Black Sheep of Advertising: BluBlockers/Joe Sugarman

“In 1971, Joe left an ad agency to form a company in the basement of his home to market the world’s first pocket calculator via mail order. He soon became America’s largest single source of electronic space-age products. In the late 1980s, someone loaned him a pair of sunglasses which blocked out blue light and ultraviolet rays. The concept was not new; it had been around for 50 years, but was used by less than 1 percent of the market.”

And the rest, as they say, is history. Joe saw an opportunity and named the product, BluBlockers.

Direct marketing was his forte (check out his copywriting books), and because he felt he needed a bit of time to tell the brand story, he helped pioneer the 30-minute infomercial on cable TV. BluBlockers were wildly successful for years and in 2006, Dr. Geek helped rekindle the flame:

Suck to Success is a process. As Joe says, “I failed at practically everything I tried, but I never gave up. I just knew that one of these days I’d make it if I just hung in there…The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.”