Weepul

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The small Albert Heijn Wuppies and the large Mega Wups

The weepul (also known as a weeple, wuppie, or wuppet) is a small, spherical, fluffy toy, with large, plastic googly eyes, and no limbs. Weepuls come in various colors. Usually weepuls possess antennae and also large paper feet, with an adhesive layer on the bottom, which is protected by a layer of plastic that is peeled off before deployment.

According to Rick Ebel, the weepul was created in 1971 by the Oklahoma City promotional firm, Bipo Inc. It was named by customer Tom Blundell after a stuffed doll his parents had tried and failed to market several years earlier. Blundell figured the little-people stick-on would only be a flash in the pan, “but it just got a life to it, and it still isn’t ready to die.”[1]

In the Netherlands the weepul was introduced as a marketing tool in the 1980s by the name of wuppie. The wuppie was created by a promotion salesman, who had been inspired by weeples which he discovered during a trip in the US in the 1970s. The wuppies became popular after Father Abraham featured the Wuppies in one of his songs. Wuppie is actually a backronym for World Unique Promotional Product Identity & Emotion [2]

The wuppies became extremely popular in the summer of 1981. Twenty-five years later, they made a come-back in the Netherlands. In June 2006 the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn re-introduced the Wuppies in a new campaign connected to the FIFA World Cup 2006 under the motto Wup Holland Wup, a variation of Hup Holland Hup (Go Holland Go), a Dutch patriotic song.[3][4] The wuppies, produced in orange, red, white and blue were used as a kind of saving stamp. Three saving stamps together with 2,49 euros could be exchanged for one Mega Wup. Albert Heijn's Wuppie campaign with the World Cup Wuppie Song (With a Wup we will win the World Cup) proved to be immensely popular, especially the "Mega Wups". Dutch media reported that cars which had a Mega Wup on their dashboards were broken into.[5] A classroom of an elementary school in The Hague was burglarized which had a lot of wuppies exposed in the classroom. Wuppies were often given out as a prize from 1-900 numbers in the 80's.

References[edit]

  1. ^ What's In A Name?, column by Rick Ebel, Igor - Naming and branding agency, November 2005
  2. ^ De ontdekker van de wuppie in Amerika (The discoverer of the wuppie in America), news article Algemeen Dagblad, 20 June 2006
  3. ^ "Onverwacht succes: de comeback van de wuppie" (Unexpected seller: the comeback of the wuppie) - Report from the RTL4 news of June 14. 2006
  4. ^ "Comeback Wuppie bij AH" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 24, 2008) - Article in the Algemeen Dagblad of June 1. 2006
  5. ^ "Laat niets van wuppiewaarde in de auto!" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 30, 2007) (Don't leave your wuppie alone in your car) by Gert Onnink, Algemeen Dagblad, 20 juni 2006