People will spend their hard earned dollars on almost anything, if the marketing is right. If someone should disagree with this generality, two words will win the argument every time: Pet Rock.
For California ad exec Gary Dahl, his now legendary “Why didn’t I think of that” stroke of genius ‘rocked’ the foundations of commerce in one short, six month flurry in 1975. Disillusioned with the realities of actual pet care, Dahl’s brainchild was born during a tenacious case of marketing savvy and a few cocktails. Packaged in a cardboard crate, complete with air holes and a straw bed for the delicate “pet” to rest, the idea proved to be a great loophole for parents fending off puppy requests from insistent children. For fewer than four dollars, the concept became a must-have for the Holiday season of ’75. Included was a tongue in cheek manual that showed proud new owners how to train their pets to roll over, play dead, and attack. Also included was unexpected membership into the Kitsch Hall of Fame.