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Thread: How Emotion Saved My $60K Flop!

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    How Emotion Saved My $60K Flop!

    This is how I blew $60K on a client, but used emotion to get it all back.

    After my successful launch with an internet gaming app, I received a call from the marketing folks over at Time/Life. They were doing a series of high priced ($5,000/person), themed cruises. For example, a Country music cruise featuring 30+ artist like Kenny Rodgers, Charlie pride, etc, a Soul Train Cruise featuring,, Earth Wind and Fire, Smokey Robinson...etc, you get the picture right?

    So huge cruises, but also a huge price tag. However, the biggest problem was they had a cruise that only sold about 25% of the cabins. The ship has 2000 cabins and in order for them to make a profit they needed to sell out the ship. That's where I came in.

    I was told they needed a few commercials done and a couple EPK's to sell the experience. --Not a bad gig, I got to go on about 5 cruises-- And we did just that, we spent a ton of money shooting commercials and EPK's highlighting the concerts, the food, the islands, the rooms, and all the activities. Drone shots, giant crane shots...all the bells and whistles..The spots looked amazing. Everyone was excited and we all sat on our hands for the spots to air.

    And once they did........crickets.

    They hadn't sold one cabin! Not one!!! So yeah, everybody was freaking out. I remember the VP calling me and saying how this could really ruin him. He was a great guy, and I really liked him so this made it that much worse. He was saying how he let down the son of the man who started one of these themed genres. That was huge, because the father had passed on and I felt like I disgraced all his hard work.

    I remember just lying on my bed, room spinning. "how can I not sell 1 cabin???" Then it hit me. I was selling the wrong thing! I was selling a cruise. People can go on a cruise anytime for $300. What I was showing them was nothing extraordinary. Just a really pretty video of a boat.

    I remembered what the VP said about the father who started the genre, and I thought "people don't care about the boat, they care about the way they felt during those days when they listened to the music", Where did they live? who were they dancing with? Who was there during the hard times?

    The demographic was affluent men and women 60 and up, so being on these cruises, listening to that music, dressing up like they used to, dancing with their high school sweetheart..now that is worth $5,000. To be able to re-live those moments, possibly the best moments of their lives, one last time..live it for 7 days. No judgement, no boundaries, with the one you fell in love with 40 years ago, and 2000 other people just like you. Oh and by the way, you get a great vacation on top of that.

    So what we did is:

    1. Get the son, (who by the way looks just like his father) on video, saying "Hi, I'm the son of...and join me and 30 of the greatest music legends and experience all the tradition, the love...etc" really push the memories, push the journey. However, we closed the registration, and told them to sign up for an exclusive deal and priority selection in the next week or so.

    2. Time/life sells a ton of DVD music packages (You know you've bought a few late at night smile emoticon, So we wanted to build a thank you page after every online sale to that video with the son. Add a call to action saying something like you bought the dvd, now spend time with them for 7 days and then hit them with the emotional pitch. Again just let them sign up and look out for the announcement when the gates are open.

    3. One week later, the sign-ups pushed past 10K! People were calling begging to reserve a cabin. So then we put out another video saying that response is huge and that there are only 1000 cabins available. We also re cut the expensive commercials we shot and added a bunch of heartfelt testimonials from past passengers and how they rekindled the flame, and how they fell in love all over again.

    4. Response was huge. By the time they opened the registration there were over 25k subscribers. ( we got tons from word of mouth). and the cabins sold out in 26 days. Actually, we sold 1499 cabins..lol The last one was sold by a friend referral.. That's 1499 cabins @ 5k a pop = $7,495,000 in sales!!

    It was the emotion that sold the cabins. It's a lesson I take with me on everything I do. Always dial into the human emotion, when selling anything. Take the time to know who you are selling to, dig into their needs, what they want, and how your product will make them feel. Do this and you'll sell 10x more than just trying to dump a product with bells and whistles. Thanks for reading this long case study I hope it helped you a tiny bit or sparked a little inspiration. Make sure you like my page, and I'll post more case studies and lessons I learned in the field...Remember..if you're not selling...you're buying..

    -CJ Ramos

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    Thats really great and impressive. Just keep it up

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    Every thing that you share is useful with me

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    Great story! Thank you for sharing it, CJ... Yes, NEVER give up - and make emotions your best friends

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    Very impressive and inspirational

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