September 3rd was Pet Rock Day.
Conceived in 1975 by advertising executive Gary Dahl, Pet Rocks are smooth stones gathered from Mexico’s Rosarito Beach. They were marketed like live pets, in custom cardboard boxes, complete with straw and breathing holes. Dahl’s biggest expense was the die-cutting and manufacture of the boxes. The rocks only cost a penny each, and the straw was nearly free. The fad lasted about six months. Although discontinued by February 1976, Dahl sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks for $4 each, and became a millionaire.
Pet Rocks came with a 32-page official training manual titled “The Care and Training of Your Pet Rock”. The manual was full of gags, puns and jokes, and contained several commands that could be taught to the new pet. While “sit” and “stay” were effortless to accomplish, “roll over” usually required a little extra help from the owner. “Come,” “stand” and “shake hands” were found to be near-impossible to teach; however, “attack” was fairly simple (with additional help from the owner). The owners also found that potty-training their pet rocks was fairly simple, given that they were, in fact, rocks.
The Pet Rock became available again on September 3, 2012.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to get your idea into reality. Nadco routinely creates 1-off labels, prototypes and tapes for small, budget conscience runs.