In things that could only happen in 2020, we are collectively thirsting over Dr. Anthony Fauci. Today, you can buy a Fauci candle. You can buy a “Fauci Pouchy” cocktail. You can even buy a Fauci bobblehead.
And now you can also buy a pillow, T-shirt, or baby onesie emblazoned with the infectious disease doctor’s face because, why not?
The Fouch on the Couch line is the work of Erick Sanchez, a former spokesperson for Andrew Yang and co-founder of the strategic communications firm United Public Affairs. Sanchez, who is 34 and lives in New Orleans, got the idea during a social distancing Cinco de Mayo happy hour with his neighbors.
The group was talking about Fauci’s work on the coronavirus task force and his becoming something of a pop culture icon when they decided they should make their own Fauci swag. What if there was something you could squeeze, something that could comfort you, something that was soft—a Fauci pillow? Sanchez’s neighbor suggested the branding: “She landed on the name Fouch on the Couch in the same vein as Elf on a Shelf or Mensch on a Bench,” says Sanchez. “I was like, ‘That’s incredible.’ ”
The next day, Sanchez realized that the idea, “[even] without the margaritas,” still sounded good. But why stop at a pillow? He has plenty of friends with babies who are always looking for fun onesies, he says. Therefore, baby gear.
And he figured people would want to “represent their Fauci affinity” during their social distancing walks or Netflix binges, too. Hence, the Fauci T-shirt.
So can we expect a Dr. Deborah Birx line next? “Hey, you know what? I like to keep my eye on the zeitgeist and I like to give the people what they want,” Sanchez says. “Now that I’ve taught myself how to make an e-commerce website in under two hours, I think I can get that done pretty quickly.”