An old-model Fujitsu flip phone has a devoted fan base in Japan because of its enhanced privacy features. It allows you to designate certain contacts as private, and, according to the Wall Street Journal
, "If one of those acquaintances gets in touch, the only signal of that communication is a subtle change in the color or shape of how the battery sign or antenna bars are displayed. If ignored, the call doesn't appear in the phone log."
This makes the phone perfect for philanderers, and has earned it the nickname "uwaki keitai" or "infidelity phone." Apparently no other phones offer such robust privacy features. For which reason, people are sticking with their old flip phones rather than upgrading to new models.
I can see a flaw in their strategy. Now that the phone is known as the phone-of-choice of philanderers, having one is a sign of what you are.
Dr. Gordon Volkenant seems like he was quite the character. In 1947, he invented a gadget he called the "husband detector." It was basically a motion detector, designed to help wives catch their husbands who were trying to sneak unheard into the house after a late night at the bar. When it sensed someone coming through the door, it set off a loud siren. link: Pittsburgh Press
Volkenant promptly became the first husband to be caught by his own device, when it rang the alarm as he tried to sneak into his house at 3 a.m. link: Washington Reporter
And based on the look of him, I'm guessing he wasn't just at the bar until 3 a.m. Here he is in 1948 demonstrating another of his gadgets, which he called an "electronic humidistat." He claimed it could detect hosiery defects in nylon stockings when he waved it up and down a woman's leg. It looks a lot like a regular lightbulb to me. I'm sure he found it necessary to test on many women.
We all know that ad campaigns have often created the disease or deficiency they wish to sell remedies for. "Halitosis" and "BO" were Madison Avenue inventions.
But perhaps no campaign dared quite as much as that for Cremo cigars, with its charge that all its competitors spit on their product.
Original text here.
Original ad here.
But although Cremo increased its market share, their scheme ultimately backfired.
As this history says:
During the 1920s, the cigar industry began to suffer from image problems. The rise of organized crime during Prohibition, and the image of the stogie-chomping gangster--developed in part by Hollywood, and personified by such actors as Edward G. Robinson--gave the cigar an aura of disrespect among the public. Later that decade, the cigar industry faced a second crisis, when American Tobacco began promoting new, machine-rolled cigars. Its advertising asked: "Why run the risk of cigars made by dirty yellowed fingers and tipped in spit?" The image proved disastrous for the cigar industry as a whole. Cigar makers rushed to convert their manufacturing from hand-rolled to machine-rolled products, but cigar sales plunged through the 1930s. During this same time period, the cigar industry was hit hard by the rise in cigarette use across the United States. Cigar consumption never recovered to its early 1920s peak.