If you think this is a common typewriter, we invite you to look closely. You’ll soon find out this is one like no other. It’s called Modestype, and part of a series of unique typewriters produced by SUN, a New Zealand Company specialized in Super-Ultra-Niche Marketing products. With the Modestype you can type a single sentence only: I’LL NEVER BE A WRITER LIKE ERNEST HEMINGWAY, which is great, because by typing this line, again and again, you’ll teach yourself a lesson on modesty. SUN is not targeting only wannabe-writers. More than a hundred models are on catalogue, at the moment. The founder of SUN, Bruce Ameilcool, initially contacted the Brandpowder Team asking for a logo. The chemistry between us (no drugs, this time) was so good that we ended up making every single piece of communication for his Company, from corporate identity to advertising.
Above: Bruce asked us for something different. We proposed him type ribbon ink-scented business cards. Each one comes with an envelope that preserves the fragrance of those vintage offices people miss so badly, today. Also a silver typing button is given as a gift to customers. Bruce loved the idea so much that he wanted real type buttons also on the catalogue’s cover (below).
SUN is, for sure, the most extreme example of niche marketing applied to a business. Bruce is convinced there is a market for everything out there. He said 7 billion people on this planet make for a fucking huge crowd. Super Ultra Niche Marketing concentrates, to say the least, on very peculiar products aimed to very narrow targets. “Today you can find clients with laser-focus precision, thanks to Google,” he told us. “You advertise the most stupid product and – Bang! – there’s a moron who’s ready to buy it!”. Bruce, so far, has produced a hundred different typewriters, recycled from old, discarded models. “Everybody is now typing on computers,” he says. “People use tablets and those dumb smartphones. Nobody likes typewriters anymore, so I can find them for cheap.” Every SUN typewriter is superbly handcrafted and modified to meet the most extravagant customer who, it must be said, must be ready to pay for it. The price range goes from U$2,000 for an Analfatype (a simple model devoted to analfabets, whose buttons write just a long line of “x”) to U$ 5,000 for a Romantic Type – pictured below – and addressed to touchy lovers. There’s also the highly sophisticated Suitype (bottom) reserved to posh customers who don’t mind spending a hefty U$12,500 to write their very last letter.
Above: the Psychotype. Bruce told us this incredible product was bought for 10,000 dollars by a US Maximum Security Prison which prefered to stay anonimous to respect the client’s privacy.
Below: the first ad campaign, introducing SUN and its brilliant concept of Super Ultra Niche Marketing. The ad ran on a local newspaper for a week only, but Bruce received more than seven hundred phone calls (he’s got no email).
Above and below: successful ads taken from the “IF” campaign made by the Brandpowder Team. Bruce was gobsmacked by the end result: he sold an average of seven typewriters per day! A big hit, considering the super ultra niche marketing factor. “Ten typewriters” he said “are mass market for my standards.”
Above: one page from the 2013 SUN Trade Catalogue. Bruce wanted also this piece with a vintage flavor, so we printed the 5,000 copies with an old Bullock rotary printing machine.
Bruce Ameilcool is now a hippie millionaire but he can’t separate from his 1967 rusty Holden, yet. “Babes must be young, cars must be old,” that’s his philosophy. And we didn’t argue on that.
Below: the Zainatype, a typewriter specially designed by Bruce for one of our Brandpowder fans, Zaina (from Virginia) who just happens to love typewriters and whatever begins with the letter “Z”. This model might also help people to fall asleep while at their desk zzzzzzz……