Dangerous Trend #7 - Same is Lame in Marketing Today - Competition is Fierce and the Power has Shifted back to the Buyer to Buy, or Worse still, Not to Buy

I know that is a long title but it is necessary to get my point across and there is a couple of points here.PT Barnum More Dangerous Trends Facing Business Today…
Marketing Genius PT Barnum

Firstly, the same old marketing we use to use that use to work, in spite of the fact that it wasn’t that great, won’t cut it in the new economy where the power is firmly in the hands of the buyer or prospect to buy, or worse still, not to buy.

In actual fact, the economies of the western world have been kind to us in the past. We have often done well or alright in spite of the fact that our marketing was inept.

Read on to discover why “Same is Lame” today and what you can do to stand out in a world of clutter and noise, where the power is in the hands of the buyer…

The old scatter gun approach to marketing, the days of firing a shotgun knowing you would hit something in a marketing sense, are gone forever.

Today, particularly with the Internet, you need rifle like precision with your marketing. Google has added new meaning to the word RELEVANCY to succeed on the Internet, everything has to be RELEVANT.

Your URL, your blog, your website, your ad words, your social media strategy, everything online today needs to be RELEVANT if you want to succeed.

It was PT Barnum who said “You can’t catch a Whale with a Minnow”, I would add you definitely can’t today, however, most people are fishing in a marketing sense, with a minnow hoping to be outrageously successful and then, of course, wondering what happened, what went wrong.

It was flawed in the first place, you got the result your marketing deserved. You can no longer do same old same old “water off a ducks back” type of marketing.

Here is an outrageous example of outrageous marketing that might help you understand what I am getting at.

First I want to tell you about the late great Gary Halbert. He tells the story of working with Tova and Ernest Borgnine on their cosmetics company. Seems he took them from “grossing about $20,000 per month and being in debt… to… grossing about $800,000 per month… and… I managed to do this in less than half-a-year”

Here is how he did it. You see, Tova was on the lookout for a perfume she could brand as “Tova” but hadn’t been able to find one. Anyway, with that in mind, the late great “prince of print” one day found himself reading The National Enquirer.

In it, there was an article that explained “How all perfumes have, as their main ingredient, something called an ‘essential oil”. It further went on to explain how “If you know what ‘essential oil’ is, you can buy some for a pittance, mix it with a little water and alcohol… and presto… you have something smelling like Chanel #5 or Opium for a fraction of the cost of buying the real thing”.

On yet another fine day, the Prince of Print finds himself walking aimlessly through the streets of Westwood Village which is located just west of Beverly Hills. He comes upon an outdoor kiosk on one of the sidewalks on which he happens to be strolling.

This little kiosk is filled with hundreds of test-tube-like thingys which are filled with different kinds of liquids. The friendly girl working in the little kiosk explains to ol’ Guru Gary each test-tube-like thingy contains a different kind of essential oil… and how… she sells those essential oils to women who like to concoct their own perfumes.

Hmm. Quite interesting.

The Prince queries the sales girl, “Is there any one or two kinds of essential oils which women seem to like better than the others?”

“Oh yes!” she responds. “This one. It’s called ‘China Musk’ and women much prefer it over all the others.”

“No kidding,” the Prince continues. “Why doesn’t someone pour China Musk into a bottle, mix it with a little water and alcohol and call it ‘ABC Perfume’?”

“Gee, I dunno. That sounds like a good idea,” the fair maiden replies. “I guess it’s just nobody ever thought of it.”

Hmm. Well, “prince of print” Halbert was sure thinking of it, and he bought a test-tube-thingy of that stuff and took it to a high-end jeweller.

“I want you to make a real fancy bottle to hold this liquid,” he told the jeweller. “Then, I want you to have the name ‘Tova’ etched into that bottle.”

A few days later, he picked up the bottle (it looked great), poured some China Musk, water and alcohol into it, screwed the top back on… and VOILA!… he created TOVA PERFUME!

Hey, that was a neat, not-so-little “BIG Idea,” wasn’t it?

Another few days later at Melrose Avenue in L.A, where Tova and Ernie are engaged in a photo shoot. During one of the breaks, Tova comes out, he tells her he has a little present for her and hand her the bottle.

“What’s this?” she asks.

“Your new fragrance,” replies the “prince of print” Halbert.

She looked very, VERY dubious… but… she opens the package… admires the bottle… twists the top off… and… ever-so-softly inhales the aroma.

“Oh… my… God!” she exclaims. “THIS IS IT! It’s perfect! It’s just what I’ve been looking for! How did you make it? How did you develop the formula?”

“Tova,” he calmly repled, “you wouldn’t believe how much work and experimentation I’ve put into this. I’ve hardly had a wink of sleep for nearly three months. This project has involved me in the most difficult research I’ve ever done in my entire life!”

Before they could talk more, she gets called back into the photo session.

He leaves, but Tova and Gary get together a few days later. By that time, he had designed some truly elegant packaging for her new fragrance. She wants him to tell her the secret formula… but… he tells her he wants to wait until they’ve had a “perfume launch” and find out if the public likes this fragrance as much as Tova and he does.

She reluctantly agrees and suggests they have the perfume launch at Candy Spelling’s boutique. At that time, Candy was married to Aaron Spelling (the mega TV show producer) and she had a boutique in Beverly Hills which would hold maybe 150 people maximum. He told Tova, if she was going to let him advertise the perfume launch his way, she’d need a place much, much larger than Candy’s boutique. When she asked, “How much larger?” he answered…

“Like The Century Plaza Hotel”

It took her a few minutes to recover from his answer but, you know what? She actually went out and rented the entire bottom-half of the Century Plaza Hotel. She really did. For real.

Then, he wrote an ad. They ran the ad in the Los Angeles Times… and… that ad… got more than 7,000 (seven thousand) people to come to the perfume launch! And… that perfume launch was held on a weekday afternoon! In fact, if it hadn’t been for the Fire Marshal, there would have been more than those 7,000 people at the perfume launch. The Fire Marshal said he simply couldn’t let any more people into the hotel due to fire regulations.

That launch caused such a sensation, it got mentioned in Time magazine. Plus… they got millions of dollars’ worth of unsolicited purchase orders from Burdines, Filines of Boston, the May Company and various others including the Federated Chain. At that time, the Federated Chain was the biggest chain of department stores in the world.

Why was that perfume launch so successful? Because the ad he wrote to promote it was written around a really terrific “BIG Idea.” If you’ve got even one drop of marketing blood in your veins, you’ll comprehend this particular “BIG Idea” in a flash as soon as he tells you the headline of the ad. Personally, he thought it’s the best headline ever written… and… here it is… so… you can decide for yourself:
Wife Of Famous Movie Star Swears
Under Oath Her New Perfume Does Not
Contain An Illegal Sexual Stimulant!

The ad went on to explain how Tova was willing to give away thousands of samples of her new fragrance… just to prove it was safe to wear in public!

The entire town was buzzing! “What did she put into the perfume?” “Is it a legal sexual stimulant?”

But, Guru Gary wasn’t finished yet. In the middle of the launch with thousands of people watching and the TV cameras rolling, he had a special gift delivered to Tova right there as she stood on stage. The gift was delivered to her in a velvet-lined box which was handcuffed to the wrists of two huge, muscular handsome men dressed in tuxedos he had hired.

Want to know what that special gift was? I thought so.

It was 13 real gem-quality sapphires. Why 13?

Each One Commemorated A Sacred, Secret Ingredient Used In The Making Of Tova Perfume!

Per his instructions, Tova raffled off those sapphires to the audience in full view of the TV cameras.

How’s that for yet another “BIG Idea”?

Gary took a same old same old everyday product and made it an INSTANT SUCCESS by taking the time to figure out the BIG IDEA, but in fact, there is probably a couple here in this text which was straight from the Gary Halbert website.

To read the complete extract, go to:


Alright, you’re not Gary Halbert, arguably one of the greatest marketers and copywriters that ever lived, but you can learn a lot from what he did here, it’s instructive.

My point is, don’t, whatever you do, allow your marketing to be “Same is Lame Water off a Ducks Back” like, ever again, because, today with a consumer with more choices and more power to buy or not to buy, it’s a recipe for desolation.

All the best,

Mal Emery

Posted on November 30, 2011 - 08:09 PM

- Updated on November 30, 2011 - 08:09 PM

Like this blog post? Why not, share it with your friends?

Have something interesting to say? Click on the button below and tell us what you think...
click to comment



  Wow, that's so funny that perfume story!! And it is so funny too that if you look up on google what people say about tova perfume, to see what people are saying about it, they all have fancy arty farty things to say about it, like that it has top notes of this and this flower and medium and bottom notes of this and that flower. Little do they know :-)
Dec. 01, 2011, 12:35 AM  
< Older Post
Newer Post >

Contact Us