$35,000 Hamburgers At Mick Fleetwood’s Restaurant Is Smart Marketing

Here’s some clever marketing that is having enormous success on Maui. There’s a new restaurant on Lahaina’s Front Street, called Fleetwood’s. Yes, it’s named after the famous musician from the popular band Fleetwood Mac – Mick Fleetwood. He has opened a successful restaurant, with a British flair and even a Moroccan verandah – where patrons can dine on wild mushroom ravioli, Beef Wellington with a red-wine demiglaze and bangers-and-mash flatbread. But one of the most astonishing things on the menu is the delivered-to-your door $35,284.67 Harley Davidson Hog Burger. It’s made with one pound of beef, grilled Maui onions, and special burger sauce. For that price, you get the burger plus a spanking, shiny new Harley motorcycle that is signed by Mr. Fleetwood himself.

A great gimmick? You bet. As a Boston copywriter, I’m all for clever gimmicks. Believe it or not, Fleetwood’s has already sold four of them in three months, since opening its doors.

Who are the buyers? Ashley Leal, the Director of Dining Services, told me that “A lot of do-gooders have bought it.” Some buyers have bought the bike to donate to charities, while others have auctioned if off for a charity, to raise funds for all kinds of causes. “When they first mentioned this promotion I thought they were insane, but lo and behold, it’s genius.” Ms. Leal added, “Our goal is to sell five a year.”

But there’s just one small caveat – cheese is one dollar extra.

Smart Marketing: Apple’s Planned Unavailability of the iPhone 5 Creates Cachet and Even Demand

Guest blog post by William D. Kickham

Everywhere you go, everyone is talking about the new Apple iPhone 5. Even more ubiquitous than talk of the phone’s technical upgrades, however, has been talk of how so many people can’t seem to get a hold of it. Seemingly no one is sure exactly how you can efficiently buy it and get it into your hot little hands.

More than 80% of Apple’s retail stores say they’re “out of stock.” Tried buying it online at Apple? Their website advises that the soonest you can get it online is “3-4 weeks” from date of ordering.

I’m Debbi’s husband Bill and I know firsthand about this experience. I have made several forays to our local Apple retail store in Dedham, Mass., to inquire about purchasing an iPhone 5. I have also made repeated phone calls to Apple’s sales support lines, as well as to AT&T. No one seems to know how to readily and efficiently get their hands on this much-hyped product.

Tired of online forms and phone lines, I went into the Dedham, Mass., Apple retail location, to see what solutions I might obtain there, given the fact that I can’t find availability for the phone seemingly anywhere in eastern Massachusetts. Because Debbi and I are departing for Maui, Hawaii for an extended trip on Saturday, October 20, that departure date does not allow for the 3-4 weeks Apple tells its iPhone5 customers it will take to deliver the product to your address.

What I was told at that Apple store was both completely unhelpful, inaccurate, and, frankly, doesn’t pass the smell test when it comes to honesty. I spoke with several employees of that store’s location, none of whom were especially helpful or provided accurate information. First, I was told by “Genius No. 1” (read: sales rep) that to solve this problem, I should “Just buy an iPhone 4S, then return it within 30 days and exchange it for an iPhone5 when they’re more available.” Not a smart move. Why? Because a second “genius” in that same store said that this would not be a good move, due to the fact that this exchange would apparently require that the phone essentially “go offline” for about four days or so as the old iPhone 4S was turned in, and new service was started up for a new iPhone5.

Yes, that led me to “Genius No.2,” from whom I asked when, pray tell, would that store receive its next shipment of iPhone 5’s, so that I could go in that morning and actually buy one that I could walk out with? The response (verbatim): “No retail store ever knows about this. No Apple manager is ever told when shipments are coming in, and even if we did know, we wouldn’t tell our customers.” Stunned at the shocking nature of both of those answers, I asked how it could be possible that Apple retail store managers would “never know” when product shipments and deliveries were being made. I was told (again, verbatim) “That’s just the way we work.” Oooh, now that’s secret – uber-secret; CIA-secret. Hmmm. When I pressed about an explanation for the equally-unbelievable second part of “Genius No. 2’s” answer – i.e., that even if Apple’s retail stores did know when shipments of the iPhone 5 were coming in, they “wouldn’t tell our customers,” I was told the following: “Because the store might get robbed.”

Stunned, I pointed out that millions of dollars of product were already in the store (and all Apple stores,) from desktops, to laptops, to tablets, to ipads, ipods, accessories and more — and Apple clearly isn’t afraid that any of those will be stolen. The response? “Well, that’s the way Apple does it.” Uh-huh.

Hoping that three times might be the charm, I proceeded to “Genius No. 3,” and what advice did same have for me? Again, this is verbatim: “Buying the iPhone 5 is like buying tickets to a rock concert. You have to either camp out at a retail location just before the tickets go on sale, or buy them online at very strategic dates and times.” After learning that I had already tried to buy the phone at Apple’s online store repeatedly, selecting the “Pick Up At Retail Store” option, “Genius No. 3” asked me what time of day I had tried ordering online, since Apple instructs their online customers to do this between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM EDT. I told him that I tried three times between 11:00 PM and midnight.

“Well, that’s the problem,” Genius No. 3 intoned. “As I told you, getting this phone is like buying tickets to a rock concert. You can’t just order it any time between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM” – even though Apple’s website says you can. “You have to go to the site around 9:50 or 9:55 PM, go through the ordering process, and be ready to “Proceed To Checkout” at exactly 10:01 PM EDT. Then, when you complete your order and select a retail location to pick up the phone at the next day, you won’t see “Unavailable At This Location” when you are at the Checkout page of your purchase. That’s because Apple updates its retail availability as of exactly 10:00 PM EDT, and if you’re online and lucky, there’ll be an iPhone 5 that you can reserve for pick-up.”

You know how this story ends. Yes, I went online at 9:55 PM, filled out everything, and tried to purchase at 10:01 PM EDT. And 10:02 PM. And 10:05 PM, and 10:15 PM. Result each time: “Unavailable For Pickup.”

Driving home, it occurred to me: The massive, prolonged unavailability of this product is all really about just one thing: Planned Product Demand. It’s the opposite of Planned Obsolescence.

Think about it: Making this (or any) new product unavailable following fever-pitch buzz generated by the manufacturer (key to the marketing strategy,) creates the product’s own cachet – and perpetuates consumer demand. If the product is everywhere and easy to get, there is no public perception that the product is very popular and a “have-to-have” item. But if millions of people are talking about it, yet it’s extremely hard to actually get, that fact becomes an self-perpetuating buzz, generating even more demand. Similar to a successful political campaign creating an “aura of inevitability” about the candidate winning, this is a successful MARKETING campaign creating a similar “aura of Unavailability” that gets people to want the product more. This method of artificially restricting the supply of the product in retail stores, and forcing “wanna haves” to line up online to buy one, is just like buying Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. It makes you feel that you have to time your “score” just right, just perfectly, as though you were camping out by Boston’s TD Garden waiting for tickets to go on sale. And what does this really do? Create cachet. Create an aura of “unavailability” about the product, due to “overwhelming consumer demand” that makes people want the product all the more.

The technical engineers at Apple are essentially mathematicians, so let’s put this in an equation: Hyper-buzz + restricting supply = product demand.

Let’s face it – if the new iPhone 5 was readily available in huge quantities in all stores, the blasé public might – rightfully – believe – “Oh well, I can purchase it at any time. There’s no rush. And people aren’t exactly lining up to get it.”

But the product unavailability witnessed by the iphone5 creates an increased demand for the product.

There;s nothing at all illegal about this tactic. But it doesn’t place new customer satisfaction at the top of Apple’s list.
Not very considerate to the customer.

But I’ll admit it’s smart marketing indeed.

Smart Marketing Strategy: Coin Your Own Words

Remember the movie Mary Poppins? That was the film that put the word “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” on the map. It was a marketing gimmick that worked. That word is still in our lexicon.

If you’re a smart marketer, you’d be wise to follow that example and make up your own new words to advertise and market your product or service. For instance, Apple has just started to advertise its new iPod Touch, claiming that it is “Engineered for Maximum Funness.”

Funness? It seems that the word “fun” has been extrapolated, and marketers are working overtime to find words and ideas that will be remembered. And I must say, more often than not, those gimmicky new words succeed in getting the marketer’s point across to new and potential customers.

As a Boston marketing consultant and copywriter, I tell everyone that marketing is the art of making yourself memorable. Coining your own words can be very successful.

Advertisers and marketers have been playing with words for a long time. I remember a milk campaign with tennis Star Chrissy Evert, in which she proclaimed the milk’s inherent “goodness.” Here, the word “good” was used in a way that would have typically been used for a Catholic saint.

Do you remember the Snickers ad campaign from 2009? They launched a successful ad campaign, with made-up words, and advertised just one of these words per taxicab in New York City, in a sign affixed to the cab’s roof. I thought it was brilliant. You would have discovered that Snickers was the cure for “hungerectomy,” and that the snack was “satisfectellent.”

I myself coined a special word when I debuted my bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide. Taking my cue from the word “fashionista,” I wanted to address all women who were beauty junkies. Hence my own new word: “beauty-ista.”

Here’s my favorite headline, which gets right to the point. The Onion used it in a story about Frito-Lay: “Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations with Snakistan.”

Marketing By States All Says “Welcome.”

I live in Westwood, a lovely suburb situated outside Boston. For me, Boston will always be known as Beantown, even though back in the Eighties, the Commonwealth had a contest to give the city a new name. The winner? Boston – Bright From the Start.

It didn’t go anywhere. Or it simply came and went. As a marketing expert and copywriter, I say that’s too bad. It wasn’t a bad tagline.

For awhile people used “Make It In Massachusetts.”

Now I’m not sure what Boston is promoting. A visit to the home page of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau does not show me any slogan and that’s not a good thing.

Other states around the country have all kinds of slogans. That’s because they are vying for a piece of $810 Billion tourism industry – that’s the amount that is spent by travelers in the USA every year.

Here are some noteworthy state slogans.

Virginia: Virginia Is For Lovers
Texas: It’s Like A Whole Other Country
Hawaii: The Hawaiian Islands
Connecticut: Still Revolutionary
Illinois: Mile After Magnificent Mile
Idaho: Adventures In Living

C’mon Boston. A city without slogan is like a man without a country.

Marketing Tip: Hold A Contest Like Venus Swimwear

One of the smart, savviest marketing tactics a company can take to promote itself is to hold a contest. Hawaiian Tropic has done this many times, quite sucessfully, in Australia since 1991, and another company that has proudly conducted a model search is Venus, a manufacturer of high-end fashions and swimwear, based in Jacksonville, Fla. (Check out my blog post on Venus, professing my love for their clothes, by clicking here). The company has been doing model searches for more than 15 years; even “The Donald” himself – Donald Trump – flew in for the event in 2002.

As ownership of Venus changed, there was a lull in the Model Search for Ms. Venus, but it returned to smashing success in 2011. The winner was Kayla Gill, was flown to Miami to join Venus on a photo shoot. Check it out by clicking here.

For 2012 there was an even larger contest held, and more than 1,000 models from across the United States and abroad entered. A panel of judges chose the Top 70 entrants, and their photos were posted online for public voting. Public votes and judges’ votes determined the Top 12 finalists. And the winner is – Melissa. Check her out by clicking here here.

The winner receives an all-expenses-paid test shoot with Venus, and $1,000.

Each contestant competed in the cocktail dress and swimwear category.

As a marketing expert, I believe it’s safe to say that Venus now has at least 1,000 new customers! And that’s what smart marketing is all about.


Today’s marketing tip is this: Do something good in your community – your new and potential customers will appreciate and remember your business for it. It reminds me of a civic marketing event I worked on, in which a bank wanted to express goodwill to the community. It created a special Senior Class Ball – but not for high school students. Instead, it was for Senior Citizens.The local high school gym was decorated like prom night, and all the senior citizens from one particular nursing home dressed up and enjoyed a night of dancing. All the women got corsages to wear, and the men, boutonnieres. The Senior Class Ball was a huge success, and the bank that sponsored the event firmly established its brand in the community. To market your business, think about your community, who you would like to benefit, and a special event you could create. This can be a very effective marketing strategy for any business, especially a small business. Check out my website for Maxima Marketing,my business.


You see it time and time again – business professionals who attend networking meetings, and stick onto their lapel a nametag that says, ‘HELLO MY NAME IS.”


A plain ‘ol nametag will not get others to remember you.

An effective marketing tactic, and a smart marketing strategy, is to create something you can affix to your jacket, which will not only help people to remember you, but which can be used as a conversation starter.

As the co-author of the bestseller OFF THE WALL MARKETING IDEAS, I take the cover of my book, have it shrunk down, laminated, and made into a little nametag with a small clip, so I can attach it to my clothing. It definitely stands out from the crowd, and entices others to ask what this nametag is all about, thus setting the stage for a conversation. If you’ve won an award, shrink it down and do the same thing – people will definitely notice. Likewise, if you have a hobby that pertains to your business, think about how you can morph that idea into a nametag. Let’s say you’re a travel agent and your favorite destination is Maui – why not create a small tag with a palm tree on it along with your name? The options – and the marketing strategies they offer – are endless.

With a unique nametag used as your marketing technique, you’ll be the pro that everyone talks about, talks to – and remembers. That can very well impact your bottom line.
Check out my website for Maxima Marketing,my business.


It’s still cold outside, and I’m sure you’re waiting for spring and the warmer weather…and a nice warm beach. That reminds me of one of my very favorite marketing techniques, which was a marketing strategy used by the company Vacation.com. They purchased flip-flop sandals, and on the soles of the sandal, they had the words “Vacation.com” carved out. That way, everyone who wore those sandals in the sand, left an imprinted message advertising Vacation.com. Isn’t that clever? You can find such sandals at promotional products companies, such as Promotional Solutions in Melrose, Mass.. And if you’d like to do it yourself, what you can do is purchase bottles of suntan lotion – then all you have to do is create your own label advertising your business, with your contact information, which you can place over the actual label — then simply hand them out to existing or potential customers, as an inexpensive marketing technique that will help you to be remembered. After all, marketing is the art of making you – and your business – memorable. Check out my website for Maxima Marketing,my business.


I was flying on a plane recently, when the man sitting next to me woke me up with his awful snoring. I realized then and there, once again, just how much I hate to be rudely awakened by snoring. It got me thinking about, of all people, Dr. Jack Kevorkian. In a recent interview, Dr. Kervorkian explained how that when he was imprisoned, the worst thing about it was…….the snoring of all the inmates around him at night, each howling and cackling away in their cells. It got me thinking. What if the people in law enforcement, and corrections officers, used snoring as a marketing tactic — and a deterrent to a life of crime? As a Boston marketing consultant, I can tell you — if someone told me that if I committed a crime and went to jail, that I would never get a good night’s rest again — I would definitely stop dead in my tracks and think twice about breaking the law. Sure, the food is awful, the plethora of time is a killer, and just not being a free man is terrible — but I can’t function without a good night’s sleep. With a smile on my face I say this — This just might be the off the wall marketing tactic the world is waiting for.


Why do marketers at food companies and restaurants INSIST on creating unbelievably unhealthy — and caloric –creations, which I rate a full “10” on the Disgust-o-Meter? As a Boston-based marketing consultant, and the author of the bestselling book OFF THE WALL MARKETING IDEAS, I love a creative idea when I see it — but these creations are truly revolting.  Take a look:

  • DiGiornio’s packaged pizza with chocolate-chip cookies
  • Denny’s new fried-cheese melt-in-a-grilled-cheese-sandwich, served with fries
  • The KFC sandwich that uses fried chicken instead of bread
  • Paula Deen’s fried macaroni and cheese revulsion made with bacon and bread crumbs
  • Krispy Kreme’s Bread Pudding made with you-know-what, condensed mlk, raisins, and butter-rum sauce
  • Marini’s in Santa Cruz., Calif., which creates chocolate-covered bacon
  • Arizona’s Heart Attack Grill Menu that “boasts” the $12.95 “Triple Bypas Burger.”  The marketing here?  If you weigh more than 350 pounds, they’ll give it to you for FREE.

I wonder how these marketers sleep at night. Check out my website for Maxima Marketing,my business.