Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Green Can Opener That Changed the World

Via Bloomberg Lifestyletom:

Almost 30 years ago, in 1977, AM radio talk-show host Bob Circosta was asked to sell avocado-green-colored can openers live on the air by station owner Bud Paxson when an advertiser had 112 units of product, but declined to purchase airtime. Hesitant at first, Circosta reluctantly obliged - and to both men's great surprise, all 112 can openers sold out in under an hour. Paxson sensed the vast sales potential of home-based shopping and founded a local home shopping cable channel, later launching nationwide with the Home Shopping Network (HSN). Bob Circosta was their first ever home shopping TV host, becoming one of the most prolific, instantly recognizable salesmen in the free world. Over the past three decades, Circosta sold over 75,000 different products on the air, netted over 20,000 hours of live, on-air TV selling - and achieved personal product sales in excess of one billion dollars.

From the innocuous radio sales pitch of avocado-green-colored can openers, the multi-billion dollar shop-at-home, electronic retailing industry was born.

2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Circosta's "Sales Pitch that Changed the World," and to celebrate that historic moment, Bob Circosta will return to the HSN airwaves just after the clock strikes midnight on December 30th - hoping to sell 30,000 units of Sticky Putty™ all-purpose adhesive in eight different 15-minute intervals, for a total of two hours of live on-air TV time.

"It's not just the 30th anniversary for me - it's the 30th anniversary of an entire industry," said Bob Circosta from his office studios in Clearwater, Florida. "HSN, QVC, eBay, Amazon, and all the other home-based retail companies owe their origin to that fateful day on AM radio. Before we began selling avocado-colored can openers, nobody realized how eager consumers were to shop while still at home. Without an iota of hyperbole, we completely changed the how the world shops."

Does Circosta really believe he can successfully sell 30,000 units of Sticky Putty™ in just two hours? "I'm cautiously optimistic," Circosta revealed. "Sticky Putty™ is a fantastic product, but selling that many units of anything in such a short period of time is no slam-dunk. But hey - nobody believed we could sell 112 can openers either! It'll be one heck of a challenge, but I couldn't imagine a better tribute to the 'Sales Pitch that Changed the World' then trying to sell 30,000 units immediately after the clock strikes midnight on December 30th - right on the heels of our 30th anniversary."

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