Gary Dahl, a former Bay Area resident who invented the Pet Rock — a collectable which sparked a short-lived fad during the mid-1970s — passed away last week at the age of 78.
The Pet Rock cost consumers three dollars and 95 cents when it first came out and it was, in reality, just an ordinary egg-shaped rock; the type one might unearth while digging in their own backyard.
What’s perhaps most interesting about his product, which was nothing more than a common rock, was the fact that over a million consumers purchased their very own Pet Rocks within a period of just a few months during 1975.
The inventor of the Pet Rock, who The New York Times referred to as “a marketing genius” in a report published on Tuesday which quoted Newsweek as having said that his Pet Rock ploy was “one of the most ridiculously successful marketing schemes ever.”
The late Mr. Dahl, who originally intended for the Pet Rock to be a joke, died on March 23, 2015.
While Dahl’s rocks sold for an astounding three dollars and ninety-five cents to consumers, they were purchased by the entrepreneur and former advertising copywriter at a trivial cost of roughly a penny per stone. In the end, it cost him roughly one dollar to create the product which was sold for four.
In 1975, his rocks generated $2 million in sales with over 1.5 million rocks sold in just a matter of months, according to UPI.
Dahl’s daughter, Chris Nunez, was quoted in a San Francisco CBS Local report as having said to KPIX 5 that he “sold four million” pet rocks.
The pet rock was out from September to December. After December, it kind of dried out. But he sold four million of them
In the end, the late inventor used some of the proceeds of his successful rock selling campaign to fulfill one of his dreams, as he eventually opened up a bar following his success.
What are your thoughts on the death of Gary Dahl — the inventor of the Pet Rock?