Category Archives: Infomercials

Know Your Meme: The Infomercial-Fail Montage

infomercial fails
The first infomercial-fail montage appeared in 2009.

The infomercial-fail montage is a web video art form that first appeared in 2009. For as long as there have been infomercials, there have been infomercial parodies, which seems almost redundant since the infomercials themselves are already in so-bad-they’re-good territory.

“that parallel world where people have a really hard time performing everyday tasks”

The advent of Internet video and easy editing software has given us priceless fast cuts of the best-worst moments in the infomercial universe, that parallel world where people have a really hard time performing everyday tasks. The first such montage, according to KnowYourMeme.com, was posted by online video curator Everything Is Terrible on FunnyorDie.com back in 2009.

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In 2010, a second montage appeared on YouTube (above). The vid’s popularity (it’s been viewed more than 2.3 million times) helped drive the infomercial-fail montage into the mainstream, and the compilations were soon appearing all over the net, including on Huffington Post and blogs like Infomercial Problems.

More detailed info on the meteoric rise of the infomercial-fail meme.

It’s a Bust: Jury to Decide Cami Secret Lawsuit

Breast intentions

The makers of the Cleava clip-on camisole went after the maker of Cami Secret with a federal suit in a claim of patent infringement. Now it’s up to a jury to decide which company had the breast intentions in mind.

“It’s a copy, definitely.”

“It’s a copy. It’s a copy, definitely,” BraNovations Inc. president Michelle De Sousa told Florida’s NBC-2. De Sousa and her business partner and husband, vice president J. D. De Sousa, claim a much larger company, Cami Secret maker Ontel, copied their product after they refused to sell it to Ontel.

The De Sousas want Ontel to stop selling the Cami Secret. They also want a piece of the millions in profits Ontel has made so far.

Ontel’s defense is that BraNovations’s patent was never valid to begin with, and that the De Sousas just “want to get money out of Ontel.”

“I want to move in the direction of getting it in the big box stores like WalMart,” said Michelle. “With [Cami Secret] being there, WalMart is not going to take a product they’re already selling.”

“It’s been a long road, a long journey,” said J.D. “Me and my wife believe we’re just starting.”

In the meantime, you can still buy Cami Secret and take advantage of this special double offer.

 

Infomercial GIFs Expose Terror of Everyday Life

infomercial gifs
Everyday life is fraught with peril at every turn!

In the infomercial universe, horrors lurk around every corner!

The cold, hard reality of everyday life, the dark underbelly just beneath the surface of the mundane, the lurking horrors that await us at every turn of our workaday lives, are exposed by the brilliant actors in this series of infomercial GIFs.

Infomercials are a public service announcement warning us of what’s about to leap out at us from behind that closed kitchen cupboard, the nasty spill that’s going to destroy everything you’ve worked so tirelessly for your entire miserable little life, the countless hidden household dangers that threaten to embarrass, to maim, to force you to jump out a plate-glass window—on fire!

The horror of exploding tacos!

exploding taco
Among our favorites of these infomercial GIFs is the woman with the exploding taco. The horror! The terrorists have clearly won.

Never attempt to pour a beverage!

But wait, there’s more! A big lesson of infomercials is that you should never, ever attempt to pour a beverage without using some kind of As Seen on TV device.

God did not intend for iron to go in dryer.

throwing iron in dryer

If you’re this stupid, no product  can help you. Everyone knows this won’t work unless the iron is still plugged in.

A word on containers and depth perception

container overflowing with food

In the infomercial universe, people are dumb and have terrible eyesight and depth perception. Witness the hands attempting to place a lid on a container overflowing with food. Will it work? Well, no—you’re going to wind up with a gigantic, soul-killing counter mess. Surely there’s a product that will come to your rescue.

View the complete series at imgur.com.

New Product Tuesday: Flex Shot Adhesive Sealant

For this New Product Tuesday, we look at a new take on traditional caulk, Flex Shot Thick Rubber Adhesive Sealant. The biggest difference between Flex Shot and standard caulk is that it doesn’t dry out, so one tube can be used for years. It’s also resistant to mildew, so works great in bathrooms and kitchens.

Flex Shot fills large cracks and holes

“Flex Shot is the easy way to caulk, bond or seal almost anything, and it’s so easy to use,” says Flex Shot (and Flex Seal) maker Phil Swift. “It’s the neat and clean way to make easy repairs. Flex Shot is so thick, you can fill huge cracks and holes, making everything completely waterproof.”

Flex Shot lasts up to 30 years

The real surprise with this product is its longevity: Flex Shot stays put for as long as three decades, giving you piece of mind. As one famous pitchman says: “Set it and forget it!”

Flex Shot comes out nice and thick. It fills in large cracks and holes with total control—you stop, it stops. It dries to a nice, stretchy rubber that expands and contracts. Watch the commercial to see Flex Shot in action.

Get 2 for 1, plus free Flex Seal

Flex Shot is available in four colors: white, clear, black and almond. You’ll also get an extension tube that twists and locks for total control. But wait, because Phil Swift is doubling this As Seen on TV Flex Shot offer so you get two cans of Flex Shot and two extension tubes, plus a free Handy Can size of Flex Seal. This offer is not available in stores.

‘Does It Work?’: Light Angel Shines Bright for TV Newscaster

Station gives thumbs up to Light Angel

In its latest “Does It Work?” segment on As Seen on TV products, ABC affiliate KSFY of Sioux Falls, S.D., takes on the Anthony Sullivan-touted Light Angel.

Consumer investigator Nancy Naeve put the Light Angel to the test in her own home, with favorable results. She found that the motion-activated LED light worked perfectly for a dark closet.

“I live in a very old house where lighting is a premium,” said Naeve. “The closets are also very small, with no electricity there, so in the morning I can barely see, so I’ll be happy if this works.”

The newscaster set up the light, closed the closet door, waited a minute, and then opened the door to test the Light Angel’s motion activation and light quality.

“This one is pretty bright.”

“Oh yeah! Can you see this?” she exclaimed. “Normally I don’t like LED lights because I don’t think they get bright enough, but this one is pretty bright.”

Two for one, plus a free lantern

You can now get two Light Angels for the price of one, plus a free Olde Brooklyn Lantern, for $12.99 plus S&H. Free shipping is also available. Get the details and order Light Angel at the official website.

Guilty: TV Execs as Much to Blame as Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau

Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau is currently cooling his heels in prison for attempting to hide assets from the feds in his fight against the Federal Trade Commission related to his late-night infomercials for the book The Weight-Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About

Trudeau not the only guilty party in late-night TV fraud

But Trudeau, who spent two years in federal prison in the early 1990s for fraud, isn’t the only guilty party here, opines editorial writer Phil Mushnick of the New York Post.

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New Product Tuesday: Destroy Bed Gap With Mattress Wedge

Close the gap with Mattress Wedge

For New Product Tuesday, we choose an item like the Mattress Wedge that we ourselves would actually use, that we feel might actually enrich our lives. No lie! It’s funny when something like the Mattress Wedge appears on the infomercial horizon and causes something to click in your brain—that “Aha!” moment when it all becomes clear, and you realize: Here is a thing that some clever so-and-so designed to fix a very real—and very menacing—modern problem! At last!

Mattress Wedge is the award-winning patented solution that closes the gap between your mattress and the wall or headboard of any size bed. Now pillows stay comfortably under your head, not under the bed. Use it in the kids’ room, where toys disappear in the open space between the bed and wall, and you’re stuck digging in the crack to retrieve them. Place a Mattress Wedge on your child’s bed, and those toys will never get lost again.

But wait—there’s more!

Mattress Wedge also comes with two detachable pockets in which you can hold remote controls, keys and whatever else you might want to keep handy next to your head.

 

TV Station Airs Artists’ Fake ‘Infomercial’

TV viewers who tune into KTXA Channel 21 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this Friday, Feb. 7, at 3 a.m. may not know just what to make of a new “infomercial” that’s not really selling anything. The 28-minute spot, featuring a gentleman who looks a lot like Steve McQueen whittling a walking stick and promising viewers the secret to immortal life, is part of an art exhibit by Texas artists Good/Bad Art Collective.

“Curtains,” an interactive experimental exhibit running through Feb. 16 at Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, invited visitors to see the set where the infomercial was filmed, and even help make the infomercial.

“At turns humorous and interactive, dark and thought-provoking, CURTAINS uses the dying medium of the infomercial to highlight the transience and ephemeral nature of the human experience,” reads the museum’s website.

The project brings to mind the 1970s commercials of experimental artist Chris Burden, who purchased late-night slots for his own weird films.

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SciMark Report: Pastafina by Chef Tony Ready for Comeback?

The Pastafina miracle cooker by Chef Tony Notaro, a retread of the Pasta Express, which debuted way back in 2006, could see new life in the direct-response TV sales market, according to product prognosticator Jordan Pine of SciMark Corp.

“I liked this product when it came out originally, and I think this revival version hits all the same, correct notes,” Pine writes at his SciMark Report blog.

Pine likes how the Pastafina commercial is shot, as well as pitchman Chef Tony’s skills: “The magic was always watching the pasta move as it cooks, and the production team has captured that. Tony is also in his element pitching anything Italian, and it shows in the passion he puts into his delivery.”

The current Pastafina As Seen on TV offer is two of the miracle vertical pasta cookers plus two recipe books for $10 plus S&P. Here’s where to order.

Here’s the original Pasta Express spot from 2006: