Gentlemen, a marketing story for you.
So I was having drinks at Employees Only (one of our regular West Village haunts) a little while back and, just as last call was coming around, I (along with the rest of my party) bumped into two fellows who worked at the Sea Grape, a wine store just a few feet away. As 4am was rolling around and everyone was oh-so-not-so-subtly getting the boot, one of said new fellows suggested we nip next door, grab a bottle or two of wine, leave the cash, and be on our merry way, and of course they would go ahead and square everything up in the morning. So next store we nipped and, while we were picking out a few bottles to bring back with us to our next destination (a friend lived just a few blocks away), I noticed a large, cleared area in the center of the shop, right next to the front door.
"So what used to be here?" I asked.
"Oh, that's our new red. We can't even keep it in stock. Cases fly out the door just as soon say they come in."
"Ah... That good eh?"
His friend snickered.
"Well no, actually, it's pretty far from great. Not bad, just not great either. We had it in the back for a little bit and nobody was buying it, so we moved it up front, put it on display, put it on special, and still, nobody bought it."
I raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, we kept lowering the price, and then lowering the price, and then lowering the price... $18, $15, $12, $9... And then, finally--", and here he gestured to his friend who also worked at the shop, "He came up with 'the idea'..."
"We hiked the price of the wine up to $24, grabbed a huge piece of cardboard, wrote in giant magic marker 'THIS IS JOHNNY DEPP'S FAVORITE WINE!!' and then placed it on display."
"And it worked?"
"Well you don't see any wine here, do you?"
"Huh. Good point..."
And surely, there's a marketing lesson to be learned, here... (i.e. when I release my first feature, I'm thinking a big glittery gold "This is Johnny Depp's favorite movie!!" stamp is going right on the front cover...)
(P.S. Handy Johnny Depp fact: the man actually sports a tattoo that says "Wino forever". It used to say "Winona [as in 'Ryder'] forever" but, as that one didn't work out, well...)
UPDATE: Please take a moment and Tweet / Retweet / Facebook link this story! We're all waiting with bated breath to see where the next "Johnny Depp's favorite XXXX!!" turns up...