Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes, They Send You A Sign....

Don't forget to play along with my pop quiz here.


We've all been there. We're bored, home, flipping through the channels... and then we stop. We aren't really sure why we stop, but we have and we shrug our shoulders, settling in to watch. We're slowly sucked in to what we know is horrible, mind-numbing television that we quite frankly aren't even enjoying.

But we're stuck. We simply can't change the channel, although we have no idea why.

I've figured out the signs that it's truly time to move to another show, however. Granted, I've been spoiled by the ability to watch tv almost exclusively via Tivo, so I am not used to watching commercials. Wow, have they gotten horrible. Really horrible.

So the next time you're sucked in and you start to see these commercials, do your best to pick up that flipper and change the channel. You can do it. I have faith in you (less so in me).

1) Extenze. I get this spam in my inbox and don't read it there. I really don't want to watch it. I just wonder how these companies can stay in business and afford to advertise on tv.

2) The Awesome Auger. Granted, I was initially sort of intrigued by this one. I hate digging holes to plant my garden, and this seemed to make it so easy. Then I started to read the reviews. People, stay away. Scam. Bad scam. They take your credit card number upfront, and that is your agreement to purchase one or more of the products. And you can't cancel their order until it's in the system, but by the time they enter it into the system, it's already on the truck. And it doesn't work anyway. Bummer.

3) Latisse. Yes, now apparently not having full enough eyelashes is a disease, and there is a prescription to fix this. Holy cow. This is so wrong on so many levels, not the least of which (pointed out by my husband) is that one of the side effects of this is to turn your eyes brown. Seriously, glue on some fake eyelashes or use good mascara. Some prescriptions ... we just shouldn't make or buy them.

4) Smooth Away. Ok, so maybe you're sensing a theme here with the "As Seen On TV" ads. In general, unless it's the Topsy Turvey, if you're seeing a special offer commercial, turn the channel. This one is basically for fine grit sandpaper to sand away the hair... wherever you want. Yeah. I'll pass. I like my waxing ladies.

5) Head On. Granted I never actually went through that phase where I drank myself silly on a regular basis (mostly because I'm cheap but for other reasons, too), and I just can't imagine how that product work. But it's an annoying product, and you know it's aimed at ... not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. Time to flip.

6) Video Professor. Now we've moved into the old people zone. I'm also trying to figure out the business model of this one. Get free CDs to learn how to use your computer. And he advertises on tv. I'm sure I'm missing something, but ... I don't think I care enough to figure out what.

7) Some commercials are annoying. Some make me want to gouge out my eyes and burn off my ears. This falls into the latter category. If you really want to know what's on your credit report (and you should have a pretty good idea anyway), three times a year, visit and get one of your three free reports. Choose a different bureau each time, and you can stay on top of your credit report free of charge. Ta da!

8) Burger King's booty ad. Once upon a time, I had a whole post about this one. But by the time I actually saw this commercial myself, it had probably been out for months. Let's just say that I find that ad highly inappropriate, morally disturbing, and my family is done done DONE ever eating at Burger King. Ick.

9) Debt reduction services. There are a ton out there, and most of them appear to simply be marketing services that direct people deeply in debt to a company that can do for them the same things they can do for themselves with a little effort while promising so many pie in the sky dreams that are highly unlikely. Sadly, the radio station I listen to on a regular basis has this as a standard commercial at every half hour break. I switch channels each time it comes on. Bleh.

10) Nature Cleanse. Ok, really any cleansing product. Unless it's for my furniture or floors (I SOOOO want a Shark Steam but haven't yet broken down and bought one), I don't want to see it or hear it. And everything I've ever seen or read about them decries their ineffectiveness in most cases and danger in others. Yep, it's a sign you're watching bad tv.

On the other hand, if you happen to catch a Hillshire Farm Go Meat commercial, you're totally on the right channel. Know that I'll be toe tapping along with you. But any of the others? Make the effort to flip!

So how do you know when it's time to change the channel -- or better yet, turn off the tv?


Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet June 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

THey have some commercials that you just have to flip through or at least turn the sound off, too as they are blaring. Ugh!

Hyacynth June 13, 2009 at 5:49 PM  

Ohhhh, commercials are so annoying. And when I read about the Burger King one, I was shocked!

We decided it was time to turn off the TV almost permenently when the toddler began parroting everything. I was sick of hearing him say "D'oh" after his daddy finished a Simpsons episode.

Debbie June 13, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

Yes, that Burger King ad went too far. Several fast food chains seem to be heading that direction.

Heather June 13, 2009 at 10:23 PM  

Besides the Burger King commercials? McDonald's commercials, Old Navy commercials (stupid mannequins), Altel, the list can go on and on.

MsTypo June 14, 2009 at 5:26 AM  

I love watching infomercials and am always amazed at what people will buy. "They cost $20 each! But for today only we'll send you 10 for for only $15!" Hmmmm Too good to be true? :p

Angela June 14, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

I'm with you - except that in my case, ALL commercials make me want to gouge my eyes out. I hate, hate hate commercials (and yes, I know they pay for TV, but I don't care. I still hate 'em).

And don't get me started on that video professor guy. I was just telling my husband the other day, that if I see him on tv one more time I am going to go insane. How much money has he bilked out of poor old people with no grandchildren to teach them how to turn on the computer/tv/vcr? Oh, he drives me nuts!!

Okay, rant over ;-)

MaBunny June 14, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

when my mind goes numb, lol. As for the commercials? yeah that song is way annoying.. it quickly can turn into an earworm.
As for the Headon commercial? commercial is annoying, as for the prouct? Not sure how it actually works but it does - i bought the sinus one and it helps !

John W. Scherer June 15, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

Hi Michelle,

FYI the business model for our free CD offer is simple. No different that a car dealership offering you a test drive, or even letting you take a car home for the night.

It works for us. I've always figured that if I can just show someone how easy our lessons work, they'll come back to us to buy more.

22 years in business and 10 million customers later, so far so good.

You also mention the "Old people zone." I'm not sure if you're talking about me, in which case you're right! But if you're talking about our customers they range across all demographics, young and old.

In fact we just did a study at a major university where accounting students actually did as good, or even better, than students learning Quicken through a traditional classroom instructor.

We also have grade school kids in Tanzania learning computing with our lessons.

Our lessons directly online as well through VP Online.

Cheers! (And oh yes, "Try my product.")

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder
Video Professor, Inc.

Cookie June 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

I'm with you on that! I remember Mama Zen had a funny post about a commercial that had to do with ED.

PS I have something for you :) Stop by and get it.

Roxane June 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

If the Freecreditreport guy ever goes missing DO NOT search the lake by my house LOL! Mr. H is forever traumatized by the BK ad with the square butts.

Michelle June 17, 2009 at 11:27 PM  

Sherry - Very true, and this is yet another reason why I really try to only watch tv via Tivo.

Hyacynth - Aren't they though? The Burger King one offended me with or without children. And luckily I've always had the rule of tv off when the wee ones are awake, so I haven't had that issue but MAN do they pick things up fast, huh?

Debbie - Really? Fortunately, that's the only one I've seen. Tell me who else I should avoid. Having a good reason to stay away from junk food is a good thing, right?

Heather - Are those ones on tv shows that are that bad? I have to admit that the Burger King one is only on AFTER prime time now. Which really makes me wonder about how and what they're advertising with that one.

Cairo Typ0 - Yep, informercials are hilarious. I love then looking up the reviews. Kyomara. Awesome Auger. The ballet barre exercise thing. The Shark mop. Oh wait, they sell that one at Costco now and I just bought it. Hmm. At least I know I can return it at any time if I don't like it!

Angela - I hope you at least watch your tv via Tivo then, too! It does cause a problem though when I try to fast forward through or back up my radio though. I'm not so successful there.

MaBunny - Earworm? I've never heard that phrase, but I like it! I figure some of the infomercial products must work or eventually they'd go away.

John - I don't doubt that once you get someone to use one of your CDs, they'll get another one. But there are so many other (free) alternatives out there... and the post was about the commercials that show you're watching the wrong tv show. Old people zone -- I hate to admit it, but I think that commercial I saw once when I somehow got stuck on a Golden Girls episode.

Cookie - I will stop by. Eventually. Just back from Vegas and soooo far behind. It will take me a long time to catch up, I think!

Roxane - So you're admitting to plotting against him? Careful ;) I do think it's entertaining that Mister H is the one traumatized by the BK commercial though!

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