If you heard my recent podcast/teleseminar on Invincible Marketing http://www.mrfire.com/podcast.html
, then you know my little secret.
In short: I am directly responsible for the recent national hoax where a man claimed to win the largest lottery jackpot in American history -- and for a while convinced the media he found the lucky numbers while reading my bestselling book, The Attractor Factor www.AttractorFactor.com
If you haven't figured out why I financed this event, here's the inside scoop: The entire publicity stunt was an Internet Marketing Strategy.
Let me explain this to you --
Since I wrote the only business book on P.T. Barnum in There's A Customer Born Every Minute
, I know the value of a good hoax, humbug, or publicity stunt. Not only can they be fun, but they can lead to enormous publicity. Barnum did them all the time, and people loved them. Humbugs were the entertainment of his day.
But founding father Benjamin Franklin did them, too.
For example, he never flew a kite to discover electricity. According to Tom Tucker, in his book, Bolt of Fate: Benjamin Franklin and His Electric Kite Hoax
, it was a stunt created by the dear Franklin. As a writer and printer, Franklin knew the value of getting the public's attention.
One of the greatest hoaxers of modern times is Alan Abel www.AlanAbel.com
, who I now call a friend. After reading his books, interviewing him for my www.HypnoticGold.com
membership program, and wishing I was like him, I hired him to pull the greatest lotto hoax in modern history.
He orchestrated a smaller version of the lotto hoax once before, in New York City in 1990, when he made an unknown actress by the name of Charlene Taylor famous overnight.
I wondered if he could do it again -- but on a national scale.
He could, and did.
When the Powerball Lottery announced a winning ticket for the largest lotto jackpot in history -- a delirious $365,000,000 - Alan and his team put on warm clothes, grabbed copies of my book, and caught a plane.
They then staged a show worthy of an Oscar. Bob Pagani, a radio DJ and cohort of Alan's, used the name Bob Pagano and pretended to be the lotto winner. He carried my book and said he found the winning numbers in it.
Pandemonium broke out. TV cameras were everywhere. They covered every moment of this event. So did the press. Even Good Morning America
reported the story. So did the Associated Press. One headline said "ABC Duped By Lotto Hoax." http://www.lotterypost.com/news-129113.htm
Radio stations called me for interviews.
Newspapers ran my name, my book title, and some even printed my book's cover on their front pages
Reporters wanted to know why I did this.
I jokingly said, "I tried to win the lotto for real. It was just easier to fake it."
It was all in fun -- but there is a master Internet Marketing Strategy behind it all, too.
After all, I am
All of this publicity is only Step One
in our grand strategy.Step Two
is to leverage all that publicity - now caught on video - into book sales. There's quite a lot to that step, and it hasn't begun yet. Alan is still
doing interviews for such notables as Howard Stern
, so the publicity machine hasn't cooled off and may not for a few more weeks.
So Step Two will be book sales. I can't talk about this step because it isn't activated yet. But you might want to watch sales increase for my recent books, such as The Attractor Factor
and Life's Missing Instruction Manual http://www.LifesMissingManual.com
In fact, I am implementing part
of the book sales step today
, with the largest "bribe" in Internet history http://www.theMotherofallbribes.com
. Some of the publicity generated by this lotto hoax will drive people to that site, where book sales will kick in.Step Three
will be to create products to sell, such as a DVD about The Great Lotto Hoax
and a book about The Making of the Great Lotto Hoax
Just as there is currently a documentary about Alan Abel's life http://www.abelraisescain.com/
, there will soon be a documentary about this event.
And a book.
And a Special Report.
And T-shirts, an audio program, and a seminar.
And -- who knows?
This publicity stunt will net a lot of mileage over the years to come.
My friend and mentor Paul Hartunian got publicity for selling the Brooklyn Bridge back in 1983 -- and he's still
milking that story today. http://www.prprofits.com/bridge.html
Obviously, this lotto hoax will have legs for decades, and will lead to bottomline profits in a variety of ways over the years ahead.
My small investment could potentially turn into millions of dollars in sales.
Few people in business have the guts to pull something this huge in order to get attention for their products or service. But in this day -- in any
day -- you have to do something to stand out in the crowd.
For example, two weeks ago I had breakfast with Andy Dallas, the next president of the Society of American Magicians http://www.magicsam.com/
. He told me about his stunts to promote his magic act - such as hanging upside down from a helicopter while struggling to escape from a straight jacket.
He, of course, was simply upgrading an old stunt Houdini used to do to get attention for his
magic shows in the early 1900s.
Again, you have to do something
to get noticed today.
I admit I was nervous about hiring Alan Abel to create this stunt for me.
But I'm a disciple of him, and Barnum, and knew that many successful authors did outrageous things to get attention, such as Robert Allen, who promoted his real estate book by challenging the media with --
"Send me to any city in the United States. Take away my wallet. Give me $100 for living expenses. And in 72 hours I will buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money."
Robert went on to become a New York Times
issuing challenges. See http://www.robertallenschallenge.com/
And besides, didn't I record the bestselling audio program called The Power of Outrageous Marketing
I couldn't let fear stop me.
When it comes to having fun, making money, and
making history, a good publicity stunt may just be the ticket.
Just ask P.T. Barnum, Benjamin Franklin, Alan Abel -- or me.Ao Akua,Joe Vitalewww.mrfire.com
PS - Read one version of the lotto story at http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060224/LIFE01/602240331&lead=1
PPS - P.T. Barnum never said, "There's a sucker born every minute." That's another hoax. For proof, read my book, There's A Customer Born Every Minute
(revised version due out April, 2006 from J. Wiley, Inc.) and/or see http://www.historybuff.com/library/refbarnum.html
PPPS - If you want to know how the world's #1 book publicist gets publicity, seehttp://www.everythingyoushouldknow.com/mrfire/
PPPPS - Be sure to see http://www.theMotherofallbribes.com
You know you want to.
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