An Etsy shop turned a viral story into a viral product.

By Mike Pomranz
February 01, 2019
Courtesy of Mike Pomranz

They say that any publicity is good publicity, and that's a reality Pringles has been dealing with for three weeks now. On January 11, a woman was reportedly banned from a Walmart in part because she was drinking wine out of a Pringles can in the parking lot. Needless to say, the story captured the nation’s attention, so while officially Pringles has been pushing its big Super Bowl ad featuring a depressed smart speaker (guys, do Pringles a solid and try out “flavor stacking”), the wine-out-of-a-Pringles-can story was so viral that the brand can’t seem to shake its newfound association.

To wit, an Etsy user called The Cup Artist has also gone viral for selling Pringle “wine tumblers” complete with a lid and a straw to make consuming wine out of a Pringles canister that much easier. “Slim 20 oz tumbler Customized with the Pringles logo and Custom nutrition label,” the description states. “Great for your friends or moms that endure long trips in Walmart and need to drink wine from a Pringles can.”

After hearing the original story, I tried drinking wine out of an actual Pringles can to see exactly what the experience was like. The truth is, first, it’s not as crazy as it sounds because, second, a Pringles can is a surprisingly effective wine-holding vessel. In fact, if it weren’t for the difficulty of getting the smell of Pringles out of its tubular packaging, I would have given the canister a thumbs up. It held an entire bottle of wine without incident for the duration of my test.

With that in mind, sadly, these tumblers are not actual Pringles cans further modified for the consumption of wine — something I would have found far more intriguing. Instead, they are existing tumblers that have simply been spruced up to look like a Pringles can. “Our tumblers are custom coated and UV printed,” the Etsy store continues. “The designs are not glued or painted on. You will never have a peeling decal or lumpy cup from our shop.” That said, they do look very much like a Pringles can.

Celeste Powers, the artist behind The Cup Artist, told KDFW that she’s been making these kinds of custom products for about four years and got into tumblers in 2018. But recently, some fresh inspiration hit. “When the Pringles/Wine article ran, I couldn't help but laugh. You really can see and experience it all at Walmart,” she was quoted as saying. “I felt bad when Walmart banned her, because we've all been there, right?"

Unfortunately, these Pringles tumblers, which were priced at $35 apiece, are sold out as of yesterday. No word on if they’ll be coming back, but now that they’ve gotten mainstream attention, you’d think Pringles might want to have a word with Powers about her design — though fair use does cover parody, and frankly, the past three weeks have been hilarious.

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