Not often can I say I found business inspiration from watching a romantic comedy, but yesterday I found myself doing just that.
The film itself is not all that inspiring, in fact from a business perspective the main character and his dad are terrible. For a rom-com it ticks all the boxes and isn’t that bad, however there is a moment at the end I loved.
To win the women of his dreams a story of a well known toy is used and compared to the women in questions situation.
“We’re all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work.” – Quote from Romantic-comedy, How Do You Know.
I’ve expanded the story in the film, but I hope along with the quote above you also are inspired to think and maybe make just one small adjustment in your life.
The off white, non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling compound a pliable, putty-like substance concocted by Noah McVicker of Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer Kutol Products; it was devised at the request of Krogers Grocery, which wanted a product that could clean coal residue from wallpaper.
With the transition from coal-based home heating to natural gas and the resulting decrease in internal soot, and the introduction of washable vinyl-based wallpaper, the market for wallpaper cleaning putty decreased substantially.
There is several versions of how the transition came about, however it is clear that Kutol and Noah McVickers where losing money and fast. On the brink of bankruptcy Noahs nephew Joeseph joined Kutol with the remit to save the company. He had grown up knowing about his uncle’s product and playing with it whenever this family would visit. He took it to a local preschool, both teachers and children loved the non toxic substance and it was clear that it was better suited for children compared to the messy, stiff modeling clay they currently used. All that was missing was colour.
U.S. Patent No. 3,167,440 was granted to Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker for a “plastic modeling composition of a soft, playable working consistency’ that eventually became a product known as Play-Doh. Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker founded Rainbow Crafts to start manufacturing their product.
According Hasbro the current owners of Play-Doh, “In 1956, Play-Doh Brand Modeling Compound, a non-toxic reusable modeling compound developed and introduced by Rainbow Crafts in Cincinnati, was first demonstrated and sold in the toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C.”
In 1957, chemist Dr. Tien Liu reduced Play Doh’s salt content (thus allowing models to dry without losing their color), and Play-Doh ads were telecast on Captain Kangaroo, Ding Dong School, and Romper Room.
In 1958, Play-Doh’s sales reached nearly $3 million.
In 1964, Play-Doh was exported to England, France, and Italy
Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker were granted their patent ten years (1965) after Play-Doh was first introduced.
Also in 1965, General Mills purchased Rainbow Crafts and all rights to Play-Doh for $3 million, placing the compound with its Kenner Products subsidiary
Since its launch on the toy market in the mid-1950s, Play-Doh has generated a considerable amount of ancillary merchandise such as The Fun Factory. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Play-Doh to its “Century of Toys List”