The Marketing of Magic and Community

Houdini’s Impact

There is no doubt that Harry Houdini is the best-known magician in the world, even many years after his death in 1926. How did he become so well known? What was his promotion secret?

The Secret of Marketing

How did Houdini become an international escape artist and magician? He was a superb, world class marketer. He had an intuitive knack for conjuring up publicity stunts that the media of his time and the public could not resist. He would design and implement magical and death-defying experiences such as gathering tens of thousands of audience members, outside in a metropolis. They were drawn by such stunts as the visionary escape artist in a strait jacket, hanging upside down, somehow able to escape followed by the cheering of the crowd. And of course, at such events publicity assistants would mill around while passing out flyers announcing Houdini’s live theater performance coming up later in the day. These kinds of awareness building approaches would inevitably lead to sold out crowds for the evening’s show.

To this day, he remains a household name, and why?

WORD OF MOUTH. Tactics to build word of mouth through grabbing the attention of the public and taking them on a spectacular and emotional ride, leading to them wanting more of this wonderful feeling. This resulted i the viewers desire to see Houdini’s live magic and escape shows. In following this formula, Houdini inspired awe to such a degree that word of mouth was the logical outcome. This included people talking about the miraculous journey they had undergone first seeing his outdoor escapes and then going to Houdini’s shows. And the sharing extended to year after year of family telling family, as well as friend sharing with friend, their intrigue of this performance artist, Harry Houdini.

Post Death Promotion

Even after death, Houdini continued to receive ever building word of mouth. A prearranged wonderful and attention getting publicity stunt was carried out by the late performer’s wife, Bessie. She was seeking out psychics, asking them to divine through their mystical abilities, a code word arranged with her then living legendary husband. Although he had debunked many so-called psychics during his lifetime, Houdini still wanted to believe that mediums were real even though he could recreate any “cosmic” cosmic” demonstrations made by spiritualists to prove their powers were real.

Yianni Stamas Talks About the Significance of December 28 in Relation to Houdini Day and the 4th Day of Christmas

All Hallow’s Eve

I am on a Holiday and should not be writing this, but I am doing so anyway. Cannot help myself, I guess. There is no question that Halloween is my favorite Holiday. Not because of the ghosts and ghouls but because it is “Houdini Day,” the day that the greatest magician of all time passed to the great beyond. Honoring Houdini on Houdini Day is important. But today is still 307 days until Houdini Day (October 31), so for the sake of this post we are going to want to explore other aspects of the meaning of today’s date.

It is for the Birds

Today is also the 4th Day of Christmas, the day of the 4 calling birds. The funny thing is though, when you dig into is a bit deeper you uncover that all these years you have been singing “calling birds” when the reality is, it started out as “colly birds. A lot of times when depicted on holiday cards the 4 calling birds are being warm and fuzzy when they began as being crows.

Looking Forward

Well, at least in this noticeably short post we have explored something festive in keeping with the holiday spirit. But I still look forward to a day upcoming that its distance away if measured in months is exactly 10.0931. Happy 2021 everyone!

Houdini Would Not Understand

Apparently Houdini was not a very nice fellow. There are stories of him competing and name calling he used to somehow further his fame. And it worked for him. His name lives on all over the world. But let’s take a look at what it must have been like to have had to deal with him. I am honored to be a member of the first chapter of an international organization, for which he was president for several years. I know I’ve gone into this before, but it is a great paradigm for living with criticism, meaning those who had to interact with him at meetings.

I’ve been a member of the same chapter for only three years, but during that time everything was copesetic. There have been fights for power to become president that I  was in the loop for. A resolution was achieved for the moment but the feelings live on. I imagine that our dear Harry must have just snapped being president because that was the only position that made sense to him in the early 1900’s. Our president today is a wonderful person who works hard and is inclusive.

There has been today a post on the very new Home Business Achievers in the eLearning department. It looks at Nike’s “Just do it” and does a touch up job making the fresh phrase: “Do it anyway.” Personally I’ve had a problem living “Just do it anyway.” I have initially followed the mantra “Just do it anyway,” and have done thinks like publishing an eBook on magic and initially having great results in the number sold as well as in the first two days becoming the number 1 status in marketing. But I got one bad review and I couldn’t handle it. I removed the book immediately. A humble eBook that could have had a place in a certain section of magic. If he was alive, Houdini would not understand.