Late night television is famous for its infomercials, many displaying the new, must-have item at scandalously low prices.
According to an article from BloombergBusinessWeek, “The Infomercial Business Goes Mainstream,” by Matt Robinson, the infomercial industry will be worth a projected $174 billion by 2014, a sum no amount of blenders or home gyms could get 30 years ago. Some of the products being advertised are deemed silly but are still being bought by a variety of people, including students.
“I’ve bought some knives before,” said Kelsey Lee, a freshman elementary education major from Las Vegas. “I really want a Magic Bullet now because you can make a bunch of things, like salsa and mixed drinks, and that would be awesome.”
Even people who haven’t bought the products on infomercials still admit to wanting them.
“I’ve always wanted a Chia Pet,” said Dakota Smith, a junior elementary education major from Heber City.
She said she remembers watching the infomercials when she was younger and occasionally still sees the same infomercial on TV today.
Not every student is after those decorative products being sold. Infomercials have developed past the idea of kitchen appliances that make life easier and are now approaching the subject of how to keep customers in shape.
“I’ve always wanted to buy the Total Gym,” said Gregory Noel, a senior psychology major from Las Vegas. “I feel that it would really help with my fitness and overall manly physique.”
Looking past the appeal of these products, some people are still skeptical when it comes to buying things seen on television.
“I worry about [the product] not working the way it said it would,” said Jennifer Gibson, a sophomore elementary education major from Las Vegas.
Being skeptical is expected when watching infomercials. A tip to figuring out if a product actually works is looking in stores for that product. Quite a few chain shopping centers have aisles dedicated to the “As Seen on TV” items, such as the Snuggie, the George Forman Grill, Bumpits or Proactiv. Not only will popular nation-wide stores generally sell the products that work, but they’ll sell them at a cheaper price, too.
“I almost never watch infomercials, but I watched one for some type of anti-aging facial cleanser one time,” sociology lecturer Katherine Mallon said. “I was mildly interested but not interested enough to actually buy it. I figured Oil of Olay probably made a similar product cheaper, and I was right.”
Despite some of the silly products being sold, such as the Tiddy Bear Comfort Strap, which is the one of the worst sold infomercials, according to a Time Magazine article, “25 Worst (We Mean Best) Infomercials,” by Chris Gentilviso, infomercials are becoming a widely seen advertising technique, and more products are being used in the household today.
“I don’t really watch a lot of infomercials, but I know a bunch of people who do,” said Cheyenne Dutson, a sophomore secondary education major from Hurricane. “I think most of the products could be pretty useful, and eventually I’ll probably buy one or two of them.”
Written by Mishandi Sarhan for Dixie Sun News