8 Key Ingredients of any Infomercial

5. Sceptical (yet easily suggestible) Co-Host

Another key component of an infomercial is the “sceptical co-host”. He’s there to lukewarmly play devil’s advocate, only to embrace the product wholeheartedly after being thoroughly convinced by the overenthusiastic host.

The surprising thing is that he continues to “find faults with” and “doubt” the product well after having seen it in action multiple times. A heavily sedated sloth is more alert than the sceptical co-host.

“Duuude, you’re like, real slow!”

Example:

Overenthusiastic Host (cont.): ……..EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Sceptical Co-Host: Thanks, Bethany! But I’m sure many of our viewers are wondering: “Is this really better than just, you know, walking?!”

Overenthusiastic Host: I’m glad you ask, Chris, because it is just so much better! It’s like you go from walking to flying! Except you’re still walking. Walk ‘n’ Go made me the person I am today! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Sceptical Co-Host: Well, Bethany, I sure am sold. I just have one question. I’ve been using hiking sticks for many years and I just really hate it when they slip out of my hands and stab me in the neck. I have accidentally decapitated myself several times already. How do I know that Walk ‘n’ Go is safer?

Overenthusiastic Host: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Sceptical Co-Host: Good point, Bethany! There you have it folks, Walk ‘n’ Go is much safer than competing products!

4. Testimonials from Experts and/or Customers

To give your product some credibility it’s very important to insert a few heartfelt testimonials from “ordinary” customers. If you can get an expert in the field to sign-off on your contraption – even better. Testimonials give your product an unbiased stamp of approval, or at the very least show your viewers that there are plenty of other people out there crazy enough to buy it. Mostly the second one.

Pro Tip: It’s critical to make sure that your experts and customers don’t appear to be reading a script or sound unenthusiastic.

Master Tip: Ha, just kidding, relax! As long as you spell out the words “Expert” or “Customer” at the bottom of the screen when they’re talking, you’ll be fine. Viewers are like sheep, except with significantly more money.

Your audience and their green

Example:

Customer: I’ve got to be honest with you. I have never been good at this whole “walking” thing. My arms would flail wildly and I’d constantly get tangled up in my own legs. In the end I didn’t even want to leave my house for fear of people laughing at my awkwardness. Well not anymore! Now all I have to do is attach the Walk ‘n’ Go to my limbs in just 38 simple steps and I can walk proudly out of the door with my head held high. Incidentally, holding your head high and secured in one place is one of the many features of Walk ‘n’ Go.

Expert: I’ve been studying Walk Mechanics & Motion Modelling  for over 30 years! I’ll tell you this right now: Walk ‘n’ Go will absolutely revolutionise the field of personal displacement technology. It’s a solid piece of equipment. Well, actually, it’s 103 solid pieces of equipment that can be conveniently stored in your attic, provided you have zero other items stored there.

3. Contrived Demonstration

No infomercial is complete without an on-set demonstration. You want to create a very specific and wildly unlikely scenario where your product shines while others fail. Then you need two groups of people. One of them will be using your product and praising it constantly. The other group will be using competing products and acting as if those products are literally draining their will to live while simultaneously holding their families hostage.

Example:

A group of perky people walk out onto the set with Walk ‘n’ Go sets strapped on. They are smiling, even though their movements seem unnatural and strained. They proceed to walk in circles, intermittently exclaiming things like “Wow” and “I can already feel it working”!

Meanwhile, another group of people huddle in a dimly lit corner of the set. A few of them make tentative attempts to start walking, only to fall helplessly on their backs or walk into walls. One of them tries to grab a conveniently placed walking cane, but can’t get a firm grip and stumbles onto the floor. The cane flies out and almost hits a cat that seems to have materialised out of nowhere as it hasn’t been on set up until that very moment.

Just like this one right here!

2. Surprise Bonus Item

Now you have your viewers hooked on your product (if you don’t, then you clearly have done something wrong, or maybe your viewers are smart, or something). It’s time to play your infomercial’s trump card: the surprise bonus item!

The surprise bonus item should build on and complement your main product. It’s important to stress to the audience that they can get this bonus item for FREE, if only they call right now! Operators are standing by with a phone in one hand, a watch in another and a TV remote in the third so that they know whether the viewers are indeed calling “right now”.

Example:

Pssst! Hey! Are you the idiot buying our Walk ‘n’ Go?! Well then you’re going to love this. For a limited time only we’ll include FREE Finger Buddies with every purchase! Finger Buddies attach to each one of your fingers and label them from 1 all the way through 10. You’ll always know exactly how many fingers you have!*

*Especially useful for when you’re strapping the Walk ‘n’ Go to your body (requires only three adults).

1. Repeating Summary Video

A summary video condenses the message of the infomercial into approximately one minute and is inserted multiple times at strategic moments. By “strategic moments” I mean every goddamn few minutes! By the time your infomercial is over the viewers should be able to perfectly recite the summary video while asleep and/or having prefrontal lobotomy performed on them.

Pro Tip: “Competing Products” section of the video must be shown in black and white and preferably with depressing music playing in the background.

Master Tip: Settle on a reasonable price for your product. Now multiply that by ten. This is now your “retail price”. Now give your viewers a 50% discount off of that price, as long as they order right now. You’re welcome!

***

That’s all you need to know to make an effective infomercial. Now go out there and sell some products! Also, keep an eye out for my patented Walk ‘n’ Go – I have a really good feeling about this one! WHEEEEEEEE!

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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!

      Like

  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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