Shinola gets major product plug on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

Shinola, the iconic Detroit watch company, got lots of attention Thursday night during a provocative segment on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

The segment was a mock game show called "Can You Tell S#*t from Shinola" and featured products from the company, including a wristwatch, a basketball, bags and a bicycle, alongside some items that were clearly not up to par. The contestants, show regulars Guillermo and Yehya, had to separate the, um, junk from the Shinola. The lesser products got tossed in a trash can.

The company joked about the segment on its Facebook page Friday, sharing a link to the video and saying "we helped with a lesson in quality and craftsmanship."

The phrase originates from World War II in reference to a popular shoe polish at the time.

At the end, the two contestants, who had no trouble finding the Shinola, rode off on one of the company's bicycles.

As of Friday afternoon, the video had nearly 10,000 views on YouTube.

Shinola's marketing team reached out to "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to pitch and develop the concept, said Bridget Russo, chief marketing officer for Shinola. The company sent over the products to be featured. The idea was to show more than just the watches and bicycles for which the company is known.

"We're always looking for new and interesting ways to promote the brand," she said. "We identified Jimmy as a potential partner. It's an alternative way to make our media dollars work for us."

Russo said people have often mentioned the popular phrase since the company was founded.

"It's the first time we've done something like this," she said. "I think everyone was waiting for us to use it in our marketing."

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