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Pow! Right Between the Eyes: Profiting from the Power of Surprise



Pow! Right Between the Eyes: Profiting from the Power of Surprise

Andy Nulman

ISBN: 978-0-470-44384-2 March 2009 240 Pages

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Pow! Radical new methods for reaching jaded, cynical consumers

Put simply, when it comes to your business, your new idea, even yourself, this book can be the difference between a "Who cares?" and a "Holy cow!"

Business, both big and small, is in desperate need of new ways to inspire bored and cynical consumers who have grown weary of the same old song and dance. In today’s information economy, it doesn’t matter how many people you reach, but how much attention they pay. And the best way to get attention is with the powerful, but largely misunderstood, element of surprise.

Pow! Enter Andy Nulman with the art of surprise marketing. An explosive new outlook, surprise marketing solidifies the bond between you and your customers like nothing else, and keeps them coming back for more by providing a continuous flow of what they never expected. Pow! Right Between the Eyes reveals the secrets, theories, and tactics of surprise marketing, and wields outrageous real-world examples (and even more outrageous tools like "The Lubricant to Yes" and "Euphoric Shock") to help expand the boundaries of the extreme and create a bigger bang for bigger profits.

On his quest to unlock the secret of why some things knock your socks off and others put you to sleep, Nulman shares insights from director Alfred Hitchcock, designer Philippe Starck, playwright David Mamet, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, Harvard psychologists, songwriters, bloggers, and even the inventor of Pirate Booty snack chips. And he shows how today’s smartest companies are winning big with surprises stories like:

• How Oprah’s shocking announcement that "Everybody gets a car!" sent her Web site traffic up 800% and helped the Pontiac G6 outsell its competitors by 20%

• How Target earns $7 billion a year in free publicity with stunts like a floating temporary store in New York’s Hudson River or putting on a vertical fashion show where acrobat models walked down the side of Rockefeller Center

• How Bear Naked Granola reversed the trick-or-treat tradition by sending costumed street teams door-to-door to give away granola samples on Halloween

Andy Nulman is a wildly-successful businessman and even wilder public speaker who first learned the power of surprise working with Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, and many other comedians as the cofounder and CEO of the Just For Laughs Festival, the world’s largest comedy event. His book shares hilarious and effective surprise promotions that he himself dreamed up for the event and in his current position as cofounder, President, and CMO of Airborne Mobile, which brings brands like Maxim, Family Guy, and the NFL to the mobile media world.

Don’t forget to read the book’s two forewords by the legendary John Cleese and CBS Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson. Surprising choices for a business book? Well…what did you expect?


Foreword John Cleese.

Foreword Craig Ferguson.

10 Rather Surprising Things You Should Know About Me.

Prologue Surprise Drives It Home.

Chapter 1 Why Surprise Is Crucial.

Chapter 2 What Is This Thing Called Surprise?

Chapter 3 What Surprise Ain’t.

Chapter 4 All Powerful? Almighty? Almost: The Surprising Surprise Conundrum.

Chapter 5 Shock 101.

Chapter 6 Let’s Hear It for the Surprise Theory Quartet!

Chapter 7 The Art of the Business of Creating Surprise.

Chapter 8 The Tomorrow of Surprise.

Epilogue A Diploma in Surprise.

The End of Pow!

Afterword David Allen.


About the Author.


In the midst of a recession, Nulman offers a way for marketers, advertisers and entrepreneurs to capture consumer attention by harnessing the power of surprise marketing. Starting with entertaining forewords by comedian John Cleese and talk show host Craig Ferguson, who both understand the necessity of shock and timing in getting laughs, Nulman proceeds to offer (and amuse) with astute insight about how companies can create a bigger bang for their buck by imparting the unexpected in their marketing. Using case studies of ad campaigns, the author describes what successful shocking marketing is (Oprah declaring, “Everybody gets a car,” to her studio audience, which sent her Web site's traffic up 800%) and is not (St. Louis using the ubiquitous arch in an ad campaign to portray the city as “surprising”). Drawing on 15 years of experience as the CEO of the Just for Laughs Festival, the author emphasizes that the element of surprise is pertinent for anyone trying to sell a product or gain attention for a cause or event. This colorful and enlightening book will engage business readers looking for innovative ways to win without breaking the bank. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, December 22, 2008)