Denny’s Daily Zinger: Brilliant Marketing to Chic Sheiks

Click to enlarge these photos of "The Residence."

Sophie Tucker (1887-1966), the last of the Red Hot Mommas, says, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.” What triggered this column was Joe Sharkey’s story in The New York Times about “The Residence”—Etihad Airways‘ three-room suite aboard its new Airbus 380s.
The 125-square-foot suite has a living room with two couches, a 32-inch television set and a refrigerator, a bathroom with a shower, a bedroom with a double bed, and a private butler.

Is this marketing insanity?

A six-and-a-half-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to London will cost a sheik $20,000. A companion flies free.

Rich-rich sheiks will love it. What about other Abu Dhabi passengers? Will they pony up the huge sum for a few hours of divine luxury?

Or will “The Residence” fly empty most of the time?

My opinion: It’s the hot pants on the hooker.

The Neiman-Marcus Model
Every year, the Neiman-Marcus holiday announces a wildly expensive “Fantasy” gift for the upcoming Christmas catalog. Media coverage is vast. Examples:

  • The $20 million submarine.
  • A Zeppelin for $10 million.
  • A $10 million stable of racehorses.

This pre-hype gets customers salivating for the catalog.

Denny and Peggy Hatch are flattered to receive this catalog.

Okay, we’re not going for the fantasy, but here are a vast array of splendid items we can afford.

If a catalog is offering a $10 million product, ipso facto the less expensive goodies must be world-class too.

Same thing with Etihad Airways. Economy has to be the best in the world.

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Robin Perron writes, “***** Five Stars. “Write Everything Right!” is a great resource for anyone who uses writing in their lives, because he talks about all forms of writing—from emails to articles and memos. The goal is for everyone to write in a way that makes it easier for the reader to read it than to ignore it.” Click here to download (Opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Tim Orr

    OK, I read the TIMES article, but I still don’t quite get it: 125 square feet is a space smaller than 12×12. How do they get all that stuff into that space? And I’m not sure that “Economy has to be the best in the world.” Steerage on the great ocean liners and third class on Indian trains were both pretty bad.