Marketing success story: clever or deceptive — what do you think?

One of my earliest memories as a kid growing up in The Bronx, is taking a trip over to the Coney Island boardwalk, and eating Nathan’s Famous hot dogs.  These hot dogs, as well as their French fries, were absolutely incredible.

Years later of course, when I ventured into Manhattan on my own, I saw that Nathan’s was, in fact, a large company with many stores, but I believe the Coney Island location was their first.

I’m not sure if you know how Nathan’s got started, but there’s actually an interesting story behind it.  Back in 1916, Nathan Handwerker opened Nathan’s famous, and he immediately irritated all his direct competition by selling hot dogs for a nickel, when everyone else was selling them for a dime.

To combat his low prices, someone started a rumor that his hot dogs contained horse meat.  Handwerker, not to be outdone, figured out an incredible work-around, that turned things around and made business shoot through the roof.

He paid a bunch of young men to stand around eating hot dogs in his store, while dressing them in white lab coats, and outfitting them with stethoscopes.

Once word got out that “doctors” were eating at Nathan’s, the horse meat rumor was dispelled, and sales exploded.

So my question is, do you think this is clever marketing, or do you think this is deceptive?  (You can answer here on my blog.)

Personally, I think it’s VERY clever and a little deceptive.  I also think this is a brilliant idea that was well executed.

Frankly, I also don’t see this as any less deceptive than most of the current ads ran by pharmaceutical and consumer products companies.

Remember, when it comes to human nature, perception IS reality.  And reality is, YOU get to determine the perception.  So don’t ignore this and plan wisely.  Know your customer’s objections and THINK about how to overcome them.

Because this can make you a small fortune, or make you frustrated… it’s up to you.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S.  This month: Amsterdam — MORE than just hash, hookers, and high heels.  Now yours, Free!


“How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers” – get three free chapters of my newest book!

Hottest offline marketing newsletter gets you more leads, higher conversions… proven marketing strategies, no nonsense… now read in 13 countries — get two issues free!

Copywriting and emotional direct response marketing “how to” products

Marketing videos that answer your toughest questions

If you enjoyed this, forward it on to a few of your friends and business associates.  And if you have any comments, just leave them here on my blog:

About the Author

Craig GarberAuthor of "How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers, " and publisher of Seductive Selling - an offline marketing newsletter currently read in 15 countries, world-wide. In a nutshell, I do two things: 1. I show you how to attract a reliable, steady stream of pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business with you NOW... 2. And I increase your net profits and cash-flow, by increasing your customer, client, or patient value -- often, dramatically. How do I do this? By developing, and helping you implement, unique, personalized lead generation and marketing strategies... using compelling sales messages that push your customers emotional buy-buttons. I've worked with over 300 clients in more than 104 different industries, since March of 2000, and I really enjoy what I do. I'm a stable, reliable, happily married family guy with three kids who loves life and always follows through on my commitments and promises. I love to listen to music, workout, read, travel with my family, take pictures, and go bass fishing. I always say "Yes," when it comes to good cigars, good books, and good coffee :-)