I felt like someone should do a blog on those silly TV ads where you have to call in for the product. They always go like:
1) Show someone fumbling to accomplish a common task or use a competing product, emphasis on look of frustration on their face.
2) Look how much easier it is with the featured product! Dirt gets magically whisked away in seconds or food is cooked instantly. Show someone smiling while using product.
3) Various uses of product are detailed; product is able to clean, cook, or accomplish a certain household chore in a baffling variety of ways.
4) You may have seen products such as this sold for as much as $X (even though we were previously led to believe you guys just invented it): but we’re offering it for the unbelievable price of $X/5! or 3 easy payments of $X/10! Multiple payments are always described as “easy” like the check magically writes itself and hops in the mailbox.
5) Oh wait, if you call now, you’ll also get some second, ancillary product–this surprising additional item is always vaguely related to the first product, like if they’re selling knives they’ll throw in some spatulas or whatever. In some cases, the second product is actually better than the first and I’m left wondering why that wasn’t the product they chose to sell.
6) If you call within the next 10 minutes (note that our headquarters keeps track of the exact times at which this commercial is aired, so if you call in one hour and say “I just saw that commercial 10 minutes ago” we’ll know you’re lying) we’ll double your order for free! This marketing ploy usually has the effect of making the product seem cheap and worthless, cause you guys already convinced me I was getting a sweet deal before. Now that you’re giving me twice the shit for the same price, it just seems like you’re having trouble making sales.
7) End with a blue screen showing the phone number and a bunch of other crap, while some guy talks really fast about all the fine print (no C.O.D’s, fuck!)
Is the above some kind of tried and true marketing tactic? Or do people who can’t cut it in corporate marketing become “crazy ad for call-in product” writers? Furthermore, why are they so uncreative? Why not try a green screen at the end? What about quadrupling my order if I call within the next 30 seconds? I demand an explanation for this.