As Seen On TV!

30 11 2012

As Seen On TV

Did you join the throngs of shoppers who hit the malls on Black Friday? To some people an ad that touts a saving of 50% on a digital camera or sweater is irresistible, even though they already have four digital cameras and forty-three sweaters at home. They can’t resist the lure of the deal so they scour the ads looking for good buys and are willing to camp outside the store in the freezing cold to get them.

Television hucksters are no different. They know that phrases such as “But wait! Call now and we’ll double the offer!” or “Have your credit card ready. Operators are standing by!” are like blood in the water. Some of these as seen on TV products have become iconic. Remember the Clapper? The Chia Pet? Ginsu Knives? These are all classics in send us your money, sucker advertising. But what about some of the not-so-classic entrepreneurial wonders. You’ve watched the ads with skepticism and wondered if those things really do work or are they just gimmicks to steal your money. Here are some you may have missed unless you’re an early riser like me.

The Akira double edge razor-I think I saw this ad twice and suddenly it disappeared. This was an ad for double edge razors by Akira. To watch the commercial it sounds like they are saying double edge blades are the newest and greatest thing since Grog Gillette honed his first clam shell on a rock. This razor is, according to the commercial, the result of “new Japanese technology.” In fact it is a “revolutionary new way to get a close shave.” Hold the phone, Alexander Graham, I began shaving about 45 years ago and used a double edge blade. Nothing new about that. So perhaps the Japanese shaving engineers have found some new way to make razor blades that surpass everything that Schick and Gillette have been able to come up with after a century of shaving engineering. Well, it’s from Japan so it must be good, right? They probably run the same ad in Japan but call it the Bubba Blade and describe new American engineering technology which makes this a shaving miracle. Someone try these things and let me know. Until then, I’ll keep using my Quattro.

Frost in a can

Poop Freeze- Yes, you read it correctly-Poop Freeze. Responsible pet owners pick up after their pets but yuck, who wants to pick up poop? This is like frost in a can. Give it a shot of Poop Freeze and the putrid pile freezes to minus 62 degrees. Now you can just pick up the poo-puck and throw it out-frost and toss as they say. I guess when you’re not out in the yard freezing poop, you can use it at parties to make ice. Oh, I wouldn’t keep it anywhere near my deodorant if I were you.

Head-On– “Head-On, apply directly to the forehead. Head-On, apply directly to the forehead. Head-On, apply directly to the forehead.” That’s what the annoying commercial says. Redundant? Yes. Informative? Hardly. The entire time this ad ran, I never did figure out what the stuff was for. Is it a hair remover? Is it an insect repellant? A glue stick? Headache cure? If you guessed   the latter then you guessed right. Supposedly, it will cure headaches. I’m inclined to say it’s no more than lousy advertising but to the contrary, it’s brilliant. They sold over six million of these things the first few months after the ad began to run. So, does it work? That depends on whom you ask. There is no scientific data to indicate that rubbing this gunk on your forehead will relieve that pesky headache. Some users swear by it some swear at it. Any headache relief is probably either psychological or coincidental. But the fact over six million people paid eight bucks a pop for this stuff is a testament, not to American ingenuity, but instead, American gullibility. Hey, if we’ll buy a spray to freeze dog poop then why wouldn’t we buy some mystery headache cure?

Slim Away- The hype says you will “Get Slim & Trim Instantly!” This device is no more than a girdle. Wrap it around your waist and it pushes everything in and up. It squeezes that big belly to make you look slim…instantly. I wonder if it comes with an air-pack so you can get a breath of air.

Sport Elec- The SPORT-ELEC Electronic Ab Belt: The ad states: stimulates the muscles in your abs to tone and shape them without you having to do any exercise. The FDA has cleared this item, and tests show you’ll effectively tone, tighten and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Increase endurance and improve abdominal muscle tone with the SPORT-ELEC Electronic Ab Belt.

Okay, I have some questions about this one. First, just what did the FDA clear this product for-to shock the user? Is it painful? I’ve been shocked before and it doesn’t feel good. Since this is an ab belt, does that mean that it will only work for my abs? So this wonder product sends electrical shocks to my belly and in no time I have the perfect six-pack. How’s that going to look-a Ryan Reynolds belly on a Dom Deloise body? I’m holding out for the SPORT-ELEC Electronic Full Body Suit.

Billy Mays

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