We’ve all seen them. We all know them. Here are the top 8 infomercial clichés:
The World of Black and White
“The Black and White World”, aka pre “Tub Scrub Shazam 4000”, is a wretched, horrifying, nightmarish purgatory of dirty siding and broken dreams. The lonely world of black and white, inhabited solely by sweating, ugly people who sprain their wrists trying to tighten a screw without the “Wonder Zip” is a warning for all of you who don’t have the product being sold. Don’t end up like the tank-topped, cursing masses of the black-and-white world, order now!
The Ticking Time Bomb
The world of infomercials is a real life Aladdin’s cave of great deals on matching tuppeware, but be warned: the cave is only opened for a limited time. To remind you of this, a stop watch counting down is often shown like a ticking time bomb, waiting to blow your dreams of the sparkling floors you’ve always wanted to kingdom come.
It happens every time: you are drawn in by the mesmerizing idea of knives that never dull and luggage that seems to pack itself, and then it happens: doubt sets in. Poor soul; you’ve been burned before. Con artists have wreaked their havoc, with their knockoffs of the amazing “Dust Terminator 6.1”. Never fear, that’s what the demonstrations are for! These helpful tests often go something like this:
“And the Splendiferous Rozio Vaccuum is so powerful it can even pick up this baseball? Not impressed? Well, watch it pick up this bowling ball! Still not convinced? The Rozio can pick up my dog Snickers! Still unsure? Watch as I suspend myself above this tank of rabid sharks with only the might of the Rozio keeping me from getting ripped into pieces!”
Viewers will be moved by the stories of men and women whose lives were forever changed through the power of flat tummies and perfectly diced vegetables. Gentle reminders are given at the bottom of the screen that these folks are real customers, not actors, even though we kind of guessed that from the stammering delivery and robotic face. These testimonials offer hope to you, the recently enlightened audience, and often sound something like this:
“Before I used “Magic Dish Washing Buddy” I was a mess. No one would talk to me because my dishes were grungy. My parents disowned me. The dog ran away. I used to fall asleep crying with a burrito in each hand. Now, with “Magic Dish Washing Buddy,” people I don’t know give me high fives on the street. My boss made me vice president. I spontaneously laugh for no reason. I am forever indebted to “Magic Dish Washing Buddy.” Thank you…my soapy friend.”
How cool would it be to know that not only you, but also you’re favorite has-been soap opera star use “Bicep Power Man”? You know they must love the thing, because they’re holding it and smiling. Besides why else would they be here? A pathetic stab at revitalizing a dying career that’s floundering like a dehydrated walrus? Yeah right!
But Wait…There’s More!
While your mind is still staggering from the unfathomable idea that you could have your own jewelry making kit for five easy payments of $19.95 a month, your cranium is given the final KO by learning that you could get three extra bead packets FOR FREE! Gone is the idea that these folks are simply noble hearted benefactors raining “Pendant Pals” on the masses, you are now convinced they are your own personal guardian angels. As you scramble headlong for the phone, frantically trying to dial before you wake up from this euphoric dream, your eyes connect with the screen. Your heart stops as they say it: But wait…there’s more! At this point, you have no doubt slipped into blissful unconsciousness.
Money Back Guarantee
Amounting to what must surely be some kind of inside joke is the “money back guarantee.” As if anyone who saw the miraculous results of “Bye Bye Baldness” would ever want a refund. Still, in the highly unlikely event that you would ever want your money back, it is undoubtedly childishly simple with no fine print or hidden clauses. After all, it says “no questions asked” right there on the screen.
Just as you are beginning to get spooked out by the mysterious, tooth-whitening process of “Molar Makeover”, the plot twist happens: it’s not magic at all. It’s science! A man, who must certainly be a very successful doctor based on the stethoscope and lab coat, proceeds to explain the unfathomable mysteries of “Molar Makeover.” Any doubts by skeptics must certainly be eradicated. After all, Dr. John Smith just said the phrase “case studies”, and there’s a 3-D animated model of “Molar Makeover” scrubbing a guy’s teeth. Yay science!
Hope you get a kick out of this list of clichés. If you agree, like and share this post, and as always, thanks for stopping by.
Jonathan Vars is a Christian fiction writer from New England, and founder of the writing website voltampsreactive.com. His latest novel “Like Melvin” is currently available on Amazon and Google Books. In addition to writing, Jonathan enjoys running, hiking, and trying not to freeze to death in the winter.