Is there any doubt that sex sells, not just a little, but really, really well? Well, if you remain unconvinced sit back and listen to the tale of a man who sold boatloads of innocuous surfboard wax and warehouses full of tee-shirts to millions of kids across America, many of whom didn’t even own surfboards – simply by throwing that provocative three-lettered word in the name of his product.
In 1972, a marketing savvy inventor named Fredrick Herzog III concocted a formula for surfboard wax along with his friend, Nate Skinner. Zog knew that his name alone wasn’t going to sell a heck of a lot of product and so he put a simple word into the name to see if it might increase sales. The results were literally astounding.
As soon as Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax hit surfboard shops, it was scooped up by herds of youngsters and, almost overnight, made Mr. Zog an icon of the surfing community. The next step was a simple tee shirt that bore the company logo and those flew off the shelf at an alarming rate as well. It mattered little if it was good surfboard wax, it mattered little what the name had at all to do with surfing. All kids could wrap their mind around was that there was something mysteriously naughty about this product, and it didn’t matter if it was used on surfboards or moose antlers, they wanted some of it and they wanted to proudly wear the logo on their chest.
High school principles, teachers, and parents were a little less enthusiastic about Herzog’s product and many a kid in school was forced to turn his favorite cloth billboard inside out while on the premises. But that only served to make the shirts even more popular. In fact, they would go on to be the biggest selling surf shirt in history. And every kid in America, even those who had never surfed in their life or even lived within a thousand miles of an ocean wanted to know what this stuff was, what exactly it did, and how they could get their hands on some. To make a long story short, Mr. Zog became a millionaire almost overnight, thanks to a simple three-letter word that captured the imagination of legions of kids who wanted in on the action, whatever that action was. That’s one powerful little word.
If you had a few Sex Wax t-shirts in your closet back in the day, we’d love to hear from you in our comments section. Did you get in trouble for wearing them? Were they popular among your peers where you lived? Tell us all about it.