hi tim, kathleen thought yooh should have this
November 25, 2018 7:43 AM   Subscribe

For $3.99 (or less during their black Friday sale), Age Hams will send a tiny pink rubber pig to someone yooh know, courtesy of someone named kathleen.

If yooh don't like the name kathleen you can send the ham from yourself, a French girl named Camille, or the Wilson family.

Sixth-grader Owen Shakelton founded the company with help from his dad. Each ham includes a tiny ham hut to store your ham.

Even if yooh aren't interested in a ham (why not??!), Vint Age's social media presence is delightful and deserves a peek.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi (48 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
(Aware this might be a little pepsi ham, but I learned of this company through fb ads, sent one to my friend--who hilariously grilled his friend kathy about why she sent him a pig--and they sent one back to me without knowing I had hammed them. I now carry my ham in my pocket, and it makes my life better.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:46 AM on November 25, 2018 [13 favorites]


OK so this is the second time I've heard of "age hams" this week (guess their marketing campaign is going well) but I still can't figure out what the heck they actually are. It appears to be a small rubber or possibly plastic pig, with a symbol printed on it. Is that it? Why are they called "age hams?" Is it a play on "aged ham" somehow? Did the original ones come with the age of the bearer printed on them? Do they do something? Are they useful? Is there some kind of history or tradition behind them? Why are age hams A Thing right now as opposed to any other ten-cent tchotchke that looks like it belongs in the back of a junk drawer or in a pencil case at the bottom of a box in the attic labeled "ASHLEY 3rd Grade?"

What is this? Why is this?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:53 AM on November 25, 2018 [15 favorites]


What is this? Why is this?

Yooh can find all the answers in the linked article.
posted by davejay at 7:54 AM on November 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


Not really? The only thing on the "About" page is a blurb saying that the kid won his class's shark tank contest with this idea. It doesn't actually say what the idea is.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:56 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I’m glad to find out what this is. Since my real name is Kathleen, it helps me prepare for being asked about it if any of my friends or acquaintances start gifting this.
posted by matildaben at 7:59 AM on November 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I mean, the second article says a little more but basically the impression I'm getting is that this is about 98% viral marketing campaign and only 2% actual product, and the only thing remarkable is that this particular pet-rock/fidget spinner fad is succeeding (unlike the vast majority of such attempts) and that this time, it was started by a kid.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:03 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I mean, the whole thing is totally silly, but here's the best explanation you will get:
Brian knew, from “having owned about 90 different domains over the years,” that it’s often hard to find available URLs that use actual words, so they began brainstorming random nonsensical phrases in hopes of hitting paydirt. One of these was “Vintage Soups,” which then led to “Vintage Hams.” Once they had the name, a lot of development followed. For example, Brian thought that vintagehams.com looked like “Vint Age Hams,” so the back-story became that the company was “Vint Brand Age Hams,” owned and operated by members of the Vint family. All that remains of this concept are the staff biographies buried in the “About” section, using what Owen called “cheesy stock photos.”
Basically, they will send a cute tiny rubber pig to someone, either from you or from a fictional character named Kathleen. That's it. If you don't like whimsy or tiny rubber pigs, this product is probably not for you.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:03 AM on November 25, 2018 [16 favorites]


They're greeting cards with tiny flat pink pigs on them--they look like those old colorful rubber erasers to me. The letters on them are apparently stamps but mine looked like it was drawn on with a pen (and has since rubbed off. It WAS an amperham, though.) When I first found their fb, I combed through it a bit--apparently the people behind this (the kid's name kind of sounds fake?) used to have a company called turtle calls where they would call someone and leave a voicemail from a turtle.

So it's a jokey, silly thing given more traction through a memey advertising strategy but it really is pretty wonderful to have your friend texting their friend Kathy like "aw, thank you for the cute little pink pig!" and kathy has no idea what they're talking about.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:04 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I also learned of this company through Facebook ads, and it was the first time I have ever directly bought something based on an ad!

Story time. I sent a good luck ham to my sister-in-law, who just started art school. I chose the non-anonymous option and included my first name so she would know who it was from (I am the only person with this name who would have her new school address, so I didn't think it necessary to include my last name). A couple of weeks after sending it I hadn't heard anything from her so I subtly nudged her and asked if she'd received any letters lately. She said no--even went down to check her mailbox! I was like, hmmm, double checked her address, and then contacted the company to say that she never received her age ham. They graciously sent out another one.

Two weeks later I get a message from her. "Hey [brook horse], do you know anything about age hams??"

"YOU FINALLY GOT IT!!!" I exclaim.

"What????" she yelps.

Long story short, it turns out, she received the first one at the beginning of the semester and had no idea what it was. Yes, it had my name on it, but the address was from Ohio, so what she thought was, "Huh, I don't know any [brook horses] in Ohio" and thought maybe it was some alumni who sent them out to all the new students, I guess? (Please note that there's no possible way she forgot she had a sister in law with my name, by the way; I lived in her house for 5 years and prior to her heading off to college saw her 2-3 times a week). She forgot about it, and then got the second one, and asked her roommate whether she had gotten one, and the roommate of course had not and was summarily confused, and that's when she finally thought to reach out to me. So now she has two identical good luck hams (they're sisters, she says), which I say is just twice the good luck.

Not really? The only thing on the "About" page is a blurb saying that the kid won his class's shark tank contest with this idea. It doesn't actually say what the idea is.

It's in the second article, which explains the backstory, but generally the idea is "send a card with a quirky kind of random trinket" because that's fun, and they gave it just enough structure (specific name, a little hut for the pig, personalization) to make it seem like you're part of A Thing, which is also fun. Add in a dose of surrealist humor and well, I certainly couldn't resist it. I'm having trouble getting the site to load but when I sent mine I think I also saw something about it being a good luck charm but that may have just been for the good luck card.
posted by brook horse at 8:07 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Very well. It appears that my distaste for viral marketing and disposable tchotchkes outweighs my love of surrealism and absurdity. Good day to you all.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:14 AM on November 25, 2018 [33 favorites]


Metafilter: If you don't like whimsy or tiny rubber pigs, this product is probably not for you.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:15 AM on November 25, 2018 [35 favorites]


Also, thanks so much for finding that interview article, it was delightful! Of course his favorite books are the Hitchhiker's Guide series. What else would it be?
posted by brook horse at 8:20 AM on November 25, 2018


The moment when I realized that I was actually frightened by the Facebook algorithm was when I got an ad for Calamityware, which is traditional blue-and-white porcelain, except that the images are things like marauding robots and plagues of locusts. Facebook has completely figured me out. They know my soul. I may be purchasing the tea set when it becomes available in February.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:21 AM on November 25, 2018 [17 favorites]


It's a physical token of emotion/ gift. Nice backstory. But it's stuff.
posted by theora55 at 8:22 AM on November 25, 2018


Yeah, baby marketers are so ... horrifying.

I assume the kid that dreamed it up is as fictional as the rest of the bumph?
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:26 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Physical token of affection is the perfect way to describe it! My sister in law was lamenting that she didn't realize what it was a week earlier, when she was working on a still life of objects people have given her that have meaning to her. It's stuff, absolutely. But it's a stuff that, every time she looks at it, she remembers that time I cared enough to send her a cute funny good luck wish when she was anxious about starting college.

Granted my sister in law is extremely sentimental so I doubt most people will get that much out of it, but still.
posted by brook horse at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm sentimental, so I walk in the rain
I send people age hams, even I can't explain
posted by clawsoon at 8:34 AM on November 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I just sent one anonymously to a friend of whom I am extremely fond. He was delighted, if a bit confused. (I still haven’t told him I was the one who sent it.) I plan to go through my entire holiday card list and send one to everyone — they have lots of sales and coupons!
posted by holborne at 8:41 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I could go for a steamed ham right about now.
posted by Segundus at 8:42 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I found out about them via this AskMe and have been dispatching many age hams in the interim.
posted by ITheCosmos at 8:50 AM on November 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


Very well. It appears that my distaste for viral marketing and disposable tchotchkes outweighs my love of surrealism and absurdity. Good day to you all.

It's more of an Albany tchotchke, anyway.
posted by adrianhon at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


Holborne, if you haven't seen, their holiday ham page says they can send to your entire Christmas card list if you email them at hello@agehams.com. Might save you some tedious form filling!
posted by brook horse at 9:02 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


initial reaction: yeah, it's kind of dumb and gimmicky and just, y'know, more stuff

heh, yeah right

then you remember that $3.99 is pretty much the floor for single greeting cards except for the really cheap ones, no postage or pig

on the other hand

and then you remember that one sibling that you had a running joke about "the little pink pig" when you were kids and that just sort of fell by the wayside as you got older and they will have no idea about this thing

welp
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:04 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


✝𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓴 𝔂𝓸𝓾
   𝓙𝓔𝓢𝓤𝓢©
posted by glonous keming at 9:18 AM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


aren't interested in a ham (why not??!)

This ham tastes terrible.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:20 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Holborne, if you haven't seen, their holiday ham page says they can send to your entire Christmas card list if you email them at hello@agehams.com. Might save you some tedious form filling!

I had not seen! Thank you!
posted by holborne at 9:33 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wow, do that christmas card list thing now! as in, like, TODAY. they're only $2 each at the moment, which is a total steal!
posted by hippybear at 9:41 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is cute and I don’t know the first thing about this kid, but what is the privacy policy associated with this? If this goes mega viral, what are the odds he doesn’t sell this knowledge graph of people’s relationships and/or locations for college money?
posted by mantecol at 9:55 AM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Holborne, if you haven't seen, their holiday ham page says they can send to your entire Christmas card list if you email them at hello@agehams.com. Might save you some tedious form filling!

Emotional Labour-Saving Ham.
posted by clawsoon at 10:13 AM on November 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


Is this halal and/or kosher?
posted by clawsoon at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2018


MetaFilter: no postage or pig
posted by chavenet at 11:18 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


This is the best I've seen in a long time, and has absolutely made my day. I've arranged for several age hams to be mailed to friends and family, and have had a good hearty laugh over it.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 11:53 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Welp, my husband's gettin' a tiny rubber pig soon.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2018


Sent the French pig to my daughter, who needs a pick-me-up while working far from friends and family. So cute!
posted by jazon at 1:06 PM on November 25, 2018


[One comment deleted. Folks if you don't like this thing that's fine, but in the name of not having literally every post on this site turn into a recitation of how all of modern life is obscene -- which makes people not want to spend time here -- please just let the small whimsical thing be, and take the major structural critiques over to one of the many threads about that.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:16 PM on November 25, 2018 [25 favorites]


Can someone explain the "yooh"?
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:28 PM on November 25, 2018


Sure! Re-write the copy using "you." How much more boring, how much less amusing, cute, and droll.

The silly spelling highlights in a very simple, ingenious way that this is a goofy, kinda-childish thing that one shouldn't take too seriously, and maybe make yooh smile.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:45 PM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Second link article says "yooh" was an accident but then was adopted as a fun quirk.
posted by hippybear at 2:52 PM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Sigh. Another thing I've never heard of until MetaFilter steers me there. Thank you - I now have 20 tiny pink pigs headed my way to be given as whimsy's. And I have no regrets!
posted by annieb at 3:36 PM on November 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Even with all the explanation, I still don't really get it, and I'm usually the one who's frustrated when my friends and family don't understand whimsical or absurd things that I find amusing because it's just so tedious to try to explain the unexplainable and now I'm worried that I'm old.
posted by HotToddy at 3:39 PM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Great. We're breeding a fresh batch of 'Head On. Apply to forehead' marketers.
posted by zaixfeep at 5:31 PM on November 25, 2018


Here's the page on the school website related to the "shark tank" contest.

Please forgive me if, in the USA in 2019, I seem a bit skeptical about, well just about everything, and like a number of you I've never been one to suffer a marketeer gladly, but at least their backstory seems partially true.
posted by glonous keming at 5:59 PM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


at least their backstory seems partially true.

It'd be a little too clever to complain about the repeat finalists in an entrepreneurship competition without some direct experience.
posted by pwnguin at 8:19 PM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


My daughter has, for the past few years, participated in a summer young entrepreneurs program. She and other girls her age (10-15) create product ideas, make the products, and sell them in an end-of-program event. For two years, my daughter has made fabric bags with monster faces, and sold out each time, netting around $30 each time.

This pig thing is very much the kind of thing produced in these programs -- simple low-price materials combined in whimsical ways -- so I don't doubt for a second that it originated from the son. And marketing may or may not be evil depending on your perspective, but if the father wants to teach his son how to turn a simple, amusing idea into a marketable product that sells at a low price and makes a lot of people smile -- sharing the skills and experience that he uses daily to support his family -- I just can't see a reason to be so negative about it.
posted by davejay at 9:45 PM on November 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


i'm extremely amused by the registration page for the hams with the button "register my age ham so much"
posted by numaner at 10:03 PM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


it's half off during cyber monday so get to hamming!
posted by numaner at 10:14 PM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I ordered a few dozen holiday hams because of this post, and people just started getting them today! The response is amused/confused. I LOVE IT.
posted by 41swans at 7:12 PM on December 13, 2018


one of my best friends totally had her day made by the couple that I sent her, with the card that just says "just because yooh are the very best". she was having a tough week and it really brought up her mood. she didn't know who sent it (i forgot which name/family i used for it, but it wasn't mine), and she was just getting around to asking all her friends about it and I was so anxious about whether she got or not that when I saw her soon after I asked "soooo did you get anything interesting in the mail lately" and she gave me the biggest laugh and said "YOU WERE THE ONE!". It made my day to know it made her that happy. So thanks for this post PhoBWanKenobi!
posted by numaner at 12:35 AM on December 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


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