June 2, 2009
By Anonymous

Infomercials are aired frequently on multiple channels during commercial breaks. They are seen even more frequently during late night hours, and sometimes these infomercials are aired for more than five minutes at a time. The main focus of these is to sell usually cheap products to the masses. The ways in which infomercials showcase these products are actually quite entertaining and somewhat ridiculous.

Most infomercials sell products which people really do not need. For example, some recent products that have been for sale on TV are the Sham-Wow absorbent towel, the Gopher grabber, and the Super-Sonic hearing device. I do not really see how someone would need a special towel to dry anything up. I believe that it is much easier to simply use more paper towels to dry something. Also, they are conveniently available for purchase at most grocery stores, not 1-800 numbers. The Gopher Grabber will eventually reduce your ability to bend down and get something you dropped. Last but not least, the Super-Sonic hearing device is just plain nuts. I do not understand how someone can expect to hear something specific from a distance over all other close-by sounds that would be amplified. It seems all of these products appeal to the stupid.

The presentation of these products can be priceless. Sometimes nothing beats seeing Billy Mays yell and rant about a new product that he thinks is great. His manner of speaking on top of the typical boasting found in infomercials is a pretty hilarious combination. The usual claims made by these commercials include: "but now only $19.95!", "but wait we'll double your order if you call in the next 5 minutes" and "It’ll make life easier for you!” Mays’ assuring tone that permeates his high-volume exclamations screams the necessity to sell this stuff, and to sell it fast. Everyone behind the scenes at these companies display dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of decreasing production costs in order to make more from less. Billy Mays just happens to be the appropriate spokesman that can be multiple things at once: intimidating, sympathetic towards viewers, and loud. His unique traits will forever preserve him in parodied versions of his infomercial work.
Our view of the product is conveniently located on the television most of us view. Infomercials appeal to a relaxed crowd, and usually those who carry out sedentary lifestyles purchase the products that spawn laziness. Taking statements made by the actors on these infomercials seriously would lead your life down a dumbfounded path. A quest to the pinnacle of laziness would become your goal, ultimately. The marketing strategies of the infomercial giants essentially appeal to those who are easily convinced. These people also believe that $19.99 sounds way better than $20. Without people such as these, the infomercial industry would most likely cease to exist.

Pop culture has many facets that make up its ever-changing and expanding nature and its arrival via media outlets continues to make an impact on our lives. Perhaps more on the humorous side of things exists infomercials; a mostly unconvincing portrayal of products “no one should live without.” These infomercials entertain a certain type of people, those who derive genuine thrills from buying cheap products. I believe as long as they exist, a form of niche entertainment will exist for me.

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