Pyjama Boy Returns

Faced with a creative cul-de-sac and with the advice of my good friend Nick Crocker looping around in my head — write what you know — the focus of my first post seems obvious. After almost five years, Pyjama Boy is still one of the most successful examples of personal brand marketing that I have. And it happened prior to any marketing or media training.

Pyjama Boy was a social experiment, live performance, travel adventure, social catalyst and whim. It involved travelling around the world for 8 weeks, wearing nothing by pyjamas (except of course in bed).

Pyjama Boy is an accidental example of a very sticky idea. Here are five reasons why I think it worked:

  1. Universal
    Pyjamas cross cultures. Even if you don’t wear them to bed, almost everyone owns or has owned a pair. And I dare say everyone has worn a pair at some stage in their life.
  2. Unexpected
    Most are too conscious of ‘the rules’ to wear their pyjamas outside the bedroom, let alone on planes and trains, in the pub and the street, amongst good friends and perfect strangers.
  3. Accessible
    Even those who would never try it, wish they could. It’s not abstract or even a particularly new idea. It simply gives a new context to a product that most people are already familiar with. It’s about changing the rules and creating new experiences in the process.
  4. Tangible
    The story is easily retold. People I met could pass on the idea in a single sentence. In fact, I had it written on my back in just eight words — “PYJAMA-RAMA ROAD SHOW: AROUND THE WORLD IN PYJAMAS.”
  5. Replicatable (yes, a new word)
    The same experiment was repeated in various countries around the world. And there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work again. The idea is self-contained and doesn’t rely on any external or environmental factors to make it more memorable.

The obvious next question is what to actually do with the Pyjama Boy brand. What is the brand offering short of a liberating way to travel? Without an answer to this question there is no enduring equity. Pyjama Boy’s stories and Pyjama Boy storey (told by those he met) become the foundation for a continued conversation and a brand offering that pulls it all together.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking B1?

Designer pyjamas that you won’t make you blush when you pop across the road for a take away coffee and a slice of banana bread.

Pyjama Boy presents…Curfew. Watch this space.