Are you tempted by infomercials?


If you ever watch TV after midnight or have cable, you certainly have crossed paths with an infomercial. They seem to pop up in ever greater frequency. I’m wondering if this is so because (a) the costs of running them are less given that it seems that good television is hard to produce, promote, etc., or (b) people are buying more and more after viewing the infomercial.

Over the last week I’ve had a persistent cough so I’ve watched a bit more late night TV. I have to be honest, I watch these infomercials like someone rubbernecking at an accident. I just gotta see how it turns out. I’ve seen the bearded yelling guy promote a product that could cut my car in half (why does he yell?). I’ve seen the product that will give me rock hard abs just by strapping on a belt that will electrically stimulate my muscles (do they think I can’t see how they make the “before” pics look really bad?). I have to do nothing! I’ve seen infomercials for making money (um, the only one making money is the person collecting my four easy payments of $19.95), knives to use to cut cement and tomatoes, for promoting my lasting power in bed (Why is it that these sexually liberated announcers can never say intercourse, erection, penis; Why can they only use euphemisms?), and all sorts of exercise equipment. And of course, who hasn’t seen the sham wow spots?

So, are you ever tempted to purchase any of these items? I confess that the sham wows look like fun. I could cut my post shower drying time in half just like those Olympic divers do. I do own a total gym 1100. But in my defense, it was my wife’s idea. We’ve owned it for many years and I use it 2-3 times a year. It does work when it is used properly.

But really, who buys these things? If they are so great, won’t Target and Walmart sell them soon? Can you explain what it is that makes one want to buy it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to identify yourself. Just say, “A friend of mine bought ___ because…”

7 Comments

Filed under Commercials

7 responses to “Are you tempted by infomercials?

  1. Lou Buses

    You must ask the Holy Spirit (Lord forgive me) to help you determine when these people are lying, like we do in counseling. Or… you could go to ConsumerReports.org and see their video on testing Sham Wow (seems they were sceptical too).

    We all have trouble differentiating between our needs and our wants. It is the salesman’s job to convince us that we have a problem, he has the solution to it and we need that solution. Satan used the same method. He created the problem. [God’s trying to hold something good back from you.] He offered a solution. [Eat the apple and you will have it all.] He convinced Eve that it was in her best interest to buy. [It is beautiful, it will taste great… “crunch”.]

  2. I have a sham wow. My mother-in-law bought it for me. I will say, I love it. With three little kids, they’re great for cleaning up spills!

  3. Penny

    I confess that I am mesmerized by these infomercials….could watch them for hours. Once bought the Jack La Lane Juicer: and came to my senses hours later and canceled the order. Heck I don’t even like to eat raw vegetables (beets, carrots, or celery).what made me think I would drink liquid versions?

    We bought the “shark” vacuum (doesn’t work). I bought mineral veil makeup (looks great on the commercial, clinque works better). The guy who screams causes me to change channels, and I still want to try ShamWow. I did look up critiques of it though and read someone called them Scam Wow’s.

    I guess it is low level need for mindless entertainment or shameless gullibility that refuses to die.

  4. Amy

    Infomercials just crack me up. They’re so darn cheesy, especially those half-hour programs with the oh-so convincing testimonials. Ha. Love it.

    I especially appreciate Vince, who slightly scares me, but I love when he throws the crappy food chopper in the sink while promoting the far superior chopper (and Sham-WOWs, of course).

    For me, it’s all about the deal. I think, OMIGOSH, I need that and it’s such a great DEAL! But I’ve never actually ordered anything from infomercials.

  5. “But in my defense, it was my wife’s idea.”

    😉 And did God let Adam off the hook, because, in his defense, it was Eve’s idea?

    Kidding aside, it is interesting to think about how something most everyone knows is merely shameless marketing still has such a pull. I wonder what’s going on neurotransmitally/chemically when we watch those infomercials.

  6. judi

    i have no clue what a sham wow is… how have i lived this long??? do i have to stay up till 2 AM to see what it is????

    frankly i think infomercials are really fun to watch but they are kind of dumb… and no i have never bought anything from them. unless it’s from an LLBean catalog, i like to buy things that i can see and hold in my hand, sort of face to face…

  7. A friend of mine bought Sham Wow because Vince Offer is so entertaining and makes it sound awesome. The Sham Wow infomercial is great and my friend says it really does work too!

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