Posts filed under ‘Shopping’

Fewer Finer Things

What does the death of TV Pitchman Billy Mays mean for America?

Perhaps fewer excellent products, marketed directly to America’s hearths and homes.

In honor of Billy’s passing, here is Popular Mechanics on his 5 best products.

June 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

Because We Care

We want our readers to be on the cutting-edge of fine infomercial sold items. I present…

THE WEARABLE TOWEL!

June 9, 2009 at 10:04 am 1 comment

The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 13: InfoWars!

I just read this post about the rivalry of Billy Mays and Vince Offer. Mays is well known for his enthusiastic pitchman skills and Offer was profiled in an earlier Chapter on this blog.

Vince’s latest success comes from the “SlapChop,” a knockoff of the “Quickchop.” Vince’s product seems superior for the very reason he claims in the video below. We received a QuickChop as a wedding gift but threw it away after a while because it was impossible to clean. The miraculous SlapChop seems to solve that problem.

Whatever the merits of the product, Vince can sell. Watch the pitch if you want- “You’re gonna love my nuts”

Can you possibly think anything but that this infomercial war is good for America? In an age of commodization and consolidation these video warriors may be a YouTube-era VHS and Betamax, battling their way into and out of our homes. In their coming we will find promise and hope. In their going deliveries of Shamwows and Oxy-Clean.

Oh brave new world.

February 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm 2 comments

The Lamentations of Lowry – Chapter 11: As Seen on In Rare Form

Ever seen an ad for the Shamwow? My reaction to it has been similar to what is described in this Slate article: a kind of bemused reaction to the spokesman, and an unusual compulsion to spend “28 bucks (including shipping) on a set of rags.”
 
Fortunately, I’ve been able to resist the urge to buy the Shamwow, and now the good people at Popular Mechanics have done the legwork of evaluating this compelling product:
So: Sham or wow? A roommate spilled a can of Coke on a rug, so the Shamwow testing began sooner than we’d anticipated. In the ad, pitchman Vince cleans up the exact spill we had on our hands, so we knew just what to do: Begin by letting the Shamwow soak with its own absorbent strength, then start punching and pounding that rag into the rug, wringing and repeating.

While the Shamwow’s initial desiccant powers failed to impress, a couple of rounds of pummeling took up not only the soda spillage but also the color of the cola. To those familiar with the ad, this should come as no surprise. As Vince says, “Lookitdis. Put on the spill, turn it over. Without even putting any pressure, 50 percent of the cola, right there. You follow me, camera guy? The other 50 percent, the color starts to come up. No other towel’s gonna do that.”

Now, we’ll leave it up to Slate’s analyst to comment on the camera guy confrontation, but Vince has a point: Most other towels won’t do that. The Shamwow really does work quite well when wet. Days after the soda spill, we over-watered a plant on a hardwood floor. (Where was our Aqua Globe?) The Shamwow bailed us out, repeatedly wringing dry, thirsty for more. As well as it did, though, the final wipe had to happen with a paper towel.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that some of the luster has come off the Shamwow. I should have guessed, seeing as it has yet to appear in one of Harriet Carter’s catalogs. Still, if you have a hankering to buy one, I couldn’t look down on you, knowing how close I came to making that buy.

December 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm 5 comments

SkyMall Strikes Again

The minds at SkyMall have been hard at work to bring air travelers cutting-edge products to make life easier.

Just turn the heat up

Exhibit A: The Slanket

Perhaps I don’t live in a cold enough climate to appreciate the need for a Slanket, the blanket that allows freedom to use your hands while not sacrificing your arms to the open air. For both indoor and outdoor use, you can even wear this to a baseball game to attract some strange stares. Or you could purchase these poncho covers for your whole family and keep the thermostat 10 degrees lower than usual. It’s so cool to be GREEN these days.

Exhibit B: DayClock

The ultimate insulting gift that tells the receiver they don’t have enough going on in their week to have to worry about the hour of the day, just the day!

Exhibit C: Nouveau Fireplace

What would you honestly say to someone if they had an “heirloom-quality” electric fireplace blazing beneath their DVD player? “Must shop at SkyMall!”

April 22, 2008 at 11:24 am 7 comments


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