Remember Felix?

(marketing makes it critic proof).

The New York Times roasted the Odd Couple today. They hated it.

The Odd Couple booked $21 million in advance tickets. A record. The whole run is sold out.

The review, then, doesn’t matter.

But of course it does. It does for the two reasons that it sold so many tickets.

1. American Express offered advance seats to Gold Card members. This
permission asset is hugely profitable. American Express has permission
to market to this group, a group that responds to Broadway show offers
in a big way. Not only does that help sell tickets, but it makes it
more likely that members will keep paying money for their Gold Card.

2. Nathan and Matthew have a brilliant reputation. A brand, even. As
a result, when the offer showed up (TV show! Jack Klugman! The guys
from the producers! Neil Simon! Advance tickets!) the offer was
irresistible. We’re talking $1000 scalpers on eBay.

So, there’s zero short term economic impact from a bad review.

But if it’s a bad play, all sorts of brands get tarnished. The
permission asset decreases in value. The names aren’t worth as much.

The lesson is that the new marketing makes it a lot easier to make
products for your customers (instead of having to run around finding
customers for your products.) The obligation that comes with that,
though, is to make something really and truly great. You no longer have
to dumb stuff down to create average stuff for average people. You can
make something truly great. So do it.