Undeniable Fact: A step backward

Thursday, April 26, 2007

During much of the American Civil War, food supplies were so strained that luxuries like meat and cheese were simply impossible to come by. At the same time, other, less war-torn parts of the world were experiencing a cattle boom. Of course, it wasn't long before commodity speculators noticed and seized on this opportunity, buying up cheap land and filling it with imported cattle. In fact, when all was said and done, the U.S. had gone from a pre-war number of 200,000 cattle to a post-war 300 million. Naturally, the price of beef plummeted; high quality beef was worth less by weight than lumber, steel, or water.
Leather was just as bountiful, and it was because of this that many craftsmen sought new ways to incorporate the material into their wares at a time when wood was in short supply. Shoemakers, especially impacted by the hike in wood prices, hoped that shoes made partially or entirely out of leather might succeed in the marketplace. The concept had been tried before, and had always fallen flat. The problem was that people simply found (and still do, according to double blind tests) wooden shoes to be more comfortable. A hard sell!
Desperate to save their industry, the National Shoe Council (NSC) devised an unconventional marketing strategy. Over the next few years, the higher quality wooden shoes slowly disappeared from store shelves. Replacing them were new leather designs under signs boasting "enhanced comfort" and "high durability" (wooden shoes were, of course, more durable. The shorter life expectancy of leather shoes was considered a secondary benefit by many shoemakers). The transition was executed so slowly that few complained or even noticed the change. Even today, most Americans wear leather shoes, despite the ready availability of more comfortable wooden footwear.

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Blogger notpj said...

to make your posts a little more "undeniable" you have to learn to skip some details. the recent posts are a little too intensive that a casual reader may outright think that "this is too good to be true". again the thing is to get the readers right on the edge of "really? wow!". by then, stop. you might push them over the edge and lose them altogether

12:58 PM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

Just tell them Mars is going to be the size of the full moon next week. I've got like fifty emails from twits stupid enough to believe this.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Mr. Cavin said...

Wow. Mars is actually going to be a whole lot bigger than the full moon next week. These people should really be thrilled.

1:19 AM  

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