I have found another nugget of marketing brilliance that I want to share with aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. In this example of marketing brilliance, you will see how innovation and careful planning can result in a brilliant idea and resulting profits.

In the Indiana/Ohio border region there is a 17-year phenomenon that is about to happen this summer. Cicadas will be coming out from their 17-year burrows to eat and breed by the millions.

During the short life-cycle of Cicadas in this region, people will be plagued by Cicadas landing on every surface, getting into every barbecue and backyard party in the area. Women will shriek, pulling Cicadas out of their hair in disgust and fear.

Do you smell opportunity? Well, the folks at [http://cicadanator.com] sure did, and they are cashing in BIG time!

My finance came home recently from a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio,

(said to be the “epicenter” of Cicada activity in this region), with a unique “tool” she found at a gift shop.

It’s called the “Cicadanator!” and is the focus of my example of innovative, creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. As silly as the subject may seem, people around these parts get sort of uptight about the approaching swarm and everyone is talking about it.

What is the Cicadanator? This is the good part: It’s nothing more than a cheap badminton racket you can get at dollar shops around the country.

Well, it’s not JUST a badminton racket. The packaging of the racket is the entire meat of the product itself. It’s a gag gift. The beauty is in the packaging. Over the head of the racket is a heavy card-stock cover which is colorful, and full of Cicadas depicted as a menace to society.

On the front you will see funny sayings and a slogan “Make this historical emergence fun for the whole family.” On the back a nice map of the region to be affected by the emergence of million of Cicadas, and more funny information.

The product is not even meant to be unwrapped, in my opinion. The gag only works when the cheap badminton racket is attached when you show it to friends and family.

Also, this product, of course, is only good every 17 years, so this is a short-spurt marketing blitz taking advantage of a regional happening that everyone is talking about. Brilliant.

What is required to actually BE the person thinking up great ideas like this one rather than being the person who always says “I wish I had thought of that?”

You must begin to look at the world around you with a constant eye for opportunity. Watch what people are buying and what they are talking about in casual conversations and in the news. People are telling each other great product ideas all the time without even knowing it!

Are you listening? Are you thinking? The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in the midwest this Cicada season. And on the internet it is no different.

We see opportunity everyday here in the Tale Chaser Publishing office. If you are tuned in to the “opportunity channel” of the mind, you will begin to see opportunity all around you.

Just don’t leave out simple products and gags. Products like the Cicadanator are always a “smash” hit!

Copyright 2004 Jack Humphrey

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