What exactly are you paying for?
Proactiv has become the go-to acne treatment for today’s young adults. Guthy Renker, the company that markets Proactiv and Proactiv+, spends $200 million a year to run TV commercials convincing pimply youth that Proactiv is more effective than drugstore products like Clearasil or Stridex. Instead, they’re shelling out big bucks for Proactiv’s three-part “system” that sure seems to work for the acne-free celebs who shill for the product. Continue reading
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!”
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.
Reader’s Digest staff members recently did a hands-on test of 10 As Seen on TV products, and delivered their honest critiques. For “As Seen on TV: What Not to Buy,” writer Perri O. Blumberg enlisted colleagues at the magazine to help “separate the scams from the saviors” of 10 “products we all secretly want.”
The magazine recommends buying six of the 10 products, with the NutriBullet receiving a score of 4 out of 4 (“Order overnight!!”). The lowest-ranking products were Lint Lizard, with a zero out of 4 (“Need we say more?”), and the Twist n Clip, with a 0.5 out of 4 (“Practically a gag gift”).
Here are all 10 products Reader’s Digest reviewed, with their score, recommendation and retail price in quotes.
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!
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.
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
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.
Station gives thumbs up to 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.
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.
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.