Category Archives: Pitchmen

ShamWhat?! ShamWow’s Vince Offer Weds Earth Woman!

Vince OfferFormer ShamWow champion Vince Offer has managed to use his legendary salesmanship to convince an earth woman to tie the knot. The salesman from another planet wed Melody Claire in Malibu, California, before friends and family. Continue reading

‘As Seen on TV’ Search: Lots of Promise, No Winners (Yet)

Direct-response TV product marketer Top Dog Direct did not pick any winners at last week’s Shark Tank-like pitch-a-thon in Philadelphia. But it did see lots of very creative folks with lots of creative—and often bizarre—product ideas. Such as a bib made for sloppy adults. Continue reading

Legendary Billy Mays Mentor Al Spino Dead at 78

Watching him in action in this video, you can see where Vince Offer gleaned much of his humor, if none of his bombast. Al Spino, the original pitchman for ShamWow, was a mentor not only to Offer, but also to the late, great Billy Mays and a slew of other industry big-mouths. On March 12, Spino, who was featured in the 1999 documentary Pitch People, left this world at the age of 78 to hawk As Seen on TV products in the great infomercial in the sky.

“Life’s a pitch!”

Fellow pitchman Andrew Sullivan posted this memorial on his Facebook page:

“Al Spino, my friend and one of the greatest pitchmen ever passed away today at 78 years of age! Al You are a legend, you will be missed, I love you! Thanks for all the one-liners and laughs. RIP my friend and go and find Billy and bally a tip! Life’s a pitch!”

DRTV Firm Top Dog Direct Hosts ‘Speed Pitch’

top dog direct

Top Dog Direct hosts Philly ‘Speed Pitch’

60 Seconds and . . . Bring It On!

DRTV firm Top Dog Direct invited inventors to pitch the next potential As Seen on TV hit product at its Speed Pitch in Philadelphia. The country’s biggest direct-marketing manufacturer and marketer hosted the event at the Liberty Bell/Independence Mall Visitor Center on Thursday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, as reported by NJ.com. It featured a panel of experts on hand to judge participants’ 60-second pitches. Winners were awarded contracts that could lead to their product being sold on TV. Stay tuned to this blog for a run-down on the winning pitches.

Top Dog Direct is the company behind proven products like Mighty Putty Purple and Night View NV Night Driving Glasses.

Deal of the Day: Vince Offer Resurrects Slap Chop!

Making salsa - Slap Chop Luncheon

Make quick work of salsa and countless other dishes with Slap Chop.

Infamous and inVinceable Vince Offer is back peddling his Slap Chop in an attempt to resurrect interest in this once market-dominating As Seen on TV classic. As we demonstrated in this blog post a few years ago during the Slap Chop’s heyday, it’s easy to whip up a three-course meal in no time with this ultra-handy gadget.

“Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. The Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”

And our rave back in 2009 still holds true: “We’re happy to say that the Slap Chop performs pretty much as advertised. You push down on the plunger and foods get chopped. The blade is sharp. While it’s not by any means a precision instrument, the Slap Chop seems plenty sturdy and its butterfly hinge makes it easy to clean.”

Original offer doubled: 2 for 1, plus 2 free Graty graters

The Slap Chop is the same easy-to-use everyday kitchen appliance that millions have added to their culinary routines, and with the current deal, you can get two for the price of one, plus get a bonus gift. Order now to get two Slap Chops, plus two Graty graters for $19.95 plus S&H! The Graty is a slick, easy-to-use grater for cheeses that comes with a lid, so you can keep it in the fridge and pull it out whenever you need to kick up pasta or tacos a notch or three.

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.

Infomercial King Khubani Celebrates TeleBrands’ 30th

A. J. Khubani gave the world the PedEgg and Ambervision sunglasses.

A. J. Khubani has spent decades convincing people to buy products they didn’t know they needed. He hit the stratosphere with the PedEgg, which has sold 45 million units. His other successes include Ambervision sunglasses and the Windshield Wonder. Fox affiliate My9 NJ recently aired a 20-minute segment profiling the infomercial maestro on the 30th anniversary of his billion-dollar company, TeleBrands.

Continue reading

Kickstarter Videos: The New Infomercial?

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Those petitions for pay on the new crop of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com seem hip and modern, but they’re really just something with which American consumers are all too familiar: the infomercial.

Chances are, without the carnival barking and zany antics of showmen like Ron Popeil and Billy Mays, the slick revivalists of the long-form commercial would still be going the traditional route of snagging dollars to launch their weird products. After all, the twenty- and thirtysomethings hawking things like the Duo Coffee Steeper likely grew up on a steady diet of “set it and forget it.”

“What’s more, the form of these short Kickstarter films genuinely mimics those of their ’90s predecessors,” writes Cale Guthrie Weissman at Pando Daily. “Someone’s talking into a screen, there’s an issue to be solved, they provide a kitschy and inoffensive way of presenting the issue and its solution. Honestly, the only main difference between most of these videos and late-night infomercials is the wardrobe, and the feigned live audience.”

As the crowdfunding model becomes more mainstream, it’s only a matter of time till there’s barely a difference between what the hip young things are putting before our eyes, and the commercials of their forebears, those master petitioners who invented the cornball pitch.

Vince Offer’s ‘Inappropriate Comedy’ out on DVD

If you love the style and humor of the pitchman behind fan-favorite products Slap Chop and ShamWow, you might also enjoy his second grossout feature film, Inappropriate Comedy. Vince “Offer” Shlomi was somehow able to snag an Oscar winner for this outing, out now on DVD (buy it cheap at Amazon). He’s also trying to reclaim his pitchman throne by cleaning up with his new all-in-one InVinceable household cleaner.

The politically incorrect sketch comedy inexplicably features Academy Award winner Adrien Brody as hardboiled gay cop Flirty Harry, along with a character named the Amazing Racist, in a series of wildly offensive skits. The film also stars celebs like Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan, all along on the ride with the infomercial king turned flailing shlock/shock auteur as he attempts (and continues to fail miserably) to stake his place in alt-comedy and pop culture.

The DVD release comes with plenty of  extras, including previously unreleased scenes featuring “Blackass” and the Amazing Racist, plus the unfinished extended version of the “Sperm Lake” sketch. But it’s doubtful that any addition to this sordid affair could change the minds of the critics who savaged Inappropriate Comedy upon its debut.

Inappropriate Comedy is nearly as wild as the life of the pitchman himself. You may recall that the Israeli-born Vince Offer, 49, was arrested back in 2009 after he got into a bloody scrap with a 26-year-old hooker. Vince claimed he hit the woman only after she bit his tongue and wouldn’t let go. They were both bloodied, and both ended up in the hospital. Charges were never filed against either party.

Before the hooker dustup, Vince was involved in a number of lawsuits, most famously against the Church of Scientology. In a 2004 suit, Vince accused the church of attempting to smear his reputation when he was a member in 1997. The suit claimed the church’s vendetta was sparked after he started funneling profits from his pre-Slap Chop “the Chopper” product away from the church and into his first feature, 1999’s The Underground Comedy Movie. Soon after the suit was dismissed and Vince left the church, he launched his well-known infomercials for the ShamWow and Slap Chop.

Along with the new DVD release, Vince is back pitching a brand-new product that he hopes to put him back on his pitch pedestal. The InVinceable all-purpose home cleaner promises to replace cleaning supplies used in the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen, saving households more than $500 a year.

Time will tell if Vince still has that old pitchman magic. Hopefully so, because his movie-director pretensions seem to be just that.