Like many modern brands, Pringles isn't afraid to try a bizarre promotion: Pringles Christmas candles, NFTs, and Thanksgiving-flavored chips boxed like a TV dinner. But this time, they may have gone too far by... trying to rename a spider?
Niney Azman / Shutterstock
Now, in Pringles defense, the spider — currently named the Kidney Garden Spider — does look a lot like the brand's mustachioed mascot, Mr. P. The spider has a round white body with distinctive markings that look like two tiny eyes above a massive mustache. It's funny in an "Oh man, am I stoned?" way (which feels like how this whole thing started) — but Pringles has brought the joke to the masses by launching a petition attempting to get the spider renamed to the Pringles Spider.
Meet the Pringles Spider. A real spider with the Pringles face on its back.
Help us get the Pringles Spider officially recognized, and adopt one today at https://t.co/P3V9nCPkj0 #PringlesSpider pic.twitter.com/WfGnLiB5FS
— Pringles (@Pringles) June 23, 2022
Importantly, Pringles isn't attempting to change the official, globally-recognized scientific name of the spider which, according to Wikipedia (my source for all things spiders), was established in 1886 and is currently Araneus mitificus. Instead, they are trying to get the common name of the spider changed.
How do you get a colloquial name changed? To be honest, I'm not sure. And frankly, Pringles doesn't seem quite sure either. In announcing their petition, they say they hope the change is "officially recognized by the arachnid community," and the petition itself is aimed at a laundry list of spider-related organizations: the International Society of Arachnology, European Society of Arachnology, American Arachnological Society, Arachnologische Gesellschaft, Association Française d'Arachnologie, British Arachnological Society, S.E.A., Asian Society of Arachnology, Aracnofilia, and iNaturalist.
Now, granted, if billions of people around the world agreed that a "dog" would no longer be called a "dog," well, yeah, that could change the common name of Canis familiaris. A similar situation exists here: With enough global groundswell, then, yes, maybe people would start referring to the Kidney Garden Spider as the Pringles Spider instead.
Unfortunately, they're not at groundswell yet. A week after launching the petition on Change.org, Pringles has currently only convinced 741 people to sign it, and that's despite a bit of bribery: The brand has said that the first 1,500 people to sign the petition would be eligible for free Pringles if the new name is actually recognized.
"In 1968 the world was introduced to the iconic Pringles can and logo, but little did we know there was a creature amongst us who was unknowingly spreading the Pringles love," Mauricio Jenkins, U.S. marketing lead for Pringles, stated in announcing the petition last Monday. "We're thrilled to rally fans to help us recognize this spectacular spider, and welcome it into the Pringles family."
No offense, Pringles, but the spider was around for at least 80 years before you. Maybe just let it keep its name.