How often are you lounging in front of the TV—one eye on a “Family Ties” rerun and the other on the inside of an eyelid—when the rerun ends and young Michael J. Fox is replaced by a slick pitchman. You grab for the remote, but before you click away you notice the product.
At first, you think: “How ridiculous! who would ever buy something like that?”
But a couple of minutes pass and, slowly, something happens.
Maybe it’s exhaustion—maybe you’re delusional—but before you know it you’re dialing the number, credit card in hand, and you’re out four easy payments of $29.95 (plus shipping and handling, of course).
I’m proud to say I’ve only bought one of the following. How about you?
1. Magic Bullet.
If Mick and Mimi are throwing a fiesta, you had better believe we’re going to be there—along with homemade guacamole, salsa, chicken quesadillas, tuna salad, fruit smoothies, and anything else you might dream of. How, you ask? Magic
—it’s in the name.
2. Shake Weight.
Everyone knows why it’s funny—dynamic inertia. Why, what were you thinking?
Many a bar-crawls owe a great deal to this—dare we say—revolutionary
product that’s otherwise known as a backward robe.
4. Miss Cleo.
She did not foresee going out of business, so chances are her powers were as real as those of “So, Raven,” but damn
would I love to call her now for a “free readin’
” (you’ll have to imagine the Caribbean accent for that one).
5. Total Gym.
Three words: Chuck F***ing Norris
6. Xpress Redi-Set-Go.
Cathy Mitchell, you fine specimen of kitchen lore. I like to imagine that Mitchell and Paula Dean are friends, and they just have a real hoot. Add a candy bar in there. Add butter here. Yes, one artery-clogging hoot.
You had me at Kelly Clarkson. Plus, who doesn’t love a good before-and-after? And they don’t even talk about how the product obviously doubles as a self-tanner.
8. Tony Little’s Gazelle.
That ponytail is hypnotizing. Is it real or just attached to the hat? You decide.
9. Moon Shoes.
Show us a person who didn’t want these after seeing them on TV, and I’ll show you a liar. It might not be an infomercial exactly, but its appearance on Nickelodeon in the ‘90s had kids everywhere coveting a pair.
10. Pajama Jeans.
My one stipulation for this product is that it never be worn in place of real pants, or as gym sweats—actually, these should never be worn at all. Other than that, they’re just peachy.
11. Hawaii Chair. Aloha
. I can’t imagine work being any more fun. Life could always use more ukuleles.
12. Booty Pop.
We blame you, Beyonce. Butt then, again…
David Blaine had better watch his back.
‘Fess up—which of these pitches hooked you?
This story first appeared on PR Daily in March 2011.