Welcome to stunt marketing 101: the Adamson BBQ Arrest was completely intentional on Adam Skelly’s part.
For those of you that might’ve missed it, the U.S. just wrapped up a grueling election that saw Donald Trump using every tactic in the book to preserve his image after suffering a very decisive defeat.
With COVID being very hard on many small businesses, it should come as no surprise for Adamson BBQ owner, Adam Skelly, to find himself feeling a pinch of his own.
He just expanded the enterprise with a third location and as with all Toronto restaurants, was forced to eliminate indoor dining, which has a way of dinging the ol’ pocket book.
Despite appearances, it needs to be said that just because a restaurant is popular and/or appears successful, doesn’t mean it’s actually profitable.
There are a number of reasons this can be, from shoddy accounting, over-extending cashflow or in this case, COVID.
Could very well be that despite its fan base, the Adamson brand can’t hold itself up under its own power and this could make the lad look like a lame duck.
So here’s the theory: Adamson’s is neck-deep and this situation looks even worse given that Skeely’s father, David, is the owner of a prominent property management firm and gifted his son his restaurant space.
If Skeely can’t make it when there’s no rent to pay, that would look bad. Very bad.
That’s where the exit strategy comes in.
Skeely sizes up Trump for their similarities:
- They’re both attention whores born to wealthy families
- Their agenda comes first (nothing else matters)
- They can’t handle criticism (for an example check out how Adam lashes out at unfavorable reviews).
So now that he’s got his prototype in place, the question he asks himself is, ‘what would Donald do?’
Why he’d deny reality and deflect all facts.
What would this all lead to?
1 – Publicity: This story is going international now, and everyone’s talking about it. If you didn’t hear about Adam before, you certainly know his name now.
2 – Building a base: People who simply love Adamson’s BBQ aren’t the ones defying the lockdown order – it’s anti-maskers and COVID-deniers, and the Adamson BBQ arrest will only serve to galvanize the faith they’ve collectively placed in their new spiritual leader.
3 – A Martyr’s Exit: Adam can now close down his failing restaurants and blame the closures on everyone from government leaders, the police, the Toronto Board of Health and people who generally acknowledge the threat that COVID poses.
Sure, Adam will start his new life out with a criminal record, but he’ll be positioned for a far more lucrative business – that of speaker / media personality and [gasp] guru.
Why suffer through a low-margin, high-stress business when you can trade it in for a business with just about no overhead costs.
What inventory you do carry (such as a book about our reluctant hero’s ordeal) is non-perishable.
Make no mistake about it, every move in this drama has been optimally calculated.
Adam can make a lot more money with a fraction of the stress and with the help of very few staff while getting to professionally harp about the costs of being a champion of freedom.
The only drawback would be his arrest for obstruction of justice – if it does indeed result in a conviction, his criminal record would prevent him from hitting the TED Talk circuit in the U.S.
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