December 22, 2009

Outback Detergent

Subaru Outback Detergent Infomercial.  This ad is done in the classical Billy Mays pitchman style, but is, according to most of the comments on the YouTube page, intended to be humorous.  I must admit...I don't get it.  Although the demos are weak, the Detergent looks AWESOME!  No other detergent gets mud out of a white shirt that quickly.  At any rate, it's another compliment to the infomercial industry that a mainstream brand like Subaru would create an ad like this, even if it is in jest.  Also, it is pretty funny...check it out:


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December 16, 2009

Perfect Fit Buttons. Any pants can be your fat pants.

Perfect Fit Buttons.  Thanksgiving was hard on my body this year.  The 4 week lead-up to Christmas and Kwanza is proving even tougher.  Luckily, I have sweat pants that match all of my holiday sweaters, as my sexy jeans have turned into my constipation jeans...that is, on the off-chance I can actually get them buttoned.  I refuse to buy new pants because I know I will beautifully fit into all my outfits in just a few short months...as soon as the cookies, brownies and festive fried chicken slow down. 

But wait, this year, I can have my cake and still fit into my sexy jeans!  The Perfect Fit Buttons essentially grow your pants size without actually growing your pants size.  Makes sense.  I'm pretty intrigued with the idea.  I would make fun of the product, but I've discovered that the more I make fun of an infomercial product, the bigger the hit it becomes.  So, for this one, I'm going to take early credit in saying that it will be a monster hit! 

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December 14, 2009

OxiNeem - Brown Powder for Your Teeth!

OxiNeem.  Brought to you by the original inventor of OxiClean, Max Appel.  OxiNeem is a brown powder that you scoop on to your toothpaste every time you brush your teeth to boost the antioxidant levels in your mouth.  As Dr. Fleisher explains in the ad, "the health of your mouth is the gateway to the health of your whole body."  I get it.  But, couldn't I just eat the antioxidants?  Or doesn't my Crest toothpaste already fight gum disease in my mouth?...and Crest has spent over a billion dollars marketing the benefits of their product.  I'm a bit skiddish on this one.  We're all pulling for Max Appel to have another big success, but I don't think this will be the one.


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That's not Max's funniest product, though.  Check out his first product launched after selling OxiClean to Church & Dwight: Aaah Toilet Paper Foam.  I like Max.  Few people are as warm and friendly as Max, so I won't comment too much on the spot, but I'd love to hear what you think...


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December 10, 2009

Insta Gone...Say It Ain't So!

Insta-Gone.  It was a HUGE infomercial hit about a decade ago.  The demos can be truly amazing....instant obliteration of mold and mildew!  Unfortunately, this spot leaves much to be desired.  This is at least the second time Insta-Gone has been tested this year, and it doesn't look like it's going to make a comeback anytime soon.  Maybe if the marketers were to really wow us with the spot, we might be more apt to buy.

Here's where this spot falls apart:
  • The cleanest surfaces in the entire spot appear in the "problem" intro!...it's all downhill from there.
  • "Spray it on...stains are gone" - fantastic tagline!  Unfortunately, it accompanies low budget, unbelievable animation.  This is the opportunity to really pull the audience with a wow demo...by now, you've lost half of them.
  • Wait...if the product "works like magic"...if it works instantly, why are 99% of the demos before/afters?  Again, you've lost me.  The product has no credibility, and we're only 40 seconds in.
  • Dirty patio furniture?  Is it?  It doesn't look to bad to me.  A paper towel should do the trick.
  • Testimonials.  Ahhh, the tried and true way of convincing consumers that a product really works.  The problem is that in a powerful cleaning product spot like this, the testimonials are meaningless until you show me the product working.  Wow me first, then build credibility.  By now, I'm yawning, but only because I'm too lazy to search out the remote control to change the channel.
  • I do like the offer.  The value is great, but by this point, I've already given up.
I don't mean to be overly negative, but that's why you pay me, right?  Let me know what you think.  So much potential...just left on the table...


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December 9, 2009

Weezer Snuggie

Weezer Snuggie.  Funny.  Need I say more?

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OK, I'll say more.  A few weeks back, Weezer launched their new CD, Raditude, via a new Snuggie commercial.  Genius!  Weezer is known to be a bit qwerky, and they have been known to launch their CDs in the past in strange ways.  However, as a true As Seen On TV Fan, I see nothing strange about teaming up with the most exciting brand of the year.  I can't quite figure out the math to see how I'll get a "free" CD when I have to pay $29.99 for the Snuggie, but I don't think that's really the point.  Almost a million views of the spot on YouTube in less than a month?  I think their goal has been fully accomplished!

December 7, 2009

New Infomercial Format? - UnReel

UnReel, the "gardening hose management system."  Doesn't sound too exciting.  However, what this spot lacks, it makes up for in creativity.  The "Product Patrol" is on call to review the product in an infomercial format making it seem to be an objective review.  To the host's surprise, the UnReel works just as it promises!  Seems a bit shameless, but I like it.  One could criticize Vince "Shamwow" Offer for being over the top cheesy in selling his products, but it works.  Billy Mays was infamous for his yelling through the television.  But, these hosts are memorable because they are different.  I applaud the creativity of the UnReel team.  They are solving a real, everyday problem, and they are marketing in a new and unique way.  I suspect that viewers will easily see through the "shameless" approach, but it just might be enough to break through the clutter.

What do you think?

UnReel Spot:

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December 3, 2009

Telebrands CEO on "The View"

The View.  I hate the show, but you gotta love AJ Khubani, the CEO of Telebrands that has made millions of dollars for over 25 years selling products on TV.  Though he has never starred in his own infomercials, he reached recent stardom as a guest and sponsor of the hit show, Pitchmen.  AJ funded several of the hits that came out of Billy Mays' and Anthony Sullivan's show on Discovery channel earlier this year.

Here's a recent interview where AJ "objectively" reviews several of the top as seen on TV products with the cast of The View:


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Happy Birthday Mr. Infomercial!

Celebrating the birth of the infomercial. 60 years ago today (December 3, 1949) VitaMix Machines were first sold on TV. We've come a long way since then in video quality, but you still see tenets from the original VitaMix founder that are present in today's infomercials.

Check out their original infomercial at: http://vitamix.cachefly.net/household/Videos/papa_repost/index.html

December 1, 2009

Infomercial tips

I've received dozens of emails requesting pointers on launching products on DRTV (i.e. infomercials).  My role is to poke fun at spots that are just plain funny, and also to share some of my favorite infomercials with all of you.  I'm not sure how helpful my posts are to budding entrepreneurs, but my friends at Harvest Group do a much better job explaining how to be successful on TV.

Harvest Group recently posted some instructional videos to help entrepreneurs considering using DRTV to launch their products.  Here are some examples (email readers, CLICK HERE):

What makes a successful infomercial product?


Market Research - Connect to the Consumer:


The Business Side of DRTV / How to Make Money:


Other videos can be found at the Harvest Group YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HarvestGroupDRTV

November 19, 2009

Scratch Ender

Scratch Ender.  Finally, a solution to scratched stainless steel!  My sink is a wreck.  My stove is filled with scuffs.  And my stainless steel fridge door has a knick that bothers me every time I open the door.  The Scratch Ender instructions sound easy: squeeze the stuff on to the included tool/pad, rub on the surface and wipe away.  Sounds easy enough. 

I saw a few "before/after" demos that made me wonder how well the product really worked, but the real time demonstration near the middle of the ad makes it look like there's no camera trickery.  I'll be trying this product for sure!



Email readers click HERE!

October 1, 2009

Max Grip Dash Tray - Billy Mays

Max Grip Dash Tray, a new spot from the late, great Billy Mays. This must have been one of the final spots he worked on, and it's actually a pretty cool idea. Cell phones, iPods, garage door openers, sunglasses...the list of things I carry in my car is endless. Unfortunately, my iPhone now only works for about 5 minutes at a time before dropping my calls since it has fallen so many times. The Dash Tray could solve that problem...I'm sold!

Unfortunately, the video quality below is poor, but you can also check out their full-res video on the Max Grip website.

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September 28, 2009

Where's Billy Mays?

http://www.wheresbillymays.com/. "Young Billy Mays," as he's known on Twitter and Facebook, or Billy Mays III as he's affectionately known to the rest of us is the son of the late, great Billy Mays. Young Billy has started a blog in honor of his late father - you should really check it out if you were ever a fan of the greatest infomercial pitchman of our lifetime.






The intent of the blog is to post stickers of Billy Mays all over the world and send in pics to Young Billy so his dad's legacy can live on. It's a very heart-warming gesture from the nicest 20-something you would ever be lucky enough to meet. I don't know Young Billy well, but I've met him a few times, and where he lacks in his father's eternal salesmanship, he more than makes up for in his kindness and constant attention to others...just like his dad.




Visit his blog to support Young Billy. Maybe to support the late Billy Mays II. Or even if just for entertainment, but it's definitely worth a visit.




My best to Young Billy and his family, and thanks for the powerful blog. BTW, I just discovered that Young Billy is also quite a musician...check some of his music out here.




Some great links from his blog (scroll down below the big header on each page):










In Young Billy's own words: "Almost immediately after my dad's passing, (I won't use the word 'death' because I don't believe in such a thing) the team at Sullivan Productions got these stickers printed of his face. The image was drawn by Jess Saxon, husband of Arwen Saxon. (Producer/Director on Pitchmen)
The stickers were originally handed out at a small gathering at Sully's house for production-crew-friends of my dad.
Later that week at the funeral, the Sullivan Crew brought a huge box full of the stickers and handed them out to EVERYONE.
Shortly after, my followers on Twitter began asking about how to get one.
So, we ordered about 2,000 more and tweeted an address to send a SASE to get them.
Before long, people began taking pictures of all the different (sometimes funny) places they were putting their stickers.
Then, TMZ ran a story about "The sticker craze that's sweeping the nation." It was then that I knew I had to take this opportunity to keep my dad's image alive.
For those of you didn't know him personally, I can tell you right now that you would've loved him. There weren't many people, upon meeting him, who didn't enjoy his company.
My dad was the type of person who would actually listen to your story, whether he was talking to a fan at a crowded airport or a longtime business partner.
His story isn't too boring in itself:
In short, he started with nothing and finished with everything he could ever want.
I hope that when you're placing your sticker, you get a positive feeling knowing that you're continuing the legacy of a good man.
My dad had the kind of sense of humor where he was in on the joke. He knew that his image was funny and he didn't mind poking fun at himself.So, as you participate in this little tribute, do it with a light heart.
As for me, I'm beyond proud of my dad's ENTIRE LIFE. He lived his life with blistering passion and a rare generosity. I had 22 amazing years with him and he taught me a lifetime's worth of lessons in a quarter of the time.
To you, the reader, thanks for helping me honor the most amazing man I've ever known."






September 25, 2009

UGlu

UGlu. It's been a good week for good DR spots. I love the demos in this spot. My only fear is that the product will demo very well and deliver poorly, much like Mighty Putty. If the glue tape works as well as it shows on TV, it should be a real winner. I've been so disappointed in the past, however, that I'm reluctant to try this out until it hits retail, and I fear for this company that millions of Americans will feel the same way.



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September 23, 2009

Effortless Extensions

Effortless Extensions. "Transform your look with the ultimate hair accessory!" "Go from ordinary to extraordinary, in seconds!" These are pretty strong claims for an As Seen On TV item, but from the looks of it, they just might deliver on the promise. The before/after shots are beautiful! Like many of my female readers and friends, I've toyed with the idea of hair extensions for years, but never took the plunge. I figured that if I wanted longer hair, I would grow it out. But Effortless Extensions is the first product I've seen that let's you go from long to short to long on a whim. I've seen a few products on HSN and QVC that add buns or ponytails to your hair, but never a true extension that you can style any way you like.

I've ordered my own, and will let you know if they deliver on their promise...

Check out the spot and let me know what you think.

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September 19, 2009

Snuggie Fashion Show

Fashion Week in NYC is a HUGE event every year. New brands are launched. Celebrity fashions are formed. Millions of dollars are booked. This year, however, the biggest story (at least for my thousands of readers) was the launch of several new Snuggie models for dogs, kids and trendy adults. Ross "the Intern" Matthews was the emcee, and although he lacked his normal hilarious sarcasm, the event was a monumental success.

Thank you Allstar Marketing for taking As Seen On TV products to this level!

Details from the Allstar Marketing press release:
On Tuesday, September 15, 2009 Snuggie™ held its first-ever fashion show to display its latest colors and styles! Celebrity host Ross "The Intern" Mathews narrated the event.The Snuggie™ Fashion Show featured lights, cameras and glamorous models as they struck a pose in new Snuggie™ blankets. Of course, it wouldn't be a Snuggie™ affair without a few surprises along the way, such as canine models in the new Snuggie™ for Dogs blanket coats and the unveiling of limited edition Snuggie™ designs that will be available online and through television offers this holiday season.


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August 31, 2009

Mesh One

Mesh One. "The folding chair you'll want to show off!" I never thought I'd see a 2-minute commercial hawking a folding chair, but the spot is actually pretty entertaining. The chair just sits there, but the demonstrations bring it to life. I must admit that I've actually tried this chair, and it's super comfortable. http://www.meshone.com/




(Email readers click here)

August 27, 2009

Are these real infomercials?

Kudos to Jordan Pine, from SciMark. He found some real doozies this week.

A-Spray. Feet stink. Butts stink. Private parts stink. However, that doesn't mean that you should show people spraying these body parts on TV. Honestly, I don't have anything more I can say about this spot, but trust me, you'll enjoy it!

(Email readers click here)

Poop Trap. I'm sorry to share this video, but I can't help myself. Once you see it, you'll feel the same way. Dog lovers love their dogs. I know it sounds obvious, but many will do whatever it takes to make their dogs happy. To help them avoid the embarrassment of pooping on the ground in public, the geniuses at Poop Trap Inc. spent months, maybe years designing a device that enables dogs to poop while standing up. Much better.

In case you can't stand to watch the entire 60 seconds, you at least have to check out the scene at 0:42. I can only pray that the HD networks disallow this spot from airing so I don't have to see a close-up of a dog actually pooping into a clear plastic bag. Oh what a world that would be.

(Email readers click here)

August 14, 2009

Use a towel to get cool

New idea? I'm not sure. However, in late July, I saw two products that are virtually the same concept to try and tackle the problem of keeping cool in the summer. Here's the idea: take the product, whichever of the two you choose, soak in water and snap it in the air to instantly make it cooler than the outside air temperature. Which spot is better? Clearly, the first one is going low budget with their test and the second spent more time working on production quality. Does it matter? See for yourself:

Snap-It-Kool


Polar Snap Cooling Towel

August 12, 2009

Funny videos. Can they sell?

The last couple of years have turned infomercials into loud fixtures in pop culture. Billy Mays, may he rest in peace, hit true celebrity stardom appearing on all the late-night talk shows and starring in his own hit documentary, Pitchmen, on the Discovery Channel. The Snuggie inspired pub crawls all over the country, and actually made it into prime time in product placements that billion-dollar brand managers only dream of. Vince, "Sham-Wow," Schlomi was everywhere on the airways, and not just his news clips from beating up the Miami hooker. YouTube infomercial spoofs generated MILLIONS of views in weeks. Crazy!

Leave it to these innovative marketers to capitalize on the trend. YouTube spoofs for the ShamWow spot and the Slap Chop spot, now being marketed by different companies despite the shared spokesman, are now hitting the airwaves. In the past two weeks, I've seen these two hilarious spoofs on TV...not on YouTube!...on my real TV! Genius! The verdict is still out whether or not the tactic will work, but in the meantime, I can't get the Slap Chop rap out of my head..."you're gonna slap, slap, slap your troubles away with the Slap Chop..."

Slap Chop Rap


ShamWow! Melody

August 10, 2009

Snuggie for Dogs

Snuggie for Dogs. I first heard about this concept about a month ago, and I have to admit that I thought it was a real stretch for the brand. However, the spot was well done and makes the product pretty compelling. "Why would my dog need a Snuggie?" is the question I first asked myself, but now I'm saying, "how did my dog ever survive without a Snuggie!" Dog sweaters are a pain. This looks easy to wear. It's as simple as that. Check out the spot to see what you think:






Some other great products that would be perfect for pets:

ShamWow/UrineGone combo

Proactiv for Dogs

Iron Gym for Cats (Am I the only one that finds cat pictures a bit scary?)

July 31, 2009

Bottle Tops.

Bottle Tops. Love it! Not in the "I want to buy you" way, but more like "this product is hilarious!" Imagine yourself, if just for a moment, in the year 1976. You can see the bell-bottom jeans. Smell the fondue. Taste the Tab Cola dripping from the hi-tech aluminum can into your diet soda bloated belly. Can you believe you used to drink from glass bottles? And soda used to be made without saccharin? Not now. May inexpensive and virtually unbreakable aluminum cans live forever!

Before those darn dolphins swallowed all the plastic 6-pack rings, aluminum soda cans were all the rage. They were absolutely perfect!...with the minor problem that they weren't resealable. Enter Bottle Tops. Now you can add a resealable lid to your aluminum can and store opened containers in the fridge...bring it with you on your next bike ride...or turn it into a dry ice bomb.

Now roll forward to the year 2009. Plastic bottles are everywhere. Plastic water bottles in the conference room. Soda bottles at the gas station. Even the vending machine at Wal-Mart dispenses these little technological marvels that can safely be swallowed whole by even the smallest dolphins. If you live in West Virginia (no offense), maybe you haven't seen these plastic bottles yet. You will love Bottle Tops on top of your soda cans. For the rest of us, if we really want to reseal our soda, can't we just buy the bottle instead?

Click here to see the Bottle Tops website.

July 29, 2009

Potty Patch.

Potty Patch. Yes, you read correctly. No, this is not at all related to the smokers patch, but that would be pretty funny too. Potty Patch helps your dog poop inside your house. Am I the only one that thinks that dog poop is REALLY stinky? When it gets stuck on your shoe, it takes days of soaking to remove the smell. But if you just can't get enough dog poop in your home, Potty Patch brings it ALL inside. It's basically a kitty litter system for dogs. The only difference is that cats are tiny, and so is their poop. Dogs are totally different, and did I already say that they are totally stinky? Very funny ad though...

July 28, 2009

Turbo Snake

Turbo Snake. Love it! Drano never seemed to make a dent in the tough clogs in my decades old Chicago apartment. I once hired a plumber for a couple hundred dollars to clear out a stuck drain. The need is real, and people are frustrated with current options. Turbo Snake appears to solve the problems by being an easy solution to remove the toughest clogs. Plus, the demos are powerful. We've seen that combination before, and it usually leads to a successful campaign.

July 24, 2009

Pitchmen - Grater Plater & Mighty Putty Wood

Update: a fellow As Seen On TV Fan found the Mighty Putty Wood commercial. Thanks Dino! Check it out at this LINK. He also found the Mighty Tape commercial HERE.

Pitchmen. After a week hiatus from serious infomercial production, the Discovery Channel Pitchmen show finally got back to business with a head to head infomercial competition. This time, they produced virtually the same spot for the Grater Plater - one spot starring Billy Mays and the other starring Anthony Sullivan. I was inclined to believe that Anthony Sullivan would outperform Billy simply because this was a low intensity, non-demo-intensive product. Basically, as the spot states, "it's a cheese grater and a plate." However, as most everyone else in the world would predict, Billy Mays beat out Sully by 40% and delivered a 3 to 1 ratio...a huge hit!

My only question is if Billy's spot did so much better, why is Sully's spot featured at http://www.graterplater.com/? Check out the videos for yourself and see which you think is better...

Billy Mays

Anthony Sullivan


Mighty Putty Wood. Now wait a minute. I could have sworn that they told us on tonight's Pitchmen that the brand new Mighty Putty spot with Billy Mays on the HMS Bounty blew away the results of the previous version...hmmm...I couldn't find the new spot anywhere online...not even on the "official" Mighty Putty website. Strange. It makes me wonder how much of Pitchmen is true and how much is just a pitch...either way, it continues to be the BEST reality show on TV!

July 23, 2009

EZ Find

EZ Find. If you're like me, and you know you are, then at least once within the past week you have lost your TV remote and said to yourself, "why can't they make a locator on the remote control? If they can make one for cordless phones, how hard could it be?" Then you go to Google and Amazon to see if the product already exists. Here's what I've found so far...


These is just 1 example from more than 450,000 results on Google and about 20 different versions that you can purchase on Amazon. EZ Find. Yes, it is easy to find several versions of your product! Still, the fact that so many people have asked the question, and most haven't gone to Google to search for their product, they may have something here. I suspect that most viewers will go through the same process I did when I first saw the ad:

  1. Where is my remote so I can change the channel.

  2. Ugh, I can't find it.

  3. Wait a minute, what's this? Are you telling me someone came up with a solution so I never have to lose my remote again? Wow!

  4. And it comes with several unique pieces so I can track my phone, my keys, my remote....

  5. Did I really eat that whole bag of Cheetos during one episode of Jon & Kate?

  6. Will it attach to my 3 year old?

  7. $200? No way.

  8. Wait a minute, they cut the price to $29.99.

  9. Now wait another minute, that's two payments of $29.99.

  10. That's gotta be more than $50!

  11. Do I really lose my remote that often? And what's wrong with always watching the same channel anyways?

  12. What happens if I lose the EZ Find?


And the final question is the killer. I suspect this won't sell very well, but I suppose I've been wrong before. Here's the EZ Find ad for your enjoyment:



Now where are my keys so I can get out of here?...

July 20, 2009

HairLites.

Hair Lites. The at-home, easy-to-use hair highlighter. Only $19.95. Love it!

When I go to the Aveda Salon for highlights, I never walk out the door without paying at least $200. This product I'm willing to try out, even though I have low expectations in my own ability to give myself good highlights...can it really be that easy?








Some other "at-home" products I'd like to see on television...

At-Home Tattoo Kit


At-Home Piercing Kit



Just PLEASE...PLEASE...watch the instructional videos in their entirety before using...it's not as easy as it looks!

July 17, 2009

Twist Away Hair Removal - OUCH!

Ouch! I have a few painful memories that really stick out.
  • Losing a toenail in a marathon.
  • Accidentally spraying sunscreen in my eye.
  • Waxing.
  • Watching The View.
  • Realizing that I'm not in high enough of a tax bracket to be upset with Obama's tax hike.
  • And...getting my arm hair stuck in a spring...there was nothing I could do to avoid pulling out a couple dozen hairs...Yikes!

I'm happy to announce that if you look for ways to torture yourself, a brand new product gently rolls across your body and pulls all the hair out from its roots. It's a path of pain. With waxing, you get all the pain over in a flash. But if that's not good enough for you, try out the Twist Away Hair Removal system to slowly and methodically pull hairs out one by one.

Value Option. If you really like this product, but can't afford the $15, you can buy a competitive product at Home Depot for $0.79. Don't say I never did anything for you.


July 16, 2009

Discovery Channel's Pitchmen picked up for 2nd season!


Breaking News. With the passing of our friend, Billy Mays, many of you have asked me if Pitchmen would be returning for a second season. Disovery Channel has just confirmed that they will in fact be bringing back Anthony Sullivan for a second season, and Billy's son, Billy Mays III will be closely involved in the production. That's great news for As Seen On TV Fans!


Discovery Channel sent out the below press release earlier this week:


[07.14.09 - 04:16 PM]SECOND SEASON OF DISCOVERY CHANNEL'S PITCHMEN IS A GOReleased by Discovery
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]
SECOND SEASON OF DISCOVERY CHANNEL'S PITCHMEN IS A GO
- Encore Presentation of PITCHMAN: A TRIBUTE TO BILLY MAYS to Air July 24 at 10PM ET/PT -
Discovery Channel's PITCHMEN, the 12-part series that featured the late Billy Mays II and his business partner, Anthony 'Sully' Sullivan, will be back for a second season. Because of the success of the series first season, and as a tribute to Mays' legacy, the show will continue. PITCHMEN, which is produced by Original Productions, a division of Freemantle Media, took viewers behind the curtain into the billion dollar infomercial industry, as Mays and Sullivan helped everyday men and women bring their inventions to the masses. Discovery Channel is developing the format of season two with Mays' son, Billy Mays III, Anthony Sullivan and Thom Beers, CEO of Original Productions. More information will be announced as it becomes available. A premiere date for season two of PITCHMEN hasn't yet been set.
PITCHMAN: A TRIBUTE TO BILLY MAYS, which first premiered on Discovery Channel on July 9, will re-air Friday, July 24 at 10PM ET/PT. The special pays tribute to the larger-than-life infomercial pioneer - the products he launched, the numerous inventors he helped, and how this family man from Pittsburgh became a household name, ultimately redefining television ad sales.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the US, can be seen in over 170 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISAD, DISBD, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Original Productions
Founded by Thom Beers in 1997, Original Productions produces authentic non-fiction programming featuring everyday heroes in extraordinary situations, including mega-series Deadliest Catch and new hit phenomenon Pitchmen. Beers' steadfast focus on top-notch storytelling with engaging personalities in high risk circumstances has produced more than 1,000 hours of original programming since the company's inception. In February 2009, a majority stake in the company was purchased by FremantleMedia, one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company.

June 29, 2009

A Tribute to Billy Mays.

Billy Mays has been entertaining millions on national television since he first sold OxiClean and Orange Glo on HSN in 1996. Since then, no one has had as great an impact on advertising as Billy Mays. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Billy and to his family and friends. All who knew Billy personally know that he was a great pitchman, perhaps the best we'll ever know, not because he was loud or because of his signature smile but because Billy was a great person. I first met Billy at an OxiClean advertising shoot in 2005. I last saw him at the Response Expo in San Diego in May, 2009. When he was swarmed with friends and fans, he yelled my name to catch my attention and gave me a firm handshake and a smile. Billy was a genuine friend, even to those that came across him only a couple of times each year. Thank you Billy for your inspiration, not only as a pitchman, but as a true friend. Out of the highest respect to Billy, I'd like to share some of the best spots Billy ever did. They portray only a small part of his huge personality. Hopefully, you'll get a glimpse into his energy, his eagerness to help others and his honesty.





TV will never be the same!

June 28, 2009

Billy Mays dies at age 50

Shocking and sad news for all of us. Billy Mays has died at the young age of 50. He leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come. My condolences to his family and all who knew this iconic figure and great man.

Details of his passing are still sparse, but FOXNews posted what information we do know a few hours ago.

'Infomercial King' Billy Mays Found Dead in Home - Celebrity Gossip Entertainment News Arts And Entertainment - FOXNews.com
'Infomercial King' Billy Mays Found Dead in Home - Celebrity Gossip Entertainment News Arts And Entertainment - FOXNews.comPosted using ShareThis

June 26, 2009

Interview with an infomercial king

Telebrands CEO A.J. Khubani gave an extensive interview to USA Today regarding the DRTV industry and how inventors can reap huge rewards by bringing their products to Telebrands or a similar company for nationwide marketing. The interview gives a great behind-the-scenes look into the fast-growing infomercial world. A.J. reveals that his private company spent over $300MM on television advertising last year, more than nearly all major consumer product companies. With that advertising spend, you can estimate Telebrands revenues at $750MM to $1 Billion, including retail and international. Wow!

The great news is that if you have an invention of your own and can't get an audience with TeleBrands, it only costs a few thousand dollars to work with a proven advertising producer and get your product on national television. If it makes money, TeleBrands and their counterparts will be knocking down your doors to license your product. I've had a few friends go this route with great success. The producer I know best is Harvest Group in Colorado (www.harvestgrowth.com), but there are a few others as well.

You can read the full USA Today front-page article HERE.

Or see A.J.'s interview below:

June 23, 2009

Cozy

Cozy. Interesting product. Huge offer! ...that makes for a powerful combination. It's certainly not as entertaining of a product as the Snuggie, but I can see myself using the Cozy more frequently. If the Cozy is truly as relaxing as these actors make it appear, I will use one for those office cat-naps I take all too often.



I'm not sure I've ever seen an offer quite this extensive...for $19.99, they somehow give you a stuffed neck pillow, an inflatable travel pillow insert, a Cozy "arm hammock," a fleece blanket, a fleece scarf, an eye mask and a travel case. I recently purchased a neck pillow in the airport for $20 by itself!

June 19, 2009

Comfort Wipe. Funniest ad of the year?

Comfort Wipe. Intrigued? One of my all-time favorite lines from any movie is in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy, when the little boy gets all excited and exclaims "I wipe my own A#@, I wipe my own A#@!" That is a monumental achievement in a child's life. The first wipe. For parents, it's an even more monumental occasion since it's the last time they will have to wipe their bums for them. Over the course of several decades, though, wiping your rear gets less and less exciting. I must say that I actually don't even enjoy the experience any longer. However, I do look forward with worry and anxiety for the day that I will no longer be able to wipe myself. For those that are getting closer to that undesireable destination, there's now a product that promises to give you a few extra days of control...a few extra days where you can still wipe yourself without help from the attending nurse. I guess for even a few extra days, I would pay anything. Yes, this is a REAL product...check out their website.

June 18, 2009

Pitchmen - Green Now

Pitchmen - Green Now. Love it! Last night on The Discovery Channel's Pitchmen, Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan pitched a new product from Allstar Marketing (from Snuggie fame...) called Green Now! The crux of the idea is that you can spray paint your lawn to look green even though it isn't really green. For those of us born without a green thumb, this product is perfect. And it looks like it actually turns your thumb green when you use it, just as would an aerosol can of spray paint. The secret to Green Now! is that is also includes a fertilizer in its formulation so you not only fix the immediate problem, but you help to grow new, "real" green grass where the brown spots once were. Sign me up!













Upsells. You know when you call in, the companies always try to sell you complementary stuff that you really don't need, but they are at prices so compelling, you can't pass them up, right? Well, with Green Now, everything is different. Take a look at these perfectly completmentary products.

If you like spray on grass, you'll LOVE spray on hair!













If you are still on the phone, then you'll definitely LOVE spray on abs!


June 9, 2009

Kevin Trudeau - infomercial scam artist or hero?

Kevin Trudeau. He's good. He's very good. There's just something about the way he pitches a product. I want to believe him. I want to like him. Even though he's been "busted" by the FTC several times for fraudulent advertising claims. In 1995, I purchased a product off of TV for the first time, Kevin Trudeau's Mega Memory. It was a series of cassette tapes that promised to improve your memory...who doesn't need that! Overall, it seemed like a pretty good system. I listened to the entire program. I filled out the entire workbook...and it seemed to work pretty well. It was basically a summary of all the standard memory tricks for remembering people's names, etc., but it worked as well as any other system, I imagine.

Well, after being banned from the air waves - a ruling came down several years ago that Kevin couldn't sell anything on TV with the exception of books (huh?). Rather than being beaten down by this hurdle, he went on to sell millions of copies of "Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About." This was followed up by his smashing success, "Debt Cures They Don't Want You To Know About." Next came "The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You To Know About." You get the idea. I've heard from a very reliable source on YouTube that he's ready to launch one of the following as his next big success:
  • Federal Stimulus Package Cures They Don't Want You To Know About
  • Global Warming Cures They Don't Want You To Know About
  • Cures For Infomercial Scams I Don't Want You To Know About

It's easy to judge Kevin Trudeau. I wrote him off years ago when I first heard about his chastisement from the FTC. However, a recent ruling came down against him for $37MM in response to supposed fraudulent claims made in his "Weight Loss Cure"advertising. Read his bio on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau), and you're sure to come to the same conclusion...BUT, watch this video of a recent "television" interview and you may change your mind...a great example of just how convincing he can be...even when you want to hate him...


There are several more videos in the long interview...I just wanted to give you a small taste here...

June 5, 2009

Shark Tank - new reality show for entrepreneurs

Shark Tank. A new reality show is coming our way this fall. If you like the Discovery Channel's Pitchmen, then you'll love Shark Tank! It's not a new concept. Actually, it looks like an exact copy of the BBC's Dragon's Den. However, since we get all of our best shows from the U.K. (The Office, The Office, and a few others...), I have high hopes. Also, with Survivor's and The Apprentice's Mark Burnett as the executive producer, we're sure to have compelling content.

Shark Tank is essentially a forum where inventors pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors in an attempt to convince these millionaire investors to share their own money to launch the entrepreneurs' dreams. The panelist that is sure to capture our attention is Kevin Harrington. As the founder of OmniReliant Holdings, Kevin has been a mainstay in the DRTV industry for years. You may remember it was his brother that funded the Dual Saw on Pitchmen a few weeks back.

Check out the trailer for the show:

...and compare with the U.K. version, Dragon's Den:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/

June 3, 2009

Pitchmen - iCan Health Insurance + Awesome Auger

Pitchmen, June 3, 2009. Nothing really new this week. Did Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan run out of new product ideas? We've all seen both of the ads they focused on during Pitchmen today, iCan Health Insurance and Awesome Auger. Both great ads, and the Awesome Auger continues to be a huge DR hit as we roll into the summer months. I'm starting to question the results they claim on Pitchmen...each week, they seem to have one monster hit, but I haven't seen many of them show up on the rankings, or show up often on my television for that matter...So I'll just give you my raw opinion of the ads.
iCan Health Insurance: Pure genius. Getting Billy Mays involved in an insurance ad was a very creative idea. We have so many insurance options, and most of us are hesitant to trust a brand we're not familiar with. iCan smartly linked up with Billy to bring credibility to the company. Also, the positioning of the ad is ideal for our economic times...healthy insurance for everyone. I haven't seen this ad show up in the rankings, but I'm sure it will be a continued success if the business that backs it up is legitimate...or until our U.S. government starts to provide free insurance to everyone...


New Awesome Auger: Seasonal products don't work on DR. Power tools cannot be successful in a 2-minute infomercial. We've heard claims like these before, and, frankly, I'm surprised Billy took on this product in the first place. However, ever since its first airing, the Awesome Auger has been a steady hit each summer, and 2009 appears to be no different. Is it Billy's attention grabbing personality? Is it because of the powerful demos that make it look like your household drill can rip up even the toughest problems in your backyard? I'm not sure, but this is certainly one of those ads you can't turn off when it comes on. Expertly done, and very compelling...not that I'll ever buy an Auger, but I still love the entertainment value of the ad...

June 1, 2009

Wonder Vase

Wonder Vase. Cool idea. In a nutshell, Wonder Vase is a moldable plastic flower vase. If you want a beautiful vase to show off in your home for years to come, this is not what you're looking for. However, giving flowers isn't just about beauty. When you're looking for a fun way to display flowers, you've found it in the Wonder Vase. This is the ideal vase for "crafty" moms or kids. You can really have fun with it. I don't think they captured the "fun" aspect enough in their infomercial, so I don't believe it will ever be a hit, but if they tweaked the spot to focus on how Wonder Vase helps you to interact with your flowers and enjoy them more as an "experience" then it could be a real winner. Also, you don't always need 20 uses for every product...the travel idea...I just don't get it...

May 26, 2009

Spin Gym - Easier than the Hawaii Chair!

As Seen on PITCHMEN May 27, 2009...
Spin Gym.  "It doesn't look like you're doing much..." Yes, that is an actual quote from the spot, and pretty much sums it all up. I love this product. Ingenious. I'm just a bit skeptical that it will do much of anything. I guess it probably works as well as the Health Rider that my grandpa bought from an infomercial in the 80's...and I suppose they are, as usual, targeting the couch workout crowd...

If the pricing in the ad is a bit high for you, I've found a way to make your own for cheap. Just use a button and a string, as shown by this 6-year old girl, and pull the string tight to see the button spin. It's fun AND a workout!Unlike the Spin Gym, the button and string gym does NOT promise results, so don't email me to get your $0.05 back! See one unsatisfied customer below, and be warned.

May 25, 2009

Mighty Blast

Mighty Blast. Cool. I know, we're only allowed to have one absolute favorite product, and my favorite is still the OUT Instant Stain Remover, but Mighty Blast is pretty darn cool. "Blast away stains from up to 6 feet away!" The product looks pretty simple. Spill something disgusting on your carpet, then grab this 1970's looking aerosol can and spray the stain until it completely disappears. My only question, stolen from the blockbuster infomercial film, "Envy" is "where does the $*#@ go?" In the hugely entertaining film, Va-POOH-Rize makes $*#@ disappear...literally. Mighty Blast makes any stain, not limited to $*@# vanish. I still may ask where it goes, but I really don't care. This product is cool!
www.mightyblast.com *


*Legal Disclaimer: Madison Keane, and all affiliates of www.AsSeenOnTVFan.com had absolutely nothing to do with the marketing of Mighty Blast. Additionally, Mighty Blast and all affiliates of said company are not paying Madison Keane in any form. However, if they would like to pay Madison Keane for the great exposure from her honest response, she will most likely return their email request favorably. But no matter what, her opinions expressed herein remain her honest opinions. Mighty Blast rules!

May 22, 2009

Wearable Towel - Snuggie for the shower

Wearable Towel. Hilarious. Honestly, who could have predicted that the blanket with sleeves would have been the infomercial phenomenon of the decade? With that in mind, I refuse to say that the towel with arm holes won't be a success. However, that won't stop me from saying that the Wearable Towel is a weird idea...and a hilarious ad.
The venerable Snuggie is just a backwards robe. I'm sorry to spoil it for you if that wasn't clear to you before, but it's pretty clear unless you've never danced in a backwards robe before. The Wearable Towel is, however, a 100% new idea. There has never been a mass-marketed towel with arm holes before...but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea. See if you can keep up while I explain the complexities behind why the Snuggie is a HUGE success, and the Wearable Towel....well, not so much. Yes, you could wear a bathrobe backwards if you want to keep warm while sitting on the couch and working the remote control, but you wouldn't wear a robe backwards to keep warm. Whereas, you CAN wear a robe after you towel off in the bathroom, and it will provide all the benefits of the Wearable Towel without looking weird. I own a robe, so I won't buy a Wearable Towel.
Now for my male audience. If you want to be cool, sexy, fun, exciting and hopelessly interesting, then buy a Wearable Towel and wear it as a toga when you go to the beach. Then, please take pictures of yourself at the beach and send to me. I will gladly share with my thousands of readers to show just how cool you are.
http://www.wearabletowel.com/


May 20, 2009

Pitchmen - Billy Mays' Tool Band-It vs. GrabIt

Pitchmen. On the 5/20 episode of Pitchmen, Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan pitched two tool products head to head. Although, I'm much more of a PedEgg pedicure kind of woman, these two particular tool products are pretty intriguing. As we've seen and learned time and time again, successful infomercial products solve problems that everyday Americans face. The Tool Band-It is basically a HUGE magnet that wraps around your arm like a blood pressure monitor. The goal is to keep all of your tools, nails, screws, and whatever else you use to hang a picture or fix a toilet, always within reach. Kind of like a tool belt, but with magnets. It's got magnets you see! Just be sure to avoid using the Tool Band-It around anything metal like metal framing, ladders, door handles, sharp knives or jewelry...
Tool Band-It:



Grab-It. Sadly, I am unable to link their video here, but you can check out the Grab-Itinfomercial at http://www.4grabit.com/. Now This is truly a unique idea! Unless you are a professional carpenter, I guarantee that you have stripped quite a few screws in your day...and if you are a professional carpenter, you have certainly stripped even more screws. The GrabIt simply removes stripped screws. Nuff Said. But if you really want to see what else can be said in a -minute infomercial, check out their website.

May 19, 2009

Blox - Jason Williams

Blox. OK. I've said it before, I really like Blox. The demos are incredible! I just saw new talent for Blox on HSN. I say, bring back Jason! He was such a good host...I actually miss him. I'll keep my eyes out for him with other products. I've posted two videos, one with Jason, and one with the new "other" talent. I think you'll agree which one is best...see what a difference the host makes? I can say that because I know that I would be a HORRIBLE host! Enjoy...

Jason Williams:

"Other" Talent:

May 18, 2009

Neckline Slimmer - sit-ups for your neck

Neckline Slimmer. As we age, our necks start to droop...or so I'm told. The same thing happens to our butts, our stomachs, and pretty much the rest of our bodies. We have purchased millions of exercise products and videos to tighten our rears, flex our fronts and to remove our cream filling from our insides. Some work and some don't, but until today, no one has solved the problem of how to slim down our sagging necks. I suppose we could stand to lose some weight, and that would help, but if I want to have a "ripped" neck, there just isn't a simple solution.

Manual workouts can be painful...









Yoga sounds good...but I'm not sure I'm really into it...









Ahhhh...but now there's an easier way to go from this to that (and apparently, the device will help you lose weight all over your face...)





I suppose they can explain better than I can...

May 15, 2009

Dot-A-Lot...Train Wreck?

Dot-A-Lot. Some ads are effective because you just can't turn away when they are aired. I like to call these spots "train wrecks..."

...not an original phrase, I know, but it couldn't be more fitting for the new Dot-A-Lot ad. The music and announcer are non-stop, in-your-face and INCREDIBLY ANNOYING! IN FACT, FOR ME, WATCHING THIS AD IS LIKE READING AN EMAIL WRITTEN IN ALL-CAPS...ANNOYING ISN'T IT?!? With all that said, is this really what kids' products are coming to? I remember when I was growing up that I could entertain myself for hours with just a paper and pencil. Sometimes, we couldn't even afford the pencil. But today, there is an endless supply of tools to help aspiring artists begin their careers as soon as they are old enough to wipe their own behinds. Dot-A-Lot clearly makes a lot of dots, but it should receive more praise for making me so dizzy that I couldn't dial the phone to purchase... I don't think I'm alone. When I went to http://www.getdotalot.com/ to check it out, the site is no longer available. Maybe I mistyped the address...I don't know...I'm still a bit dizzy.

May 14, 2009

Pitchmen - Spot Sucker and Heel Stick

Pitchmen. Last night on Billy Mays' and Anthony Sullivan's Pitchmen show in The Discovery Channel, we saw a cute story about Kyle Myhra, a 17-year old boy from Colorado, that won the hearts of Billy and Sully. They took him all over the country to help him pitch his products to TeleBrands, Idea Village and Media Enterprises. A very cute story, and clearly, Billy and Sully were sucked in by the story. The product itself may never make it big, but it's great to see young inventors giving everything they have to chase a dream. And, none of us can predict the hits 100% of the time, so if Billy really gets behind this, it just may work. Kyle holds his own, annd may be a future pitchman himself. Check out this local Colorado news story on Kyle:

Heel Stick. I reviewed the Heel Stick ad in March, 2009. I wasn't singing it's praises, primarily because I REALLY don't like looking at feet...especially in HD! However, according to last night's airing of Pitchmen, the media test for Heel Stick was a success - a 2.5 ratio, or $25,000 in revenue for every $10,000 spent on media. I'm surprised to see that their website isn't showing up early on Google...so I'm hoping the product continues to be successful. I'd love to see more of the Pitchmen ads successful, so here's hoping they start to show up. Check out the ad:

May 12, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Eye Treatments

Rapid Lash vs. Hydrolyze Eye Treatment. Once upon a time, there were two infomercials hawking similar products. Similar benefits were promised- "make your eyes prettier...sexier..." Similar pricing was offered. But they couldn't have been more different in the way they were sold to the public. Last week, both products introduced new infomercials. Beautiful eyes, and beautiful women were the intent from both, but the visuals didn't necessarily portray the end result. As I watched the Rapid Lash spot, I couldn't help but focus on the ugly wrinkles on the extreme close-ups. In fact, the wrinkles were so distracting that I didn't manage to see the real difference between the "before" and "after." Their website does a much better job of communicating the benifits.

On the contrary, the Hydrolyze Eye Treatment was expertly executed. Beautiful eyes...beautiful models. If I didn't already have perfect eyes with no wrinkles of my own, which is why I feel so comfortable judging the wrinkles of others, then I would be tempted to buy. When you watch these ads, pay attention to the difference. You can easily predict which will be the hit.

Rapid Lash:

Hydrolyze:

May 9, 2009

OUT - Gets the Stains Out!

OUT....Wow! I think we've found the new Oxi Clean. Cleaning products have been boring for the past several years, even Billy May's cleaning product ads are much tamer than they used to be. Finally, I found a product that delivers powerful cleaning demos that seem almost too good to be true. OUT Paste (http://www.outpaste.com/) is a brand new product I found this weekend that showcases truly instantaneous stain removal. The difference is that the demos are shown in real time, unlike the questionable before/afters or fancy camera switches ala ShamWow. OUT Paste looks like the real thing. Can it really work this well? I'm eager to hear about your usage experience. I'll certainly be posting mine as soon as I can get my hands on a tube.


Check out the amazing demos in this infomercial:

May 8, 2009

Obama Stamps

Obama Stamps. But not real stamps. "These stamps are for collectible, souvenir and personal usage only. They cannot be used as U.S. postage." This statement is, of course, only in the fine print. This is not a political website, but if it were, I could discuss this new infomercial product in one of two ways...please bear with me:

Liberal website: Today marks a monumental day in the history of this country. 40 years after Martin Luther King and 145 years after the death of Abraham Lincoln, we have an African American man as the leader of the free world. Hope and change. Those are the promises with
 which Barack H. Obama inspired our nation during his campaign, and those were the first two promises he kept. In the dire economic situation that our 44th President inherited 
from the less capable George W. Bush, Barack gives us hope that things will get better. And hope is exactly what we need to keep us going as we lose our jobs at alarming rates and lose our homes to predatory lenders. Change was announced. Change was discussed. And Change is happening. Finally, we have a House, as Senate and a President that can work together to effect real change. Health Care reform. Equality for all. A change in the way we perceive ourselves and in the way we are perceived in the international community. "Yes, we can" started as a stump speech to inspire us to hope for a better world and to give us the confidence that our government could help us change our individual lives. Today, you can celebrate in pride by purchasing 20 $1 commemorative stamps to be proudly used on packages, post cards, letters and to be saved for future generations. There's no upcharge on this one, you simply pay the face value for the stamps and continue to be inspired for the rest of Barack's 2 terms as President and for the rest of your lives as a proud member of the international community.


Conservative website: After only 100 troublesome days in office, Barack Hussein Obama is already being commemorated with a fitting souvenir.  Never before has a sitting President of the United States of America been featured in so many late-night infomercials, unless yo
u count the liberal whacko's selling comedy DVDs of George W. Bush or Bill Clinton's appearance in Girls Gone Wild.  Only 4 months into his first (and hopefully last) term in office, Barack is featured on the "Yes We Can" Collectible Self-Sticking Stamp set.  For only $19.99, you'll get 20 stamps, featuring images of Barack and his wife Michelle.  Each stamp has a face value of $1, so it sounds like a great deal, right?  Well...similar to Barack himself, the stamps aren't really worth as much as they claim to be.  When you read the fine print, you learn that "these stamps are for collectible, souvenir and personal usage only. They cannot be used as U.S. postage."  In other words, they have "$1" printed on them, but no one would actually give you $1 to buy them from you.  They have no dollar value.  They are stickers...but each sticker costs $1.  Personally, I like the idea because they are a symbol of our great leader.  They appear to have value, but when you read the fine print, there's nothing there, and when you try to trade them for something of value, you're told that there is no money back guarantee.  Luckily, the stamps only cost $20, whereas Barack has already cost $9 Trillion.  I'll take the stamps any day of the week!

Speaking non-politically, again, I can't wait to see if these are successful.  It's been amazing to see how many different collectible items have already been sold since President Obama first took office.  This isn't the best I've seen, but I guess you never know what will work.