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Pet Rock + Pres. Obama = 'Prez BaRock'
Whether you love the president or hate him, one Bellevue entrepreneur has a product that can help you speak your mind.
Patrick Phipps borrowed an idea from the 1970s Pet Rock craze to come up with Prez BaRock, the Mexican beach pebble that serves as a politically oriented novelty item.
The smooth, egg-shaped rock comes with a cardboard podium and backdrop to resemble the setup of a briefing room, as well as over 50 reusable rhetoric stickers.
The bi-partisan adhesives say things like "Yes we can," "No we shouldn't," "You may be on the Right, but I'm right," "He's a real czar's czar," and "He got a Nobel prize and all I got was this lousy rock."
"This is a fun, snarky platform for people to blow off a little steam and let their views be known in a lighthearted way," Phipps said. "We're in a recession. People need some fun and laughter."
Phipps said he came up with the idea for Prez BaRock around the time of Obama's inauguration. He launched the product in November, and will begin offering monthly $1,000 "personal bailouts" for creative photos and testimonials from buyers in January.
The goal is to get the word out about Prez BaRock this year so it takes off in time for the 2010 mid-term elections and holiday season.
Phipps is a self-described serial entrepreneur whose previous work involved mixed-martial arts promoting, drive-to-web marketing, and the development of an online poker site that came to a halt after lawmakers made online gambling illegal in the U.S.
"I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up," he said.
Phipps said he has a few Prez BaRock follow ups in mind, but he isn't discussing specifics at this point.
Prez BaRock sells for $15, and is available online only at www.prezbarock.com. Phipps is pitching the product to national retailers, and said he may try direct-response marketing in the future.