John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Infomercial

Posted on October 29, 2008



Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the infomercial: 


“As in any other form of advertisement, the content is a commercial message designed to represent the viewpoints and to serve the interest of the sponsor. Infomercials are often made to closely resemble actual television programming. Some imitate talk shows and try to downplay the fact that the program is actually an advertisement. A few are developed around storylines and have been called "storymercials". However most do not have specific formats but craft different elements to create what they hope is a compelling story about the product offered.


Many traditional Infomercial producers make use of flashy catchphrases, repeat basic ideas, and/or employ scientist-like characters or celebrities as guests or hosts in their ad.. Sometimes traditional infomercials use limited time offers and/or claim one can only purchase the wares from television to add pressure for viewers to buy their products.


Because of the sometimes sensational nature of the ad form and the questionable nature of some products, consumer advocates recommend careful investigation of the infomercial's sponsor[4], the product being advertised, and the claims being made before making a purchase. At the beginning of an infomercial, stations and/or sponsors normally run disclaimers warning that "the following program is a paid advertisement," and that the station does not necessarily support the sponsor's claims.  A few stations take the warning further, encouraging viewers to contact their local Better Business Bureau or state or local consumer protection agency to report any questionable products or claims that air on such infomercials.”


            Most people have enough sense to turn the channel when they see an infomercial on.   I predict that is what most voters did tonight with the Obama informercial, changed the channel. 


            Obama combined the overpromising of the Chia pet, the fraudulent claims of slickest tv pitchman, the cameo appearances of washed up celebrities (think Suzanne Sommers), and the annoying music of a funeral home ad to create a dull production that was cloying and silly.


            Somebody needs to call the Better Business Bureau and complain about this production.  Never has one man promised so many people so much crap in so overblown a style.


            This infomercial was a joke without a punch-line.  Not serious, but not funny either.