Oddly enough, sports leads the pack in making a buck by showing how to truly be a die-hard fan.
It started a few years ago with the advent of coffins with sports logos on them but mere licensing wasn’t enough for one soccer/football team. Next month, the Barcelona-based Primera Liga club — aka Espanyol — will open a repository for 20,000 fans’ ashes at their new stadium Cornella-El Prat. “The columbarium will occupy 1,000 square metres over three floors in a corner section of the stadium. There will be 5,000 niches available, each capable of holding four urns.” The team expects to make $6.9 million over the next 15 years from this. As gruesome as this sounds, it has to be noted that sports teams didn’t come up with this idea. They are simply responding to demand from the fans.
It is a tribute to the marketers everywhere that an increasing number of people want their brand identity known even when they are forgotten. Thus, the Hello Kitty headstone.
Sorry, but I think Kuromi is more brand appropriate.
Coffins and urns are clearly the co-branding channel of choice here. A gentlemen in Illinois pre-ordered a Pabst Blue Ribbon casket. Look closely at the picture and you will see he has a fondness for more than just PBR. This should make for an interesting discussion should he ever arrive at an AA meeting.
If you cannot find the brand of choice, contact Creative Coffins in the UK which offers a line of customized (or “bespoke”) coffins. Some of their offerings:
More after the jump…
Even better than the design possibilities is the fact that these are environmentally friendly. All are made out “at least 60% recycled paper” meaning — among other things — they’re lighter than those giant wood and metal boxes.
Creative Coffins inspired the website T3 to come up with some of the best coffin designs yet — unfortunately they still only exist in photoshop:
One marketing effort that the jury is still out on: The funeral as raffle prize. The winner of said raffle, held in Italy, has yet to claim the prize. Of course, as far as the winner is concerned, that’s probably a good thing.
Not all death marketing is limited to the dead or even the grieving. Some of it is focused on home furnishings!
A firm called CoffinCouches “strongly believe in recycling. Our niche happens to be 18 gauge steel coffins which we collected from local funeral homes primarily in Southern California. It is a health and safety law that funeral homes cannot resell used coffins to the general public. We approached funeral directors with the attitude of recycling. These coffins are not used for burial due to slight cosmetic inconsistencies. They are reconfigured and modified resulting in a finished product – a unique one a kind coffin couch.” Like the caskets themselves the couches ain’t cheap — $3,500 for this fine tribute to the LA Dodgers of Loserland.
Apparently I am not the only one who thinks it is so silly to spend so much on something you are only going to use once and then put under ground. So CasketFurniture has a whole line of furniture that you actually can take with you when you go. There’s this stylish couch — which really redefines the idea of a “convertable.”
They also have an entertainment center whose “contemporary cubic design transforms easily into a ‘his & hers’ casket combination.” They don’t say if you can take the TV, too. For a mere $13K they also offer a thoroughly non-regulation pool table.
Oddly, while the firm also offers coffee tables it doesn’t offer dinner tables which seem to make much more sense from a size point-of-view. (But they do have a boss cribbage board!)
Elsewhere, the great people at CoffinItUp (wow!) have an assortment of coffin-themed items to do up the house with. I especially like this to-die-for (sorry) nightstand.
There’s also coffins that look like cars — like this one from Colourful Coffins:
The most fitting coffin design I’ve come across features an industry that is near and dear to my heart from Creative Coffins:
I want one with the Treasury Department logo on it.