Trashing a Brand?Smart or Dumb?
*A set made by my friends at Alfred Dunhill, with gold houses and silver hotels, sold for $25,000.
*The longest game in history lasted 70 straight days.
*The longest game in a bathtub lasted 99 hours!
On Tuesday, the Atlantic City Visitors and Convention Bureau organized a protest on Boardwalk—this being the city's second indignity after the loss of the Miss America Pageant.
However, it would probably require one minute of slot machine profits for Atlantic City to buy the rights to the game and more than make up for the cost by selling it all over town to visitors.
Dead Brands Redux
Chicago entrepreneur Paul Earle Jr. discovered that after Procter & Gamble dumped White Cloud toilet paper—the seventh largest selling brand—it was bought by Wal-Mart. White Cloud became Wal-Mart's house brand of toilet paper and diapers, whereupon Wal-Mart ceased to carry Pampers, a Procter & Gamble Brand.
Inspired by that story, Earle founded River West, a company devoted to resuscitating abandoned brands. Among them the early electronic game, Coleco; the pain medication, Nuprin; the old diet drink, Metrecal; Silkience Shampoo; Underalls that were originally sold by Hanes; and the men's clothing brand, Structure. The gross sales of River West products in 2005 was $50 million—hardly chump change.
The Vermont Country Store
One of my favorite catalogs is the Vermont Country Store, founded in 1946 by Vrest Orton in an old country inn. His first catalog was 12 pages with just 14 items. Today, The Vermont Country Store catalog is a delicious trip down memory lane, offering hard-to-find products beloved by our parents and grandparents (and geezers like me). Among them:
- An authentic reproduction of the original edition of Monopoly from 1935 including the old instructions and wooden houses and hotels.
- Big Ben Alarm Clock
- Soaps: Lifebuoy, Palmolive, Lux, Camay, Fels-Naptha, Sweetheart, Packer's Pine Tar