You cannot watch television for very long without being bombarded by an infomercial. You really need to understand what is going on in this infotainment advertisement. I have been involved in a couple of them and actually developed one with a country music star and a skin care line I made for her, so I am pretty well versed on how these things work.
The Infomercial Structure
As far as the format goes, the infomercial is not really a 30 minute show. It is 3 10 minute shows separated by calls to action—i.e. trying to get you to buy. As far as the products are concerned, there are some that have good research standing behind them and present products that work and do exactly what they say they are going to do. The best example of this is ProActive acne products. But not all fulfill the promises they present.
Some things you should know about how an infomercial really works. “if you are one of the first x callers, you get free shipping” Everyone gets it-this is trying to get you to call. “Call now and we will double the offer; you pay only shipping and handling”. This tells you that the product costs very little to manufacture and the S and H covers the cost.
Guarantees and Products
The product carries a money back guarantee. True. But you don’t know how long it will take to get your money back if you try. When you call, not only will they take your order for the product, but will try to sell you related ones—the so-called upsells. You don’t need to buy these at all. Also, do not sign up for automatic shipments unless and until you are certain you want the product.
Direct TV like home shopping network is similar and is often a direct outreach from the infomercial. This is a live show selling whatever product they are at the moment and works the same way as an infomercial. The main thing to remember is to stop and think—don’t act on impulse. Do you really need or want this item? There is no hurry—they aren’t going anywhere.