Monday, March 2, 2009

Infomercials. Horrible, Yet Cultural Barometres

I recently read an Ad Joke post about the horrors of infomercials and how they all suck. I can't help but agree, but had to respond with the following comment:

Although 99.9% of infomercials suck, sometimes brilliance is struck. Vince, of ShamWow! fame is nothing short of of a E-List celebrity. His "fame" is being ported over to help sell the SlapChop - where he not only has wonderful one line zingers like "you're gonna love my nuts", but he also provides some light hearted social commentary on the problems with America.

I started thinking about the celebrity that has been created by infomercials - Ron Popeil of 'hair in a can' fame (as well as many other products), the rebirth of George Foreman and Richard Simmons, K-Tel (the brand), Susan Powter, Tony Robbins, and many many more.

Given most infomercials are horrendous creatively and usually air in the worst possible media available - how do so many of these products/people gain such a massive amount of awareness? I think people secretly love watching the train wreck that most of these are - laughing at the horrible production values, trying to imagine themselves using the silly product. Still, I think there is a learning to be had how our newest celeb "Vince" is taking infomercials to a new level with a self-deprecating and almost satirical approach to entertaining people with these ridiculous products.

But these must work or we wouldn't see them on TV. Someone, somewhere is acting now and sending a money order to Pueblo, Colorado.

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