Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Pressin' Charges.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so they say. But reality is, sometimes having your ideas stolen ain't flattering at all. Sometimes it just pisses you off royally. After nearly 3 years of this bloggin' thing, I've had signature post ideas swagger jacked repeatedly, sometimes with the offenders stealing my signature lines word-for-word. I could call these folks (some of whom write for a living) out, but why bother?

On the flipside, when I see a reputable publication like Consumer Reports pull some sh*t like this, I sorta feel like getting my Greenburg and Betterman on.
Products sold on late-night television promise to solve problems like scrubbing baked-on crud from cookware, mopping up gallons of spilled milk, and falling off ladders when cleaning gutters. But Consumer Reports' tests of 15 products sold through infomercials reveal that many of them are not worth buying.

CR's experts suggest that some of the products not worth paying for include the Slap Chop dicer, the Snuggie, the ShamWow, the Ab Circle Pro, Debbie Meyer Green Bags and the iRobot Looj gutter cleaner.

According to the report 'Should you buy this now!?,' infomercials are a mighty money machine. They can chop marketing costs to as little as one-tenth the size of a traditional advertising campaign and slice posted prices when they increase the total bill with shipping and handling fees and other extras.

The secret, according to an advertising expert, lies in neuroscience--infomercials are carefully scripted to pump up dopamine levels in your brain. The fun starts with dramatizations of a problem you didn't know you had followed by an incredible solution, then a series of ever more amazing product benefits, bonuses, and giveaways, all leading to the final thrilling plunge of an unbelievably low price. After the ride, dopamine levels drop in 5 or 6 minutes, which is why they ask you to buy in the next 3 minutes.

"Consumers should pause 10 minutes before buying anything from an infomercial and see if they can get the same job done for free or with a product that they already have in their house," said Jeff Blyskal, senior editor, Consumer Reports. "Think if you can find another solution for this 'problem.' Instead of buying an exercise machine, for example, doing sit ups or just following a diet may accomplish the same thing."

The full investigation is available in the February 2010 issue of Consumer Reports on sale at newsstands January 5 or online at
Uh, any of this sound even vaguely familiar?!?

Is all I'm sayin'.

Question: Is this a mere coincidence, or is Consumer Reports pulling off their very own Grand Hu$tle here?

Consumer Reports' Tests of 15 Popular Infomercial Products Reveal Many Are not Worth Buying [PRNewsWire]

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