If you watch tv, you know what I’m talking about: the commercials from hitherto unknown manufacturers offering you a product that addresses some long-neglected need…though usually a need you didn’t know you had. At this time of year, these items proliferate on cable and late night tv as audience members struggle to find the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for person.
From bizarre kitchen devices, to beauty products, to garden gadgets, there seems to be a set script these things follow:
1. Introduce unmet need: “have you always struggled to slice a tomato without squashing it?” or “skin still marked by unsightly blemishes?” or “forever fighting the crabgrass at the edge of your garden?”
2. Introduce the product that will answer your prayers…offering it at a fraction of the price one would clearly expect to pay. “Ordinarily, this is a $299 value, but if you call NOW, we’ll send you the world’s sharpest knife, guaranteed to last until the next millenium for just $12.00…”
3. And, here’s the key…once you’re sure you’ve sold them on the extraordinary efficacy of your product, give ‘em more. Here’s the line: “But wait! There’s more! Order now and we’ll send you a second knife, absolutely free.” And, now, reel them in: “But there’s more! Two knives, plus this set of sharpeners and a knife holder all for that one price of $9.99, if you order now!”
Why am I writing about this? Because one of these ads hit the TOTALLY ABSURD button for my husband and me last night: the electric ear wax remover. But, wait! There’s more, if you order now you’ll receive not one, but two of these amazing devices (double-fisted ear wax removal???)…And, there’s more: call now and we’ll send you cleaning tools and a carrying bag. All for $17.99.
I’m not kidding. The perfect present for the guy on your list who has everything. Electric ear wax removers. Merry Christmas to you, too.
Share your favorite tv product deal with us. Let’s keep the shopping season fun.