From Academic Kids

A gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something "stand out" from its contemporaries. Product gimmicks are sometimes considered mere novelties, and not really that relevant to the product's functioning. However, some seemingly trivial gimmicks of the past have evolved into useful, permanent features.

Finding a successful gimmick for an otherwise mundane product is often an important part of the marketing process. For example, toothbrushes are often given various gimmicks, such as bright colors, easy-grip handles, or color-changing bristles so they appear more exciting to consumers. This is often done when trying to appeal to children, who often get more excited about the gimmick than the product.


Examples of Gimmicks


In television, gimmicks are often employed to make a TV series memorable, or help create a distinct theme.

Some particularly gimmicky shows include:

  • The Simpsons, which features a unique "couch gag" in the show's introduction sequence, in which the cast runs onto a couch in some wacky manner
  • South Park, in which the character of Kenny is killed off in every episode
  • Frasier, which features "title cards" that introduce each scene
  • Home Improvement, which uses comical, computer-generated "wipes" to change scenes, and features a character named Wilson whose face is always obscured (see also unseen character)


Professional wrestling

In professional wrestling, the term gimmick is typically used to describe a wrestler's in-ring persona.


A pricing gimmick is often employed to increase sales of certain items, or to reduce inventory on items that aren't moving well or are overstocked. Examples of these are BOGO or BOGOF (also B1G1 or B1G1F, an acronym for buy one get one free), and DotD (an acronym for Deal of the Day), typically used in sales promotions at various retail stores.

In Stage Magic

A "gimmick" is the device that enables an illusion to work. A gimmick is not seen by the audience, as opposed to a "fake", which the audience does see but does not realise that it is a "fake", mistaking it to be a normal object.



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