Home > Commercials, Media, Television > Infomercial Madness: 5 Infomercials Selling Insane Products

Infomercial Madness: 5 Infomercials Selling Insane Products

I’m probably in the minority for this, but I absolutely love watching infomercials.  There is something charming about their over-the-top selling techniques, trying to convince you that the latest as seen on TV product is not only worth buying, but worth overpaying for.

In all of my time seeing infomercials I’ve noticed that they generally seem like the kind of thing some guy felt he had a need for and created—indeed this is likely where many of them spawn.  I can understand that there is a niche group for whom the Heel Dock might seem like a useful invention, so kudos to the guy who figured out he could charge people money for what is basically a smaller version of a bath mat.

But then there is that subgroup of items that, honestly, seem to have no use whatsoever to any human.  Some of these items are just ridiculous takes on already existing items, others are just outright insane items that nobody should ever feel necessary.

Today I’m presenting you with a collection of five infomercials that are selling what I think are some generally insane (and totally useless products).  Enjoy!

 

#5 – The Tiddy Bear

 

 

Whether or not you’re not familiar with the product and have never seen the infomercials I am still guessing you can figure out where I’m going with this just based off the name of the product.  But if you haven’t seen the infomercial before I urge you to do so, simply because it’s one of the better infomercials out there.

I’ll wait.  You done yet?

Tiddy Bear

What every woman wants on her breasts.

Yes, that’s “tiddy” pronounced similarly to “titty”.  Yes, it’s a small teddy bear that hugs the breasts of the woman using it.  In many ways I could probably leave this section here.  But I’m not some hipster news outlet that wants to make you do all the work.  So here goes:

The best part about the Tiddy Bear is the fact that it could have been shaped like absolutely anything.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

While they do show a man or two in the infomercial, I can only assume that seat belts digging into breasts or shoulders is a problem reserved for women with sizeable breasts or extremely obese men.  I base this assumption on two things: first, that I do not have breasts and have also never felt the pain from the seat belt described in the infomercial; second, that all of the women in the infomercial are fairly well endowed and are wearing low-cut shirts to make sure that we’re aware of that fact.

So it’s a problem almost exclusively for women and a the resulting product is likely advertised solely to them.  Which brings me back to the design of the product and that it could have been anything.  The whole point is that you just need padding that keeps the edge of the seat belt from causing discomfort, the shape of that padding is irrelevant to its functionality.

Tiddy Bear Couple

…And apparently every man.

I can just imagine some guy whose wife always complained about this issue and so he created the prototype—a pad that kept seat belts from digging into you.  I have to imagine that he proposed the idea to a manufacturer and that every person in the room was a man.  What other explanation is there for this product being advertised in a commercial that says “titty” so many times?

I mean, I know many women who aren’t offended outright by the use of the word “tits”, but it’s not something they usually say unless they are being purposely crass.  Advertising a product to women using a term that is on the more lewd side of the spectrum is insane in and of itself.

But beyond that, I have to imagine a man made this because only a man would think it’s a good idea to make women feel like they’re being constantly fondled by a little teddy bear.  I just cannot imagine a woman thinking to herself how great it would be to solve one problem by creating another.

After all, the Tiddy Bear in the commercial looks like it’s on the edge of a cliff holding on for dear life.

 

#4 – Ronco Smokeless Ashtray

 

 

Hailing from the early 1980s is this infomercial for the Ronco Smokeless Ashtray.  This is a product of an entirely different era, a magical time when Joe Camel still shilled his death sticks to kids, a time when Marlboro Country was a favored vacation retreat and not just the faded pipe dream of a bygone age.

Asshole Science

Pictured here: the science of being an asshole.

For something so short this commercial is just plain full of comedic gold.  Perhaps my favorite line is at the end when the spokesman tells us we should show we really care by giving a smokeless ashtray to our loved ones.  I’m not sure which part is more ridiculous: assuming my loved ones want a Ronco product in the first place, or that giving my family a way to smoke around me without having to open the car window is somehow a sign of love.

The entire premise of this commercial—and product—is based solely upon that idea: showing you really care.  We are introduced to a father who loves to smoke cigarettes and cigars and knows the bad smell and cancerous smoke irritates his family.  Thank god he decided to show he cares by getting a smokless ashtray, ensuring he can continue to destroy his lungs uninterrupted.

It’s at this point that I’m going to ditch the sarcasm and divulge that I’m a smoker.  I, too, am not inconsiderate and don’t like irritating my family and friends with the smell of cancer from my cigarettes.

I frequently smoke while driving and am just utterly baffled by why the need for this product would ever arise.  Let’s get serious for a moment: the only time I can imagine the need for the smokeless ashtray coming up is in a situation where the smoker is in a place that has no means of ventilation.

showyoucare

Anybody who gives me something from Ronco for Christmas is never getting invited to celebrate with me again.

But in the infomercial we see that this loving father is in a car. You may not know this, but the cool thing about cars is that they have these windows.  These windows—like most windows—can actually be opened in order to let fresh air into the car.

When I smoke in my car I roll down the windows and people who might happen to be riding with me don’t have to deal with nearly as much smoke as before.  The only situation this ashtray actually helps resolve is one in which that smoker is insisting on hotboxing his cigarette with his friends and/or family inside the car.

So, given that this father is so considerate of his family’s health and safety, I just cannot imagine that he’d actually ever use this product.  Unless, of course, he’s just putting on a show and in fact there is a darker side to that family.  I can only imagine that those children are thankful they live in an era where automatic windows and the ability to lock said windows doesn’t exist.  Otherwise, dad might decide to be a complete asshole and force them to inhale second-hand smoke for the duration of the car ride.

 

#3 – Germ Bloc

 

 

Anything that opens with a blaring siren and what sounds to be a B-Movie robot voice from the 60’s is just plain awesome.  When the infomercial does so while shouting “GERM ALERT! GERM ALERT!” repeatedly I have no choice but to declare my instant respect and admiration.

The “Anywhere you fear” caption describes their target audience perfectly.

Prior to seeing this advertisement I was often wondering what I was supposed to do when using a public restroom and needing to use the flush levers and door handles, or what to do when I was riding public transportation and could clearly see the layer of bodily fluids on the hand-holds.  Thankfully, the Germ Bloc is there for me.

At first glance the Germ Bloc doesn’t seem like too awful an idea.  Granted anybody who sees you using it is going to assume that you have an aversion to germs worse than Howie Mandel and Adrian Monk combined, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid dealing with the horrifying bacteria that exist—with the sole intent of killing us—in the world around us.

But then I realized something: you could—nay, should—always just wash your hands after you use the restroom or touch something nasty.  I mean when you use the restroom and don’t wash your hands you risk getting horrible bacteria all over everything you touch afterwards, so it won’t do you any good to take an enormous shit and then put your nasty, shit-covered hands on your germ bloc.  All you’ve done there is make things worse.

Above the ridiculous lack of real necessity here, though, is a deeper implication with the Germ Bloc.  Watch the infomercial again and see if you can figure out what I’m on to.

Did you notice anything awry in this video?  (Besides the germ alert, that is.)  If your answer is the part where the mom attached a Germ Bloc to the child’s backpack then congratulations, you’ve realized the terrifying implications of this product.

If your answer was anything other than that (or that nothing was wrong with it) then you should probably go ahead and dial the number at the end.  You might be the kind of person who needs one.

You see, you get a couple of Germ Blocs and some refill pads for $10.  That’s not a bad value at all, especially when you consider that you can attach it to your child’s backpack and instill a totally unhealthy fear of germs and public places.  Beyond that, you’ll also ensure that they’re mercilessly made fun of by other kids for using his Germ Bloc to touch every surface.

That double protection isn’t going to help at all when your child is getting his ass kicked–by both bullies and life.

Think about it for a second.  If your mom was so concerned with bacteria that she made you use a Germ Bloc in public places, probably telling you how if you don’t it’ll make you sick, you’d probably have turned out a little differently.  I mean in this case we’re talking the difference between a child playing around in dirt and dealing with that and creating a tiny little germophobe who refuses to pee at school because it might be dirty.

That kind of life-long emotional damage for so little money and effort is almost unheard of.  Normally it takes years and probably more than $10 to screw up your kids that badly, and now you can do it by clipping a Germ Bloc onto them and making sure they use it at all times.

 

#2 – Mobe Flask

https://www.buymobe.com/

First, sorry I don’t have a YouTube on this one.  You’ll have to go to their website and watch it there.  But while you’re there feel free to explore and enjoy the insanity.

Everything that is wrong with both flasks and hipsters.

I can say unequivocally and without the slightest bit of shame that anytime I see someone drinking from a flask I cannot help but wonder how sad that person’s life must be that he felt it necessary to sneak alcohol somewhere that it’s not allowed.  In other words, I think: “wow, what a damn alcoholic.”

The flask is the perfect solution for the person who thinks “drinking alcohol” is a perfectly legitimate answer to the question of how to make something more fun.   After all, flasks are an item of desperation; they are a means of admitting that you aren’t supposed to have alcohol where you are but that you’ll be damned if that’s going to stop you from getting sloshed.

There is a small segment of people who own flasks and use them regularly but are totally aware of how harshly society judges them for feeling the need to bring alcohol with them at all times.  No doubt these people often wish for a way to still bring alcohol with them, but without inviting the social stigma that flasks entail.

Search no further all you self-aware alcoholics, for the Mobe flask had you firmly in mind when developing their product.

The Mobe flask is a flask that is designed as a small pouch within a neoprene case.  The main way that Mobe advertises their product is that it is “so discreet nobody knows it’s a flask.”  When your main selling point is a bunch of fancy words for “nobody will notice you’re getting sloshed until it’s too late” then you know you’ve invented something truly terrifying.

Absurdly Discreet – Nobody will know about your life-crushing alcoholism.

I almost wish that I had never stumbled upon the Mobe flask, only because I feel I’m obligated to tell the American Psychiatric Association that they need to update the DSM’s diagnostic criteria for alcoholism to include “owns a Mobe”.  If you think I’m kidding then you haven’t watched the infomercial for this.

The infomercial opens by asking us, the prospective (or current) alcoholics if we’re ready to have more fun, so you have to know it’s only getting better from there.  After a few seconds we find out that the Mobe is the most discreet and convenient way to mobilize your beverage of choice.”  The word discreet is used so often I can rest assured that if I bought a Mobe nobody would know how I got drunk, just that I am.

If any of you were thinking of arguing that, perhaps, it wasn’t meant exclusively for alcohol then I again would like to tell you to actually watch the infomercial.  The only testimonials they include are from people at around the college-age, probably the number one demographic for flasks besides George Thorogood.

Everything is wrong with this.

Above all else I have to say my favorite part is their suggestion that they could, in fact, use the Mobe when you hit the slopes.  They show a picture—both on the website and in the video—of a family (with children) on top of a mountain.

What they apparently forgot to mention was that after dad downed his third Mobe full of whiskey he was too drunk to ski and slammed into a tree.  Because nothing says “good idea” like combining a flask, mountains, snow and high speeds.

The only solace I have is that I’m pretty sure nobody has actually bought the Mobe or we’d have heard of them going out of business after a rash of alcohol-related ski accidents.

 

#1 – The Magic Bullet

 

 

His parents decided they’d make him into an experiment to test the idea of “self-fulfilling prophecy”.

I’m going to start with the blatantly obvious observation here: do these people really have a friend named Bourbon whose entire role in this infomercial is to be the hung over guy?  I mean, I’m trying to figure out of that’s his nickname or his parents just decided to prove that alcoholism is a product of environmental factors? Regardless of how he got that name, I can’t help but to wonder if Bourbon is just an actor who got lost on the way from (or, maybe to) the shoot for the Mobe flask.

Since I’ve digressed here I might as well do it some more.  Am I the only person that titters like a pubescent boy who hears his teacher say “penis” when someone says the name of this product?  I’m going to assume that I am, but nonetheless every time I hear “magic bullet” my mind immediately goes to the similarly named Magic Bullet Vibrator (I would not suggest clicking that if you’re at work).

If I’m not the only person who thinks that then I can imagine cooking for someone using the Magic Bullet (the blender version) could get very awkward.  I can just picture telling dinner guests that you cooked the meal with your Magic Bullet.  That would probably be followed by immediate vomiting.

Of course, I’m probably on the immature side of the spectrum.

Anyway, back to the main point: the Magic Bullet is really a product that isn’t all that insane.  The prospect of doing away with blenders, cutting boards and about half of the other automated appliances in the kitchen is actually quite appealing.

He just looks so sad.

According to the infomercial it makes cooking fun (what As Seen On TV product doesn’t?) and you’ll be using it every day.  Hell, you’ll be having so much fun cooking that you’ll just leave it on your counter and cook breakfast for the other couples who joined your orgy on the previous night.

If you’re wondering why I assume all the people in the video had an orgy the night before then you have to ask yourself one very simple question: why the hell else would there be that many people in that kitchen, especially with one guy coming into the room clearly hung over and in the throes of deep, deep remorse?

The thing is that I don’t cook because I’m too lazy.  It has nothing to do with cooking not being fun.  I love cooking.  I’m just usually more interested in doing something else than preparing my meal, especially when it’s just for me.  So with that problem firmly in mind, why would the Magic Bullet change any of that?

I guess you could argue that it’s hard to be lazy when you only need one tool to do the job for you.  This means less mess and faster cleanup and prep times.  Certainly a meal that once took an hour could be produced within minutes!

That is, unless you’re one of those (silly) people who has some kind of aversion to food-borne illnesses.  After all, you wouldn’t want to make an omelet with raw eggs and then go grind your coffee.  You still have to clean that thing out after every use.  The only difference is that instead of doing all the dishes at one point you have to do them as you cook.

If I bought one of those I’d make an 8 second sorbet once and then it would sit on the shelf for the rest of my lifetime.

That, my dear readers, sounds like more work to me. When I cook I put the dishes off as long as possible, usually until after I’ve finished the meal. Sometimes I find a way to con someone elses into doing the dishes for me. (Again, I’m really lazy.) In this case I can’t do that, meaning I’ll have to actually do cleaning.  Given the epic scale of my laziness, one can only assume I should totally avoid the Magic Bullet.

In the end I have to conclude that if the Magic Bullet were even half as useful as it claims to be that most American households would have one.  Since I don’t know a single person who has ever purchased one I can only assume it’s a piece of trash like every other product sold via infomercial.

Of course, the other Magic Bullet has gotten rave reviews, so if you’re shopping for a new “personal massager” that might be a good way to go.

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