Marketing mayhem: submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society…

I was at my local YMCA using the treadmill and staring at the muted television which was set on one of those local news channel with the headline scrolling along the bottom. It’s not Fox News, but it might as well be. I’m outnumbered by cranky old veterans and don’t care about what’s on the TV anyway, so I only glance at it every so often. Lucky me– I caught an infomercial in progress and couldn’t tear my eyes away.

I was hoping to see that beautiful struggle depicted in most infomercials: Man vs. tiny inconveniences. The flailing, the frustration WHY WON’T MY SUNGLASSES STAY STILL ON THE DASHBOARD? WHERE AM I GOING TO PUT ALL THESE SPICES? WHY DO I DESTROY EVERYTHING I TOUCH? No need for volume during an informercial; the contorted faces and flapping limbs say it all. This particular infomercial had a relatively benign problem and solution:

Problem: it can be dark sometimes, both inside and outside.

Solution: InstaBrites <— click the name to see a video and find out more! (warning: the video starts without prompting so be prepared if you hate that sort of thing like I do)

These clever little lights stay off when they’re close to a magnet, but when pulled away they turn on to illuminate drawers, cabinets, closets– you name it! So, basically refrigerator light technology but wherever you please. Sounds neat, but let’s be real:

Find a goddamned light switch. If your partner gets mad at you for turning the light on while you’re desperately trying to find your insulin in the en suite bathroom it’s time for a divorce, not InstaBrites.

Why the hell do you need to see your sewing kit in the goddamned dark? This question goes for cleaning supplies and storage containers full of clothes as well. If the entire room is dark, InstaBrites can’t help with whatever you need to do now that you have located that spool of thread. How do you even know there’s a mess to clean if the room is dark? And didn’t you put that sweater in the storage bin because you weren’t planning on wearing it anytime soon? Why do you need it now, in the dark?

Fine, putting the lights in a cooler is kind of rad. It’s definitely way better than using your phone as a flashlight and dropping it in the slushy cooler because it’s dark and you’re probably drunk.

I’m going to lay it down and say that any infomercial product can and should be used in a way not suggested by the information in the commercial. If those freaks are telling you to put the lights in your car’s glove compartment, they are scraping the bottom of the idea barrel. Show them what you’ve got with some:

Outside-the-Box thinking. I don’t know how much those kids’ shoes that light up cost, but I bet InstaBrites are cheaper. Put the magnet on one shoe and the light on the other.  Ungainly, but as your kid walks the light should go off when its feet are close together, creating a very slow flicker. Maybe if you find yourself fencing in the dark, you can see where your sword has made contact by putting a magnet on the sword and coating your opponent in InstaBrites. Look, I don’t get paid and I don’t know anything about fencing. Or kids.

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1 comment
  1. I broke my only pair of glasses a few weeks ago and it felt like a real life infomercial! I didn’t have a spare with the current prescription so I had to duct-tape the broken ones, which fell off my face about 20 times a day. I actually screamed one morning after they fell on the floor four times in a row. I feel you, infomercial people!

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