Talk about 50 shades of bombardment. This weekend, the highly anticipated movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” based on the bestselling erotic novel, opens in theaters.
The risque story line has already fueled some odd pop culture moments, including a “Fifty Shades of Grey” word search that ended up in the hands of middle school students in Pennsylvania.
And then there are the equally odd marketing tie-ins. Here are some that stood out as they found their way into our inboxes or onto our monitors:
'50 Shades' for babies
Online baby clothing retailer Squiggly Boo offers an assortment of items that say, "9 months ago mommy read 50 Shades of Grey."
Gourmet gift baskets are apparently popular
Wal-Mart sold out of a “50 Shades of Grey” gourmet gift basket, which included handcuffs, a masquerade mask, hair ties and chocolate. The basket retailed for $69.99, according to the website.
Did you know a paint color could be tied to a movie?
DaVinci Roofscapes suggests, well, the color gray would look great on homes. A product pitch to journalists said, “What are 'The Best 50 Shades of Gray for a Home Exterior?' See the attached infographic and you'll find out!”
Stuffed animals? Yep.
The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. is selling a "50 Shades" teddy bear, complete with masquerade mask and mini handcuffs.
A very pricey Seattle hotel package
The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle is offering a special called “No Grey Area.” The package includes one-day use of an Audi R8 Spyder, a helicopter tour of Seattle, a Kama Sutra book, in-room champagne, aphrodisiacs appetizers, lavish accommodations for two in a premium waterfront room and valet parking, according to the hotel's website. The package costs more than $14,000, according to hotel staff.
There are a lot. We’ll mention one offering: an adults-only Groupon collection that featured a $20 “mystery deal for her,” numerous items unmentionable in a family newspaper, and blackout curtains.
If you liked “50 Shades” you might like…
A book with a dominant female instead? One book publisher made this pitch: "Forget 50 Shades of Grey; Women Are The Alpha Dog In Hilarious New Tale."
A Pennsylvania school district told The Times it was investigating why a “Fifty Shades of Grey” word puzzle was handed out to eighth-grade students.
In a statement cited by the Associated Press, school board member Roberta Bergstedt said, "It was a huge but unintentional error and collected from the five students involved as soon as it was realized. Unfortunately one copy was taken by a student who then posted it on social media."