Tag Archives: advertisements

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…”


Filed under Commercials

Open letter to NBC and P & G

February 23, 2009

Dear Executives at NBC and P&G (owners of the Gillette Venus Embrace),

I write this letter to express my disappointment regarding your Venus Embrace razor “check please” advertisements during the broadcast of the 2009 Tyson American Cup–a gymnastics meet of the top elite men’s and women’s gymnasts from around the world.

On Saturday afternoon, NBC broadcast live portions of the meet. I watched this meet with great interest with my ten year old son–also an USAG competitive gymnast. We were excited to watch the men’s high-flying tricks and the skills of 13 year old Jordyn Wieber, all around winner. But sadly, we were forced to change the channel solely because of the sexual content of your commercials. These depicted numerous scenes of men caressing women’s legs–even to the point of sliding their hands up under skirts. The final scene of the ad depicts a couple falling in embrace onto a bed in a sexual position.

Your message clearly expresses that men (and therefore boys) can’t resist a woman’s smooth legs. While my son found the ad disgusting, you still “educated” him as to how a man should focus on a woman’s legs.

There is no reasonwhy you cannot successfully promote your product without sexualizing a day-time television audience that includes children. Other advertisers recognized that the audience included teenagers and targeted them with ads (appropriately) for snacks.

I ask you to pull this offensive ad and to cease sexualizing children for your bottom line. If your product is as good as you say, you can sell it without offending your audience.


Phil Monroe


Filed under Commercials, Sports