Monday, August 8, 2011

In Which I Formulate

I spent a good portion of my day on Sunday sitting in front of the TV and zoning out. I can't really recall exactly what I watched (other than Breaking Bad at night) other than the things that annoyed me. Specifically re-runs of The O.C. that The Boss was watching, and the seventeen different infomercials that aired over the course of the day.

After being yelled at ten or eleven times by the pushy voice-over announcer guy to Call Now and purchase under-the-bed shoe organizers or spice racks or weight loss supplements or do-it-yourself pedicure kits or some other random crap, I began to realize that most of these infomercials followed the same basic formula. I paid attention to the next few that aired to confirm my thoughts. Here are my findings:
  1. Come up with a "new" and/or "revolutionary" product that will make some simple, mundane task "easier", "hassle-free", involve "less clean up" or "less preparation", and reduce the time to perform the task by at least 50%. 
  2. Show multiple video clips of incredibly happy and overly excitable people using the product to show how amazing it is. Must have requisite shots of big, fake smiles, feigned surprise, and dramatic overacting at how amazing said product is.
  3. Hook the viewer by telling them that this product is available for a limited time only, but if they were to call Right That Moment, they could get their hands on their very own [Product Name] for a very small cost (plus shipping and handling). For more expensive items, break it down into three easy payments.
  4. Then, just when the viewer has their phone at the ready to call in and place their order, tell them that if they call in the next ten minutes, they can get a second [Product Name] absolutely free (just pay additional shipping and handling). For more expensive items, offer to reduce the number of monthly payments by one payment.
  5. Cut to the final screen where it recaps the amazing offer and its limited-time-only price, and the phone number to call to place an order. Repeat the phone number approximately nine times as quickly as possible.  
I've never bought something from an infomercial before, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a new product being hawked on my TV when I actually thought it was an interesting item. If I truly thought it was worth buying, though, I'd just go to my local Walgreens and look in their "As Seen On TV" section. They've got everything from PedEgg's to Shake Weights

And just because I thought it'd be fun, I created my own mock-up for an infomercial product. Click on the image below for the hi-res version.

Happy Monday, folks.


ComfyMom~Stacey said...

You left out a step. In addition to over excited people using the product you have to show clips of people doing whatever it is the 'hard old fashioned way'. You know, people unable to fluff their own pillows, drain pasta or boil an egg or whatever it is the wonder product makes better or easier.

Can I have my second wonder spud sent to a different address? It sounds so great I want to gift it to a friend said...

I really like the Magic Bullet ones where the weird "old" lady is walking around with her hair in curlers, in a housedress and slippers with the lit cigarette hanging from her lips.

I can only think they are trying to get people who are "like her" to buy them...

Clair said...

My favorite one right now is for eggies. The idea is that you won't have to peel hard boiled eggs anymore. They show this woman with touseled hair and she looks exhausted cause apparently she's been up all night peeling eggs!

I read your post via FB. I wish I could post a link of the sponsored ad. It was apparently for a company that stops Bedwetting.

Jasmine said...

You forgot that they make sure to tell you their product is NOT available in stores.

I have to admit, I want to buy just about anything I see on an infomercial, but I know better (and I don't have the money).

Moonspun said...

I wonder how much they pay those crappy actors...

Chuck said...

Nice ad...almost most had me reaching for the phone. I have bought a few things off of the tube (so has my wife). We now have a more TV shit in the house!

Badass Geek said...

ComfyMom~Stacey: Sure!

MakingMonkeySoup: Probably right.

Clair: Interesting.

Jasmine: Ah. Missed it by that much.

Moonspun: I know, right?

Chuck: That's a good idea.

kristina said...

When I called the number to ask for my WonderSpud, they said I had the wrong number.

How DARE you make me want something and then not allow me to have it...


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