Remember Crazy Eddie?
He was the on-air pitchman for an electronics chain bearing his name here in the New York tri-state area, throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Crazy Eddie’s persona and advertising strategy serves as a classic example of nuisance marketing (or irritation advertising, if you prefer). His ads would grate on you, but those same commercials would also forever remind you of their insane prices. In Los Angeles, I remember that we had a similar pitchman in Fred R. Rated for The Federated Group, a cut-rate electronics, played by Shadoe Stevens.
Both chains are long gone now. Crazy Eddie went under due to some pretty serious fraud and was ultimately liquidated by the end of the 1980s. And I have no idea what happened to Federated, but I don’t think that company has anything to do with the company we now call Macy’s, Inc..
Although I can’t find the reference, I am pretty certain that John Gruber once called Amazon the crazy guy at the party who will accept any dare you propose. Amazon has apparently accepted the dare to sell a over-the-top streaming device for $39. And if that wasn’t crazy enough, Amazon Prime members can buy one for $19 until Wednesday morning.
The Fire TV stick, as it’s called, is basically what Google was selling last holiday season in the Chromecast. The biggest advantage of the Amazon Fire TV stick is that it will play anything from the Amazon Prime streaming library, including movies, music, and TV programs. Consider me tempted.
Can they really make money off a $20 streaming stick? Just sign up for a Prime trial, get the device for $20, and after the trial is over, keep the device to stream Netflix, Hulu, and some other “streaming channel.”
It does seem a little crazy, doesn’t it?