As Seen On TV

Friday, February 17, 2006

I like to think I'm enlightened enough to not be a sucker for advertising. I know the game, I'm hip to the concept, and marketing doesn't fool me. Except when it does.

Sometimes, I'll see a good commercial, and it WILL plant that seed of appreciation in me, and that might grow into an actual cash expenditure toward that product eventually. I recall back when I was a Housing Desk Clerk at USC, working overnights and hearing radio commercials for S&W Baked Beans (with Mr. S & Mr. W). They were a great series of spots, and I heard entertaining conversations between Mr. S & Mr. W every night. Even if they only last 60 seconds, (and this is stupid) I actually looked forward to hearing those commercials each night. (Yes, my job was THAT boring.) They talked about Baked Beans or Pears or Peaches and all the yummy quality canned food they produced but the dialogue and the conflict of the two characters made it work. So here it is, some 15-16 years later...guess what brand I am willing to pay .30-.50 cents extra per can for? Yup. (Digression: lemme tell you, having to listen to a million radio commercials as part of my job, I'm DYING for Mr. S & Mr. W to unretire. Those guys cracked me up. But back in the day, I was tempted to put out a contract kill on Skip and Steve from Robbins Brothers Engagement Rings. Ugh.)

Other times, it's really simple: See food, Want it. Jack-In-The-Box commercials are a great example. Not only do I enjoy the Jack campaign (bringing the character back in this often hilarious incarnation was GENIUS!), but rather often I'll see one of those spots and think, "Maybe I'll get one of those on the way to work." (Except for the tacos...not a fan, even at 2 for .99 cents)

I saw a Domino's Pizza commercial that promoted their special deal--on Tuesday you get 2 for the price of one. Two For Tuesday! Great, sold, I'm doing that for my Bible Study next week!

But really, it's the infomercials that are killing me. I know they're selling something, and not only am I usually unable afford it--well okay they make a LOT of this stuff very affordable, but if you buy enough of it, it piles up--I'm pretty sure I don't want any of it. But that's the problem...I DO want it! I want everything! (Okay not everything.)

Can you blame me? I'm overexposed!! I sit in this radio studio on the weekends with 3 TV monitors facing me. One is on CNN 24/7, and the other two are usually on GAC and CMT. But this early in the morning they go to the infomercials. And I get to watch them make all sorts of yummy things in 10 seconds with that Magic Bullet blender thing. I'm not a huge fan of salsa or guacamole, but I KNOW with one of those I could make the BEST stuff! I don't often have people over to my apartment but I can imagine making all sorts of snack dishes, quesadillas, chicken salad, or I could get healthier with homemade smoothies! Oooooooooh. I should buy one, huh? Huh? (Okay, self control check. And yes, I've almost bought it for myself multiple times.)

I actually DID buy one of those Oreck Air Purifiers. I felt this purchase was fairly justified. I live near LAX, one of the largest airports in [valley girl] like, the world [/valley girl]. I've lived near LAX most of my life, but it wasn't until I moved into the apartment where I am now (which is LITERALLY 3 blocks from the flight path for landings) until I realized how DIRTY the area is. I mean, if I leave a window open to cool down the apartment or refresh the air (yeah right), it doesn't take long for a film of dust to layer my counter. Ugh. I'd planned on buying one of those Sharper Image filtration things, but of course, saw the Oreck one IN ACTION on the commercial. Sold! And, as far as I know, it's working. How can I tell? Not sure. But the air seems cleaner. Could be sorta psychosomatic, my subconscious justifying the purchase; but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. The air is cleaner. So there.

Man, I want one of those Magic Bullets!! I swear to myself I would cook more if I had one.

Oooh and I just saw this bake set of made of this non-stick flexible plastic called Temperaflex or something! Man, I tell ya, if the bottom of my oven wasn't covered in spilled wax, I'd buy that crap and be baking up a STORM. (The wax thing: whole other blog, some other day, in the category of Rich = Idiot.)

Oh and don't get me started on those WalkFit shoe arch inserts.

Me = Sucker.

[ 2008 Update: I bought a Magic Bullet. On Sale. For about half the price as on the informercial. Of course, I didn't get the extra free double-order of cups and blades. But then, no one tried to upsell me steak knives or other shoddy products. As for the Bullet: it’s not magic, but it doesn’t suck. ]