For as long as we humans have walked the Earth, many of us have been honest.
Many of us have wanted to work hard, help others and then reap the rewards for our labour.
However, there are also those of us who look to to scam and deceive everyone around us!
These scam artists often tend to be very creative…I guess not all of us creatives can be good, can we?
Let me take you back the sixties and seventies. The war was well over, the baby boomers were here and people had a quality of life that would have seemed alien to them some years before.
Gadgets were all the rage (as they are now).
Solar-power was one of the buzzwords of the time and everyone wanted to use it whenever they could.
Why not help out the planet as and when you can?
A man called Steve Comisar was out to make some money.
Print advertising was big back then.
So he put an advert in the magazines and papers selling this amazing new gadget:
“Solar-powered clothes dryer – just $39. The planet friendly way to dry your clothes – never use your tumble-dryer again. Send the money and I’ll have one sent out to you within a week, free delivery – life-time guarantee!”
Believe me when I say that people bought into the idea. Families rushed to send over their hard-earned dollars.
And then they waited. Curiously. Sitting there, in their homes, imagining how this new, wacky invention might look.
You can imagine their surprise when it arrived. It looked just like this:
Yep, just your average, run-of-the-mill clothesline. One that you can find in nearly every garden in the country.
As you can imagine people were pissed, and Steve Comisar is still doing time now for that and a combination of other scams.
(I believe that the only U.S. con artist bigger than him was Frank Abingale – he was the guy the film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ was based on.)
Of course I’m not saying that we should go around scamming people, and I’m not advocating a crook.
But – there’s creativity here.
Comisar looked at the current market, saw a theme that everyone was interested in (solar power) and then found a new way to market something around it.
Why don’t we embrace creativity like this and use it to market and sell genuine products?
Or perhaps, if we’re writing fiction – we can take a standard plot, and re-imagine it in such a way that it gets a new lease of life?