Infomercials – An Oddly Successful Late-Night Tool

by on February 12, 2011

in Entertainment

TV infomercials 01Check this out:  In the early days of TV, shows were pulled together by the sponsors themselves to pitch their wares.   If you think about all these TV infomercials that you see between 2 to 5am in the mornings,  I only have one thing to say:  If TV infomercials did not work, they would not air.  These commercials work to the estimated sum of over $150 billion in sales each year.  (Which is scary, in and of itself.)  How?  I presume that of the 300+ million of Americans, the product pusher only needs a small piece of 1% of the population to bite to make these endeavors some sort of financially viable.

Some of my favorites, as in a WTF, are the ads who promise you many, many dollars if you use their proven system of success.  Or this year, we have the newest way to do a push-up!  They always make me ask:

  1. Proven?  As in proven how many people will buy the product in hopes of shedding the chains of financial restriction.
  2. If the system worked so well, why aren’t they using it themselves to become financially successful?
  3. Isn’t a push-up, just a push-up?

There is no quick fix to your financial woes. it just takes good, nose to the grindstone methodologies.

Of course it comes as no surprise that there’s an entire marketing science behind the process of infomercials.  What works best for short-form ads and what goes better with long-form (30-minute) ads.  As far as I am concerned, Tony Robbins was the king of the infomercial in his exciting tone delivering the information and telling the viewer what he needs.  This energetic process helped him become the best-selling self-help products out there.  Then after it was seen how it helped him, it set the tone of what works for infomercials and we were then treated to the inevitable onslaught of copycat techniques from sellers.  You see that everywhere, even here on the internet when ideas are seen and re-propagated as their own.

Aside from Tony Robbins, there are some famous and infamous infomercial products out there.  Bowflex & any number of ab crunching tools with hot, tight-bodied girls demonstrating. Then there’s the infamous Extenze ads.  One of the Extenze ads was hilarious.  During one of their ads, they have race cars parked in a display-like fashion and people are walking back and forth looking at the cars.  Reminiscent of a static display at an air-show.  But then if you look carefully, you’ll see that for 30 minutes or an hour or however long these things are, it’s the same 20 extras just walking back and forth.  Instruction:  Walk across the scene, stop, wait 30 seconds, turn around… repeat.

OK, this may sound like I watched the Extenze ad with the busty emcee describing the benefits of Extenze.  (It was for research!)

The Advantage of an Infomercial?

TV infomercials The other aspect of infomercials is the benefit of a little logo that a merchandiser can use that says “As Seen on TV.”  You wouldn’t believe how the simplest of marketing tricks work for a product in the store.  Many shoppers put faith in those stickers.  They put faith in the words delivered to them and trust what they hear.

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What motivated this piece?  I watched an infomercial for a vacuum and I was just curious about some of their statements and their presentation..  It doesn’t matter which brand.

In the ad they have their testimonial people call it a 5-star vacuum.  Which makes me wonder how many stars are in their review system.

They call it an anti-allergen system, and even have an animated example to make the HEPA process seem not all that it might be cracked up to be.

They say their anti-allergen system meets some British standard.  So they didn’t quite make the grade under the HEPA system?  And oh, I don’t live in Britain.  I have American dust.  (Different regionally based dust & pollens)

it seems that though the production does have quality, there are still huge verbal flubs that are left in the final product.

Me, my only suggestion is that in the time it took to demonstrate this product in an ad I’d suggest that if an ad about a vacuum inspired the need for one, I’d go hit up Consumer Reports website of some such outlet and review what brand or model many voices come together in agreement on as a good product.

Thanks for coming by Cinema Static.

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