Monday, June 1, 2009

WMF Lou Serrano and the Free Bonuses



Hmm, where to start. With his 70's hairdo, his cute lisp? No let's start with the thing that makes Lou Serrano WMF: His advertisement for his Steel Ball routine. The routine itself might be alright, (I don't know for there is no public video on Youtube or anywhere, which in itself is a suspicious conduct)  but the advertisement for the routine has one passage which alone makes the whole thing WMF-worthy. Let me quote:



"But I decided to give you even more of a bargain! Along with the complete performance and explanation of The Steel Ball Routine you also get all of these incredible FREE bonuses valued at $1,254.00.

Lifetime Performance License That Includes Television Rights:
You will receive a license to perform the routine exactly as is anywhere in the world including television. (I may change my mind in the future, and sell television rights on a one-time performance basis, but for now you will get a license that includes television performance rights. Even if I do change my mind in the future, if you invest in this DVD now, you will have a lifetime license to perform it anywhere.) Value: $1000.00

A Full Set of Steel Ball Bearings:
Since the correct type of steel ball bearings are difficult to find, you will receive a complimentary set of the exact steel ball bearings I use in my routine. Value: $30.00


One Special Gimmick:
This gimmick is easy enough to find and customize yourself, but I’ve included it here to save you time and money. Value $10.00

Four Bonus Routines.
That’s right! I wanted to give you the best value I possibly could. When you invest in my Steel Ball Routine DVD, you’ll also learn four other professional routines in complete detail. I was thinking about releasing these effects on four separate DVDs priced at $35 each, but I decided to include them all here as a free bonus!

Everywhere and Nowhere: My handling is a huge improvement of this classic plot in magic. Now it’s easy to get into while strolling or in between tricks, and it has a simple clean up that leaves everything examinable at the end.
Value: $35.00

Card to Picture Frame:
Vanish a card from the deck held by a spectator! A moment later, the card appears in a picture frame that was in plain view the entire time! Value: $35.00

Magic Castle Matrix:
Four coins, placed under four cards, magically gather together. It is said that the difference between a craftsman and an artist is in the details. Here, I reveal all the details, tips, and finesse that transform this classic from Al Schneider into a theatrical piece of close-up wizardry. As performed at the Magic Castle to rave reviews. Value $35.00

Fireball Finesse:
Perfect for close-up or stand-up, this extremely visual routine immediately gets people’s attention! Fireball was inspired by John Bannon and later transformed into a highly visual stand-up piece by Diamond Jim Tyler. Here, I reveal handling tips that clean up the one weakness of the original routine. I perform this in all of my close-up and stand-up shows and it always receives great reactions. Value: 35.00

Bonus live footage shot at the Magic Castle.
We’re all tired of seeing instructional DVDs shot before overly enthusiastic, handpicked audiences. I want you to see how these routines play in front of an audience of strangers with no prompting. You will see unedited footage of the Magic Castle Matrix, The Steel Ball Routine, and The Animated Dollar Bill (performance only) shot live at The Magic Castle, so you can see real-world reactions. Value: $25.00.

Bonus Report on Maximizing Your Income Performing Close-Up Magic:
It amazes me when close-up magicians tell me they can’t find any work, or that nobody is calling to hire them. Even in this slow economy there is plenty of work to be had if you know where to look and how to get it. This detailed report spills the beans on all the different venues available to the close-up performer. I explain the pros and cons of working in each venue and describe the types of fees to expect in each. Most importantly, I describe the one real secret you must possess to have a thriving magic business. Without it you will flounder indefinitely. With it, success is inevitable. I’m not sure how long I’m going to offer this free report. I may stop offering it at any time. I can only guarantee that you will receive all of this valuable information if you order today! Value: $49.00

That’s $1,254.00 in Free Bonuses!"


So, 1,254.00 dollars in free bonuses. Let's break it down. The steel balls and the gimmick. Well okay. I agree on that. But the rest. The rest are routines, information and the Television rights. All of these things have no real value, ergo no price tag can be applied.

Let me explain: Assume I make up a card routine. It is a good routine. Good enough to sell it. How much should I ask for? Well, I should ask for the amount I want. So the "price tag" is an artificial one.
People might argue, that writing down the routine takes time and spent time should be paid. But the amount of pay for that time is also artificial.

Putting that into perspective it means that Lou Serrano made up the price of the "bonuses". It is an artificial value, therefore an artificial argument to sell his actual product.

I think the official term for this is "bullshitting" (sorry for the strong language), making this item WMF.

This seems to be a common trend lately. Adding totally fabricated stuff to make the actual product seem more valuable than it is. I am sick of this. Really. If you got a routine that you want to sell, give us the price you want and then let us decide on our own.

2 comments:

Gavroche said...

Assuming some of these items are sold separately, you could put a price tag on them. But that's not really the point. A good magician always includes all possible handlings and routines with an effect. The television performance rights are a straight rip-off. What is a magician supposed to do with an effect if they don't have the right to perform it? As far as I'm concerned, you sell the right to perform an effect along with the secret.

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