In a tweet that was immediately deleted, Ryan Cohen shared an image of the former Pets.com mascot along with a nauseated face emoji.
Pets.com was a short-lived e-commerce business that sold pet accessories and supplies direct to consumers. It launched in August 1998 and went from an IPO on the Nasdaq to liquidation in 268 days.
The company rolled out a regional advertising campaign using a variety of media (TV, print, radio and eventually a Pets.com magazine). It started with a five-city advertising campaign rollout and then expanded the campaign to 10 cities by Christmas, 1999. The company succeeded wildly in making its mascot, the Pets.com sock puppet, well known. The Pets.com site design was extremely well received, garnering several advertising awards.
CNET named Pets.com as one of the greatest dot-com disasters in history.
After Pets.com liquidated, Hakan and Associates and Bar None, Inc. purchased the rights to the puppet under a joint venture called Sock Puppet LLC for $125,000 in 2002. Bar None, Inc., an American automotive loan firm, gave the puppet a new slogan:
“Everyone deserves a second chance.”
GameStop investors are already beginning to dissect Cohen’s latest cryptic tweet, with a leading theory coming from DOMO Capital.
Hilariously enough, the mascot can be seen in a pets.com TV spot, taunting a delivery driver over his shorts.
Coincidence? Or some three-dimensional trolling? pic.twitter.com/xvuqesvFsP
— GMEdd.com (@GMEdd) March 4, 2021
Update: As of 2:19 PM, Ryan Cohen has issued an updated tweet of the sock puppet, with the pets.com branding most notably removed. We can only assume his legal team advised against using Petsmart’s trademark.