Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Infomercialism

Can you imagine how we ever wiped up spills or dried cars or blew our nose before "Sham-wow?"

What did we ever do when we were cold on the couch and wanted to read a book or talk on the phone before the invention of the "Snuggie?"

How did we ever put up with broken coffee cup handles, leaky garden hoses, and pulling 18-wheeler's with regular-strength putty before the invention of "Mighty Putty?"

And why would we ever, ever go back to exercising ever again with regular exercise balls now that we all know about the "Bender Ball?"

I'm guessing most of you have seen these commercials, and perhaps some of you have even dropped the dough (plus "processing and handling," which is the new "shipping and handling) to purchase these miracle products. Not being much of a television person, I have seen my fair share of these new, primetime, unrelenting, too-good-to-be-true infomercials in just a few hours logged on the tube. Not only are these commercial more prolific than they were in the days when Cher and Chuck Norris were trying to sell us make-up and gym equipment, they are hitting the mainstream networks, airing at hours that normal people are awake!

It also seems like every other commercial requires you to turn down the volume as that "Al Borland" loud mouth look-alike Billy Mays comes screaming through your surround sound. Selling so many products, he forgets to change out of his "Orange-Glo" as he tries to convince you that miniature burgers that come in fives are better than an acceptable amout at a more reasonable size (Big City Slider.) Why should we even trust a guy who apparently knows so much about topics ranging from clean bathrooms to master gardening to culinary masterpieces? Although we all can't grow such a convincing beard as Mr. Mays, can't we all don an embroidered shirt and yell at the camera while reading off cue cards?

I'd buy a wrench, hammer, flannel shirt, or beard trimmer from Al

The general public is oviously sold on these products, as the infomercial is now exceeding $91 billion a year!! Yes, that is BILLION . . . three orders of magnitude larger that $91 million. At $19.95 a piece, that figure amounts to 1.9 billion Ped Eggs a year (that includes the free one at that price, but NOT including the $6.99 S&H fee PER EGG!! which I doubt is included in the $91 billion, even though that's where they are REALLY making their money. Just ask the Video Professor guy, who will send you a FREE CD for only $6.95!)

It doesn't look like these commercial annoyances are going away anytime soon, so look for Mr. Mays to barge into your living room many more times in the future, especially since I don't think that "Sham Wow" guy with the creepy eye, nasaly voice and Garth Brooks headset is going to take any product endorsement opportunities away from Billy Boy.

What I'd like to see hit the market are things that would make my life easier.
  • A "Math-Wow" pill, whereby students of mathematics can "soak up" all the knowledge and skills necessary to pass one of my tests.
  • An un-microwave to rapidly cool down the food you accidentally overheated in the microwave, like Hot Pocket filling.
  • Duct tape that is insulated enough to quiet the dampened muffles coming out of a taped mouth.
  • A robot that will go to work and earn money for you so you can stay home and watch television and blog more.
  • Food that doesn't make you fat but still tasted good . . . that also makes itself and cleans up the dishes afterward.
  • Bathrooms that don't get dirty to begin with.
  • A product called the "Perfect Pushup" that actually make pushups easier and not more difficult.
  • A cell phone that doesn't take picture, doesn't take movies, doesn't access the internet, can't play music, and doesn't send of receive text messages, but only makes and receives phone calls.
  • An automatic "MUTE" button that activates as soon as a Billy Mays commercial comes on.

2 comments:

Tatertot said...

Infomercials are B...B...BBBORRR...
(SNORES)

--Tatertot

Vinny M said...

haha! me and andrew f. were just talking about billy mays and the guy that sells sham-wows on tuesday. Great minds really do think alike. And i would have to respectfully disagree with tate, i love infomercials. My favorite one is the magic bullet, "It'll do any job in 10 seconds or less!"