New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dark Side


One of the biggest problems with the Internet is cut and paste journalism. The ease of which information can be copied and recycled is unprecedented, whether it be general information, reviews, press releases or buzz. In the case of online news content, as in print media, there is always competition to cover any new event, product, service or retailer. But with online content, the ease and temptation is just too great.

Dead Apple Tours is certainly a clever concept. Started in 2010 by Drew Raphael, the 2 hour tour of the macabre is conducted from a 1960 Cadillac Crown Royale hearse (at $45 per person). From their website: Witness the final address of Heath Ledger, Keith Haring, Sid Vicious, "Crazy Joe" Gallo, Thomas Paine and more. Learn the dark secrets of iconic landmarks: Empire State Building, Washington Square Park and the Brooklyn Bridge.

In going through pages of early reviews, however, apparently none of the reviewers in the major media had actually taken the tour or availed themselves of reviewers who had. All of the reviews appeared to essentially parrot back the buzz and tour information provided by the tour operator.
The most useful reviews were those at Yelp.com, by three individuals who took the tour and reported their experiences:

The narrative descriptions of dead locations were read from a book by our guide in a flat monotone, with all the enthusiasm of an MTA announcement.

Many times we drove up to an approximate area but not to the actual site of the morbid event.

A nice touch would be to drop people off at the train station at the end of the tour, at Fulton Street. The 3 stranded tourists had to ask us for direction to the train in the dark.

There are a staggering number of things to do in New York City, and before spending time and money doing any of them, I would highly recommend looking at the reviews or talking to those who have actually been there and done that. Filtering the reviews and reading them closely is an important part of the process to ascertain why a review is actually positive or negative and relevant to you or not.
If someone is marketing the dead, it's fair to examine not only the light side but also the dark side of the dark side :) :(

7 comments:

Rigel said...

$45 for that? I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather pay $7.95 for a pound of salad.

Brian Dubé said...

Rigel,
Very funny and actually, I can't disgree with u there.

Mary P. said...

I guess your $45.00 goes for riding around town in that cool looking hearse. And maybe having your picture taken with it.

Dead Apple Tours said...

As the proprietor of Dead Apple Tours, I think you are being very unfair by selecting the comments of a few individuals who went on one of the first tours. Much has changed since those comments were made.

The tour is two hours and visits over 20 different sites. As compared to paying $55 for a double decker tour bus, paying for a tour in an old hearse with only a few other passengers is a great deal.

In addition, many of the media did take the tour. Search the NY Post for example. Brian, maybe you need to do a little more research before you make such general statements about something you personally have not experienced.

NYfan said...

Wow! Black humor at it´s best ... a city tour in a hearse .. OMG!!!

Rich said...

Hey Dead Apple Tours, It seems that the biggest problem people had with the tour (as mentioned on YELP) was ending the tour in a different location from where it started. To those not familiar with NYC this could be quite stressful. BTW. Those negative comments are only from this past August. I can understand your concern when someone makes unflattering comments about your business. However, I would suggest that if you have in fact made improvements, to list them specifically and not just say "much has changed."

Dead Apple Tours said...

To respond to your comment Rich; when someone books a tour, the instructions specifically state that the tour ends at a different location. In addition, I offer directions to anyone who needs them.

Here are the changes:
- The Hearse is back in action and is used for all tours.
- The script has been revised and updated to interact with tour members

As I mentioned before, I think using such a small sampling of unhappy customers from two months ago is unfair. I started the tours in June and as in any start-up businesses there is a trial and error period.

I invite anyone to come take the tour and experience for themselves.