A few nights ago I was up late and tuning into some late night television. While flipping through the channels, I stumbled across a few infomercials that got me thinking about how bizarre some of the things are that make it on our TVs, and how odd some of these infomercials are. Does anyone actually buy these products? I’m dying to know who these people are that actually call the number on the screen and pay for these odd and assorted products, that are marketed in the strangest ways.

Earlier in the semester, in class we took a look at the infomercial for ShamWow, which is right up their with the weirdest of all infomercials. We took at some common strategies for persuasion, and identified them in the ShamWow commercial. The ShamWow commercial is like so many other infomercials on TV that pretty much use every persuasion strategy possible, but do it in the most obvious and ineffective way.

Take a look at this infomercial above that attempts to sell the “Slap Chop”. It’s the same guy that does the ShamWow commercials, and again he hits on almost all of the strategies for persuasion, but it feels way too obvious. He uses rational arguments, emotional/motivational appeals, credibility, sequential/contrast strategies, aesthetics, and a narrative method all in the span of a three minute commercial. I actually do believe that these persuasion strategies work, but informercials, in particular, make them all way too corny and obvious.

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