A Stones Throw 11-3-16

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I have decided to share a money making opportunity with my readers. I have to admit, it isn’t exactly rocket science. In fact, I got the idea from Kim Kardashian and another young lady I considered to be “eye candy” when I met her.

First, Kim Kardashian.

Two Sundays ago, 60 Minutes had a segment that discussed the gold mine phenomena known as the Internet. The segment introduced several young people, including Kardashian, who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, simply by putting clips of themselves on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media.

One of the young men who was introduced has been paid as much as $200,000 for spending one day making silly – okay stupid – 15 second video clips with Dunkin Donuts included in each – sometimes as background, sometimes as foreground, once he was even dressed as a donut.

Another young man was paid tens of thousands of dollars to make a series of five to seven second video clips. He claimed he could make anyone smile in five seconds and laugh in seven.

This young man is right if you find inhaling spaghetti through your nostrils funny. Apparently a lot of people do. This young man has a million “hits” for almost every one of his short clips.

And of course, there is always a recognizable product sitting close by.

Finally, Kim Kardashian was introduced. She is expected to make $2.7 million from her social media clips this year alone. Most of her clips are “glamour clips” with background products in sight.

While I saw enough to decide I would never check in or follow any of these people on social media, I was intrigued with how lucrative the Internet has become. I could not believe Fortune 500 companies would pay for idiocy.

But they do.

Advertising is advertising. Publicity is publicity. Recognition is recognition.

And it all pays.

I found it interesting, but so what?

Then I remembered meeting a young lady named Jana several years ago. I remember thinking, “here is the definition of eye candy.” To say the least, this young lady was absolutely beautiful. She was the type of woman who could stop traffic at rush hour – maybe even make the earth stand still.

I met Jana when I had the opportunity to meet a man, Bill, who owned two radio stations, over 100 antique cars, and a Wooton Desk (which now sits in my living room).

When I first met Bill, Jana was with him. She was obviously there as an accessory. I wouldn’t call her a gold digger, but she wasn’t much more than half his age.

But I digress.

Three years after that first meeting, I stopped by one of the radio stations to talk to Bill. I was told Bill was not available but that I could talk to Jana. While I certainly would be happy to look at her again, I told the receptionist I had a business question for Bill.

The receptionist smiled and said “Then you need to talk to Jana. She runs the stations now.”

So, I talked with Jana. She explained that Bill had let the radio stations slide because he was spending too much time with his “collections.” She said she told him he was going to lose his stations if he didn’t start paying attention to them.

But, she had an idea.

She would take over the radio stations (which she did and took each to number one in its respective city – so much for just being eye candy.). She also told him he would have to change his search from antique cars to a search for antique pickup trucks.

With both radio stations being Country and Western stations, Jana had each pickup truck (well, most of them) that Bill found painted yellow and red with the “Country Kickin” logo used by the stations.

The trucks were then parked in parking lots, in yards, or along the road. Each was classified as a moving billboard. This allowed the stations to claim the pickups as advertising expense.

As I said – so much for just being eye candy.

Moving on.

After watching the 60 Minutes segment and thinking of Jana, I started thinking about one of my pet peeves – and wait, instead of a peeve, I might have discovered a money maker.

As I mentioned a while back, my car was recently totaled when it was t-boned by a young driver. When I replaced it, I found a decal from the car dealer attached to the car along with a license plate holder with the dealer’s name on it.

I have never liked that.

Back in the days when I would order a new car I always insisted that no decals or logos be attached. While the dealer often resisted, he always complied.

Unfortunately, when you buy a car off of the lot, decals, logos and license plate holders are already a part of the car. It is easy to remove the plate holders, but removing the decals or logos can damage the finish of the car.

Sometimes, the logo is riveted on.

So, what to do?

In the past, I just complained.

Now – I realize I have a moving billboard that is seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people each day. If Dunkin Donuts will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to have its name and logo seen thousands, perhaps millions, of times on the Internet, surely I should be paid for letting people see a car dealer’s advertising decal.

I will be writing the dealer I bought my recent car from. I will be asking him to either begin payments for the use of my car for his advertisements, or to remove the advertising and to repair any damage or discoloration caused by the decal.

I may not be successful, but if every man, woman, or child who purchases a car in the future demands to be paid when advertising, or if not, to have an advertisement free car, perhaps in the future we will cease to be taken advantage of by car dealers all over America.

In the meantime I think I will get a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. I wonder if they will pay me if I promise to leave the cup on the dash all day – for all to see.

Probably not.

– Mike Cooney