Bon Jovi

Some of their album covers feature great, simple designs too.

For many, Bon Jovi is a guilty pleasure they don’t like to talk about or fess up to. It’s like that glasses-wearing metal mouth down the street with a bad perm that everybody likes to make fun of, only it turns out she has a killer bod. This is starting to sound like a bad 80s teen comedy.

Speaking of the 80s and bad perms, Bon Jovi has managed to sustain their popularity for the better part of 30 years now, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they sold out to the country music scene. Pisha! As if that wasn’t a cash-grab. Come on, get real.

But you know, if they were still playing hair metal, you know they wouldn’t be on Ellen. Don’t get me wrong; they still play the hits, and they still have some rockin’ guitar riffs, but their sound has unquestionably changed with the times. If you want to play the game, you’ve got to modernize. It’s like how Vanilla Ice would never make it in today’s music industry. Oh, how naïve we were…

But hey, who wants to make the same album over and over again? Oh, right. AC/DC, Nickelback, Coldplay… Never mind. Some bands have made a career out of it.

I’m reminded of Miley Cyrus. She tried to sell out before there was really anything to sell out to. “Party in the U.S.A.” was plenty bubblegum-pop thank you very much. Don’t go Lady Gaga on us because you have daddy issues. Whoa! Did I just go there? Yeah I did. You know what would have been cool? If she went from generic country pop to hair metal. Now that would be utter disregard for trend.

Anyway, let’s get on with it. Let’s take a look at Bon Jovi’s merch strategy and poach some great ideas from them!

Jewelry

Bon Jovi would be stupid not to have something for their female demographic. After all, Jon’s smile is enough to brighten a 30 mile radius, and girls gather around just to catch him in the act. Sorry, not girls. Cougars.

So the jewelry (their web store currently features a hair tie and a charm bracelet) definitely looks great, but unless I’d been told it was BJ merch, I would be none the wiser. Maybe I’m just not a hardcore fan. Still, there might be a lesson in that: make cool-looking rocker jewelry that nobody can identify.

Gold Tote

Tote is a bit of a misnomer. This thing definitely looks more like a handbag. Not that it doesn’t look cool, but it isn’t terribly likely to be found on the personage of a dude. We haven’t gotten away with gold wearables and accessories since the 70s, don’t you know?

Their website suggests that you could use it for groceries, but man, I’m not sure I’d want to deal with the weird looks or snarky comments you’re sure to get from the ex-jock carting your groceries back to your Toyota hatchback. Never mind, I’m a loser. Hand me a tote.

Onesie

You have to credit the band for knowing their fans. If a large part of your fan base is made up of women (especially mothers-to-be or returning mothers), it only makes sense to be prepared for that special occasion known as conception. I just hope this isn’t a subtle allusion to the band’s virility.

Now true, the new generation seems to like Bon Jovi as much as – if not better than – their “older” fans do (because they aren’t as embarrassed for them). An onesie might be a little presumptuous though. Do they really think they’re going to be playing for that much longer? Sorry, that was a low-blow. Don’t sue me, I’m just having fun.

Rhinestone Tumbler

Kind of gives a whole new meaning to Slippery When Wet, huh guys?

It’s like how people will buy those reusable Starbucks cups to show off around town. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (especially when they’re just filling them with tap water), but as I have astutely noted so many times before, people become walking advertisements for the companies and products they love. You’d definitely have to love Starbucks to use their swag. Freaks.

Bon Jovi isn’t really synonymous with tumblers, but as far as “cool” factor goes, it’s a little higher than Starbucks. Just a smidge. You know, the rhinestone definitely helps.

iPhone Case

This is a pretty obvious cash-in. Do people have smartphones? Yeah. Do people use iPhones? Yeah. Do they use protective covers for their expensive pocket gadgets? Duh!

We all know that mobile is a growth market, but it can’t be very long before we reach close to 100% adoption across the globe. Of course, you know they’re going to come out with something new to replace your phone, tablet, netbook and laptop, right? Just when you think you’re set, they come out with something new you have to have. Greedy bastards.

Bonus: Hot Shorts

Now “sexy” might be synonymous with Bon Jovi, but this one is still a bit of an odd item. I like young women’s butts in tiny form-fitting clothing as much as the next guy, but is that really their market? Their fans are cougars, remember? No, just kidding. I’m sure there they must have at least one fan under 35.

I love the description from the store too: “Perfect for the gym or lounging around in style”. Girls lounge around in this stuff? Man, I must be hitting up the wrong jazz clubs. You know, because it said “lounging?” Boo!

Have you purchased any of Bon Jovi’s merchandise? If so, let us know how much you like or dislike the item in the comments section below!

Image: BonJovi.com