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Can Weird Al Save RadioShack?

Struggling RadioShack has an unlikely hope for the holidays: Weird Al. Yes, that Weird Al -- Yankovic, the pop culture parody singer, will appear in the financially-strapped electronic chain's big holiday ad that breaks Friday in cinemas nationally and on TV on Dec. 5. With many of its stores closing, a major financial restructuring in the works and its stock below $1 a share -- the chain is hoping that this won't be its last-ever holiday ad campaign. The company will close about 200 of its roughly 4,000 U.S. stores this year. RadioShack shares Thursday closed flat at 99 cents. Chief marketing officer Jennifer Warren insists that Radio Shack is not about to go out of business, and this will not be its final holiday. "Every day is important when you're in the middle of a turnaround," she says, in a phone interview. "It's a marathon. We are making progress." These are tough times at RadioShack. Back in September, the Fort Worth company warned investors that it was running out of cash and might have to seek bankruptcy-court protection from creditors if it couldn't raise sufficient funds. It has since found some investors, including hedge fund Standard General LP, to infuse cash and give it a little financial breathing room. But the clock is ticking and it has, arguably, never faced a more critical holiday than this one. Enter Weird Al. Yankovic, who is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, but may be best-known for his Michael Jackson "Beat It" parody dubbed "Eat It," declined to be interviewed for this story. But Warren says that Yankovic, who hasn't appeared in an ad since a Diet Coke spot in 1984, is a huge fan of RadioShack. "He's tech-savvy, smart and a social media guru," says Warren. "I don't think there could be a better fit for our brand right now." He's got more than 3.5 million Twitter followers and 1.6 million Facebook fans. More via USA Today.

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