "pets" (retailing for $3.95) in six months and walked away with $15 million. More recently the iFart App (retailing for $.99), which allows downloaders to "Record-A-Fart" and "Fart-a-Friend," as well as play a selection of canned fart sounds, netted founder Joel Comm more than $400,000. Now that's the sweet smell of success!
Here are some of this year's contenders for the best gag gifts on the market -- offering hilarious picks for every punster on your list.
Punny Man Gifts
Looking for a "manly" gift this holiday season? How about alcohol? Something made of steel? Or maybe a racy joke? Why settle for just one? Balls of Steel Whiskey Chillers from BOS Drinkware keep whiskey cool without diluting the booze experience. The set comes in "a lovely black velvet sack" for easy storage -- and 15 percent of the proceeds go to charities such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Does your punster love swag? If so, SpreadShirt, an e-commerce platform for print-on-demand apparel and accessories has some designs that will make you groan: for example, the "one night stand" (picture of a bedside table), the "You've cat to be kitten me right meow" cat and the popular "I ink therefore I am" pen-emblazoned T-shirt. You can also upload and share your own puntastic designs in up to 175 different product formats for something truly you-nique!
Punny Teenager Gifts
You may already be familiar with the company Sun-Staches from their appearance on Shark Tank. But this season, the company known for making glasses with mustaches attached to them, has expanded their line of silly stuff significantly. During the election, they grabbed some coverage in the New York Times for their Hillary and Trump likeness glasses -- The Hill and It's Gonna Be Huge styles. Their licensing deal with Disney and distribution deal with Target are set to make sure everyone on your list can look like a Troll, a Pokémon or a super hero, while throwing shade at relatives this holiday season.
Even good teens love naughty puns, especially when it's mixed up with candy. IT'SUGAR, the sweet experiential candy retailer, has some edible puns that teens as well as adults with a love of potty humor will appreciate. Some holiday highlights include Santa's Sack, Yellow Snow Balls, Totally Baked Gingerbread Man, and the Happy Poo Year chocolate bar. All I can say is that bad taste never tasted so good!
Punny Gifts For Her
Some gifts are made from puns and others help you make them yourself - like the family game called Schmovie: The Hilarious Game of Made-Up Movies, which is all about movie puns and wordplay. The goal of the game is to come up with funny titles for made-up movies, based on outlandish premises. "For example, what would you call an action film about a mutant sandwich? Beauty and the Beef? Toastbusters? Despicable Meat?" they ask. With Schmovie, the punsiblities are endless -- and the best pun wins. Adding to the fun: the founders host "hashtag games" online every Monday.
NPR pun lovers rejoice. Now in its third edition, The Nina Totin' Bag reusable cotton canvas bag pays homage to two notable pillars of public broadcasting: the tote bag and NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent, Nina Totenberg. The bag is stylishly imprinted with an Andy Warhol style collage of Nina herself, and is perfect for toting your holiday loot while showing off your support of public radio.
Puns For The Host or Hostess
Going to a holiday party? Don't forget to bring something to drink - like Chronic Cellars "Spritz & Giggles" Sparkling Wine with a cute tandem gift like the "Get Lit Wine Stopper" from Cost Plus World Market. It looks like a Christmas light and -- bonus -- it really lights up! No wine drinkers in your crowd? Try pairing the Manatea Tea Infuser with some pun-themed teas like the Don QuixoTea™ or War and Peach tea -- both in tins shaped like books -- from Novelteas.
Are your friends or family members of a mixed tribe with a sense of humor? If so, Modern Tribe is selling "Jewdolph" the Red Nosed Reindeer cozies for "Chrismukkah" that can be wrapped around everything from sippy cups to 40oz beer and wine bottles. Talk about a product made for all sizes and denominations!
Punny Kid Gifts
Parents bend over backwards to make bath time fun for kids, but what about making it better for themselves? A company called "Celebriducks" makes celebrity and pop-culture inspired rubber ducks from teething-safe rubber here in the US. Some of their wittiest hits include the Breaking Bath rubber ducky, who "cooks up some good stuff for the tub," Mister Squawk who goes "where no duck has gone before" and "The Donald" who, of course, "makes bath time great again!" These delightful toys allow you to say things like "Honey - stop chewing on President Ducky!" -- worth every penny of the $11.99 they sell for.
Trying to teach young kids about the value of saving? Nothing wins 5-year-olds over like a fart joke and The Fanny Bank from Big Mouth Inc. toots every time a coin goes in the, um, slot. I guarantee your couch will lose all of its change quickly with this toy in the house.
Finally, nothing could be cuter than a hipster baby in a punny onesie and if you are looking for quick holiday delivery and 5-star reviews, Fayebeline has adorable deigns offered with Amazon Prime shipping. A few favorites include: "Party at my crib," "I drink until I pass out" and "No hair, don't care." Pair these finds with a tiny bow tie and a hat, and you will have one "fidorable" kid this holiday season!
With so many hilarious many options, it will be hard to choose the best way to "punish" those who have been naughty this year.