Sunday, January 13, 2008

Creepy Talk To Start Your Sunday Right

When I started writing this, I was watching an infomercial called "Shortcuts to Internet Millions", the only thing that's on basic cable at 5 am on Sunday morning. It's not because I'm interested in Jeff Paul's get-rich-quick schemes (and the "ten website businesses!" the hosts mention every ten seconds), since this type of nonsense makes me roll my eyes so hard that one night I could see the back of my skull. What was it, then, that has prevented me from changing the channel? At the risk of telling you too much about myself, it was because every 30 seconds during the studio segments of the ad, we got a shot like this:

As entertaining as her blissed-out Kelly Rippa-style expression and mechanically enthusiastic delivery was, that's not what held my attention. Especially when she leaned into the camera, which she did in almost every shot. And then, they superimposed the toll-free number right at the (ahem) point of interest. Coincidence? I don't know, but I have some theories...

Part of me is trying to rationalize this into a spiel about how the ample cleavage on the pitchwoman is as much of a marketing tool as the testimonials about getting crazy-mad money from those website businesses, that it's all in the snake oil nature of this type of TV pitch. It's more subtle than Paris Hilton in a bikini washing the car with a Carl's Jr. hamburger, but it's cut from the same theory: now that we've got your attention, here's some guy to take your money. I'd even have a crafty allusion to the Bill Hicks routine about the perfect commercial ("More Snickers! More Coke!"), because that's the way I roll when I actually get rolling. Some ad geniuses have already moved into Hicks-land, which would make it an even more reasonable thing to ramble about.

The rest of me hangs my head and says: "I am a lonely, lonely man. I should just call the damn number and get it over with." And that's the type of thinking that keeps me up at 5 in the morning in the first place. It's times like this that I'm glad our daily traffic hovers in the single digits...

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