Most Random Sales-Increasing Tactics Ever – And the winner is…

I don’t think we get Opium Magazine in South Africa. If we do, you can probably only pick it up in Cape Town and only people who can carry it in the transparent zip-up sides of their man/handbags know exactly where to find it.

Despite that, I think this is pretty interesting: I found a link on the net that described a trick they’ve employed for their latest cover. It’s an interesting gimmick, because I’m not even sure if it qualifies as one at all.

The cover apparently tells a 9-word story that will only be visible one word at a time, with each word revealing itself over the next 9 centuries. So, in 1000 words you’ll finally know what it says. Or at least Walt Disney‘s reanimated corpse will.

Opium’s website has a great and really quick intro explaining how the process is supposed to work. Apparently it has everything to do with the words’ vulnerability to sunlight – and they’ll slowly reveal themselves over the next thousand years because of exposure to UV light.

Fair enough. I know I’d probably be keen to at least check out Opium now, mainly because I’ve suddenly become aware of it, but also because any magazine willing to try out something that random to impress upon me how ‘cool’ it is must have something of value in it, right? I wonder if, in 1000 years, some distant relative will be accessing the internet on his contact lenses and might stumble upon this entry and decide to seek out the May (issue 8) copy of Opium. Oh. Have they just ensured that a copy of some arbitrary magazine holds some form of value forever? Maybe I should get a copy and leave a letter to my descendants to protect it till its wisdom is revealed?

My point is, I think 1000 years may have been a bit excessive on their part. Opium appears to have taken what could’ve been a cool concept – a cover that reveals itself slowly over a long period – and made it completely redundant. If I’ll only know the answer in 1000 years, then I won’t know it at all, because I’ll most likely be dead (we all hope, I’m sure). So then buying this would be like buying a copy of Time, because that’s all the invisible message says so far. But then, I like Time. Hmmm…

Oh well. I suppose the designer, American conceptual artist Jonathon Keats, will at least have the satisfaction of knowing his name and work may live forever in the form of a magazine cover.

One Response to “Most Random Sales-Increasing Tactics Ever – And the winner is…”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Great article man.

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