8 Key Ingredients of any Infomercial

Do you know what the problem is with regular TV commercials? They’re all too fake! They show outlandish scenarios with unrealistic characters. People in commercials often find themselves in wacky, sitcom-worthy situations. Alternatively, they get whisked away into a magical land of power, wealth and success simply by using a different brand of toothpaste.

What’s worse, commercials usually don’t offer any useful information about the product they’re promoting. Sure, that guy just learned to fly and is constantly followed by throngs of hypnotised women, all because of the new Axe spray…but will it do the same for me?! I have to know! I need to hear exactly which active ingredients in the spray will enhance the aerodynamic qualities of my body.

Also – would a red cape be too tacky?!

That’s where infomercials come in! These cinematic escapades into the world of shopping can last for up to 30 minutes, which allows ample time for exploring all features of a product. Best of all, infomercials usually cast an average Joe that we, as viewers, can relate to.

“Wow, infomercials sure sound like a great way to sell my product! How do I make one?”, asked absolutely none of you, but I will go ahead and assume you all did anyways.

Having carefully studied the intricate science of making infomercials (by watching a lot of infomercials) I now consider myself to be an expert in the field. I have filtered out the noise and identified 8 key components every self-hating infomercial should have. I hereby share these components with you free of charge (local taxes may apply). I even provide easily relatable examples using a product I am making up as we go along.

Alright, so to make an infomercial you will need:

8. An Unconventional Product

Don’t let the word “unconventional” intimidate you! You don’t have to be a scientist and your product doesn’t have to be very well researched, if at all. All you need is something that hasn’t been made before, even if the reason it hasn’t been made is because it’s retarded or insane. Ideally you want a product that appears complicated and solves a non-existent problem in the most convoluted way possible.

Example:

Introducing Daniel’s Walk ‘n’ Go. A revolutionary way to improve your daily locomotion. Are you tired of always losing track of where your limbs should be placed when you walk? I mean, there are, like, at least four of them! How are you to remember where the left arm goes when the right leg is in front? Well, worry no longer! My patented Walk ‘n’ Go makes sure that you will never get your limbs confused again. Walking has never been so easy!

Trying to walk without Walk ‘n’ Go?! What a loser!

7. A Competing Product for Comparison

OK, so you have a product, but how will people know there aren’t better solutions out there? Easy: you show them a few competing products and explain why your product is a better choice. It doesn’t matter if the other products do an objectively better job and aren’t made of junk you found in your garage. What matters is that your product does things in a whole new and exciting way!

Pro Tip: Find some flaws (no matter how small) with alternative products and show how your product avoids them.

Master Tip: If there aren’t any flaws to be found – make some up!

Example:

I’m sure you have all tried walking the “natural” way. Well, do you have any idea how much of your brain power is wasted on remembering all of your limbs and their locations?! Neither do I, but with Walk ‘n’ Go I don’t have to wonder!

Some of you may be familiar with hiking sticks. These do a decent job of keeping your arms in place, but they do absolutely nothing to keep your eager legs from wandering off in the wrong direction. Give your legs something to hold on to, try Walk ‘n’ Go!

Maybe you have tried using a cane? Don’t you just hate it when a cane slips out of your hand, flies out onto the street and kills a stray kitten?! You can stop murdering kittens already today with my new Walk ‘n’ Go!

Use Walk ‘n’ Go to prevent feline slaughter!

My Walk ‘n’ Go walking set attaches securely to your shoes and your arms, locking them in place and ensuring their proper position during all walking-related activities!

6. Overenthusiastic Host

I’ve met a lot of happy and enthusiastic people in my life, but all of them fade into oblivion when compared to infomercial hosts. The host of every infomercial is so over-the-top excited about the product you’d swear she has just taken all of the world’s drugs in one sitting. An overenthusiastic host is to an infomercial what “winning” is to Charlie Sheen.

Example:

Overenthusiastic Host: Hi everyone, I’m Bethany, and boy do I have an amazing product to show you today! I just can’t wait to tell you all about the new and fantastic Walk ‘n’ Go. Are you ready? Are you?! ARE YOU?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE I’M SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY FREAKING LUNGS! WWWWWWWWHEEEEEEEEEE……..

(INGREDIENT LIST CONTINUES ON PAGE 2)

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33 thoughts on “8 Key Ingredients of any Infomercial

  1. Anonymous says:

    Funny Article, but remember, whilst we are sitting here poking fun at the concept of infomercial, the owners of these products are laughing their way to the bank given how many people are buying their products.

    Like

  2. MEFranco1 says:

    ROFL! Love this one! Last night an informercial came on about a pillow. The guy who made them was the host. He said “Sit back and relax for the next 30 minutes while I tell you all about my pillow.” Uh…no. He should have read this blog first and maybe we would have been hooked 😀

    Like

    •  @MEFranco1 Hhahahaa so his Sleep ‘n’ Rest didn’t get the proper infomercial treatment from Nest, eh? Too bad, such potential! Glad you liked the post, thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

  3. What is hilarious is that while reading this post, a commercial was running on my TV for some hands-free phone thingy.  It was only a 30-second spot, but I found it funny that if you called within the next ten minutes, he would throw in a SECOND hands-free phone thingy.  And by the end of the 30 seconds, he DOUBLED it, giving the customer FOUR hands-free phone thingies, for just ten bucks.
     
    Selling four for the price of one kinda de-valued the original hands-free phone thingy, and it was the reason I didn’t call.
     
    Great post, you definitely nailed it.

    Like

  4. I’m hooked! Where do I find my Walk n go?
     
    Don’t forget the radio version infomercial. Where they repeat the 800 number at least 100 times in the 1 minute time slot!

    Like

    •  @workingdan Yeah I’m pretty awesome at generating demand for the Walk ‘n’ Go. Unfortunately, far less awesome at making the actual Walk ‘n’ Go, so it’s not available yet! But you’re more than welcome to pre-order. Then you’ll receive an exclusive signed copy of Sleep ‘n’ Stay!

      Like

  5. But wait, there’s more, act now and we’ll double your order… That’s right now your walking partner can keep pace AND not kill kittens.

    Your host point is slightly off, you MUST strive to appear likable, all the while talking loud without yelling, oh and they should have some sort of accent if possible.

    I leave you with ….Royal…..diamond….cookware….
    WG

    Like

    •  @wilyguy Point taken, my next host will be Albani-Ukrainian and speak with an Asian accent for no apparent reason. Recipe for success right there! Thanks for stopping by and imparting your valuable infomercial wisdom!

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  6. RiaMajumdar says:

    This was one crazy post! And I loved it. 🙂 Thanks for the tips, now I can successfully launch my Anti-moron helmet that shoots mental stun rays at morons when one is within 10 yards.
    Can my host use “Wheeeeeeeeeeeee” or will that entail some ninja monkeys knocking on my door? 😉

    Like

    •  @RiaMajumdar Hehheee glad you liked it. Enjoy the tips and run with that Anti-Moron Helmet. May I suggest a catchier name? Something like DumbAway? And sorry, but “Wheeeee” is hereby patented. “Yupeeeee” and “Wohooooooooow” are totally up for grabs though!

      Like

  7. BakedAlaskaInOr says:

    I just have one question.  Will your “Walk n’ Go” product help more people to walk and chew gum at the same time?  If your answer is an “honest” yes, then maybe gum should be offered with the “finger buddies,” along with solution to remove gum from “finger buddies.”  Thanks so much for these 8 useful tips, which I’m adding to my “Let the buyer beware” list.  Also, thanks for making informercials fun again.  Weeeeeeeeeeeee!   This is a clever, funny post. :))  NestExpressed 

    Like

    •  @BakedAlaskaInOr  The “Gum Module” can be purchased separately for only 25,97$! I’m happy to inspire you and look forward to a chain of Cooking infomercials! Thanks, happy you liked the post 🙂

      Like

      • BakedAlaskaInOr says:

         @Daniel Nest
         Having my very own cooking informercial is an exciting idea.   So is the idea of a new cookbook on a unique and controversial topic as the one I’M CERTAIN you are referring to. Crap! Human feces steaks no less, the much talked about, “Poo Ping Thai Chinese Cuisine.”  Of course, the possibilites are endless on the grounds of “organic” alone, which makes the idea prime time for an infomercial now. However, because of the “Pink Slime” issue, this is a real shitty time to introduce more BS to the consuming consumer.  Thanks anyway. :))

        Like

      •  @BakedAlaskaInOr Well, hang on to that inspiration for the after Pink Slime period…unless you find a way to extract useful proteins from Pink Slime and make dessert out of it. Faeces steaks and Pink Slime Ice Cream? If that’s not a winning recipe, I don’t know what is!

        Like

      • BakedAlaskaInOr says:

         @Daniel Nest
         I have (True story) an embarrassing moment to share, which might indorse your “Walk n’ Go.”  I also have my own product idea (just until the Pink Slime settles down).  I also have a question.  First, the embarrassing moment.  This week I’ve been pampering a strained “right” achilles tendon.  After I posted my last comment, I stood up and tripped over absolutely nothing, twisting my “left” ankle.  Yes, I considered placing an order on the spot just when my pain triggered an idea that I’ve mulled over before. (I’m prone to tripping).  My product idea is called an “Absolutely Nothing Warning Device,” which fits in the toe of any shoe.  Whenever there is absolutely nothing to trip over, a screeching alarm sounds, warning of a likely stumble.  If it’s an imminent stumble, then, in a nano second, a 10 inch in diameter round of shoe sole releases, surrounding the shoe of the foot in danger of tripping over absolutely nothing.  My question is, do you think my idea should be shot with Ria’s Moron Dumb Away Rays, or do I have a real shot at an infomercial?  Either my Absolutely Nothing Warning Device works and saves the day, or it catapults someone into next Sunday.  If it works, it will put my competition of “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” right out of business. Any helpful suggestions?

        Like

      •  @BakedAlaskaInOr Hahhaahaa wow, I think the apprentice has become the master. I’m proud of your truly ground-breaking (no puns) idea and it brings tears to my eyes to see how far you’ve come…I suggest a ComboPack with Walk ‘n’ Go, Finger Buddies, DumbAway and “NothingThere” (my suggestion for an infomercial-friendly name) warning device.
         
        This will save millions of lives and prevent embarrassment for plenty of clumsy people like ourselves! (I did mention that I once tripped UP the stairs, didn’t I? True story)
         
        Let’s all change the word together!

        Like

  8. I love the repeated: “But you must order right now to take advantage of this offer.” As if ordering at 4 am will be any different than 10 am.
     
    I’m pretty sure you found your next occupation, should you fancy a change, Monsieur Nest. I’ll look for you in the middle of the night. Wearing stage make-up that’s too orange, sporting a cheesy grin, and telling me to “order right now.” 🙂

    Like

    •  @crubin Hehheee I’m gonna make it big with my Walk ‘n’ Go breakthrough, I can feel it! I think if we can somehow combine it with your Chriss Angel show we’ll take the world by storm!

      Like

      •  @Daniel Nest
         Good idea. And we can use an image of Criss Angel’s abs and tell people that’s what they’ll look like if they use your Walk ‘n’ Go–whether it’s true or not.

        Like

      •  @crubin What do you mean “whether it’s true or not”…clearly it’s true! We can’t doubt the product we’re selling – WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

        Like

  9. raeme67 says:

    I  was wondering what I could do to improve my walk!  What a great product!   Only 38 steps to walking perfection?  Who would have known it could be that easy!  :)-Great post!  Very funny!
     

    Like

      • raeme67 says:

         @Daniel Nest Oh, shit  yeah ! How could I forget something so important as counting my fingers?  You never know when that might come in handy! ( no pun intended)  You should make a Toe Buddy as well.  I want to make sure of all my digits. 😉

        Like

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