John Basedow. Billy Mays. That… uh, that guy with the accent who sells floorsweepers and electric flossers. Even (CASH NOW!!!) J. G. WENTWORTH!!!
Infomercials. I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I’m becoming absolutely fascinated with these people, and as it’s mundane and pointless, I have to share it with you all.
From the freakish mismatch of (“fitness personality”) John Basedow’s head to his body to Billy Mays’s shouted rhymes ("…big or small, Placebo does it all!"), there’s just something about them that draws me in. And it’s not just the strange charisma of the presenters, though they’re certainly the big draw–it’s the overall marketing strategy. The people doing things “the old-fashioned” way who manage to klutz up the simplest tasks; the matching of the cheezy music to the action, the digitally edited sparkles, the marketing gimmicks ("…but for a limited time, you can get not one, but three of our Widgets, plus this amazing Other Product, for the low, low price of only 29.95! That’s a $723.49 value!").
I haven’t started intentionally watching the full 30-min infomercials… yet. But that day may be coming.
(There’s one significant counter-example to this general fascination: That jerk who does the ‘Video Professor’ commercials. How many times can you use the word “product” in a single sentence? Besides which, he doesn’t have people flubbing up their computers before they discover his CDs. Sparks and smoke would be a nice touch…)