Note : I’m writing this on an almost-destroyed computer. The .gif will come later.
Snuggie, Slap-Chop, Shamwow, BowFlex, Extenze, Shake Weight, you name it. There is no doubt in my mind : informercials have become a landmark of the Internet culture. No, actually, scratch that. Culture itself. Some advertising salesman have even reached cult status (Billy Mays, the Shamwow guy, etc). People love them, there’s memes of them, Youtube Poops and Remixes and so on. But this is not about them : these guys KNOW how to be liked. How to be liked and how to SELL.
To be honest, the kind of informercials I like the most are those in which people (actors) talk (act) about something (a product), casually (while trying to sell it). I love the writing, the delivery, the aesthetics, everything. When it comes to culture and media, I consider myself as someone who has high standards, but I just have this deep love for this type of informercial. They’re not even under my “guilty pleasure” category. I legitimately love them.
Take the Magic Bullet one, for example. A family and some friends gather around the kitchen. They’re preparing dinner or something and someone takes out the Magic Bullet. “What is that”, they ask. What ensues is an hour long argument about the product. The old-fashioned grandma is against it. This Magic Bullet isn’t a proper tool for cooking. She is proved wrong. This funny fat guy, food expert is also in disbelief. ”Is this Magic Bullet thingy going to reach my high standards? I mean, I’m a fat guy, I know everything there is to know about food!”. He is delighted by some filthy looking Nacho toppings.
An hour long epic, with twists, deep character development and an end where everyone is sure about one thing : The magic that emanates from the Magic Bullet.
I found myself watching the whole informercial when they were showing it on TV. And then, again, on Youtube. It’s an hour long. Even more, I don’t remember. But this was genius. It was funny, engaging and borderline ridiculous, but just enough to keep you watching.
Who makes these informercials? I don’t know any informercial director or writer that has come out of the closet. I even requested an AMA on reddit (/r/wheredidthesodago and /r/IAmA) and a lot of people seemed interested. Sadly, no informercial director ever responded. People want to know how they’re made. Who makes them and how conscious are they about what they’re doing. How do they come up with all the ridiculous dialogue. How do they go about making them. There are literally a thousand questions that need to be answered. Maybe some day we’ll know. Maybe some day.
Life Lesson : Even in 2013, some mysteries haven’t been solved. That’s why I’m here.
Actual advice : If someone knows an informercial director, please, please get him to do an AMA on Reddit. Pleaaaaaase. We need it.
Protip : Go to Youtube, right know. Type in “Magic Bullet”. Watch the whole thing. Thank me later.