But wait, there's more … many mainstream advertisers struggling with the recession have cut their ad budgets. To fill that void, the makers of some "as-seen-on-TV" products have stepped up and increased their pitches.
One of the reasons for the increased attention in tough time is that these ads entice people by offering a perceived discount or more bang for your buck, said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of the brand consulting firm Brand Keys.
"They have always factored in the deal, which is something, more and more, the economy is forcing people to looking for," Passikoff said.
You know the lines: And that's not all … buy now and we'll throw in the following tools. Or how about: But wait, use your credit card and we'll double your order.
"There's always been a more-for-less money is better kind of resonance to that kind of offer," he said. "But still it depends what it is."
And why do these ads resonate so much with people?
"People are most attracted to infomercials and as-seen-on-TV products because people get to see the products in use and that reduces the risk associated with any purchase decision," said Chris Edmondson, a vice president at Fitzgerald & Co., an advertising firm.
With that in mind, we decided it might just be time to revisit our favorite -- new and old -- products sold on TV.
This isn't an endorsement of any particular product … some made the list just because they are so wacky and unusual, regardless of whether they're worth the money (we're not saying which ones.) And yes, of course there are plenty of items that didn't make the list (feel free to add your favorites in the comment section below.)
Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Inventor and TV pitchman Ron Popeil boiled cooking down to a simple catchphrase for Americans: "Set it, and forget it." With his Showtime Rotisserie oven, he promised that "fresh, healthful food has never been easier to prepare." Popeil would pair the offer with knife sets and flavor injectors that he also invented. Ronco went public in mid-2005 through a $50-million reverse merger with Fi-Tek, and Popeil divested his interest that year. Ronco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-2007, but is now back in business, again selling the Showtime rotisserie.
The Snuggie: The Blanket With Sleeves This TV product became an instant hit with its own cult following. The concept here is pretty simple: It's a blanket that keeps you warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands. Yes, you might look a bit silly wearing it, but that hasn't stopped this blanket from flying off store shelves. The Snuggie has sparked a global cult following, Facebook fan clubs and close to 7 million sales. Across the country there have been Snuggie pub crawls where hundreds of people don their blankets and go from bar to bar drinking.
Great Looking Hair Forget hair weaves or expensive drugs. Why not just cover that bald spot with spray paint. Spray paint? That's right, Ron Popeil doesn't just make rotisserie ovens … he also helps people look like they have a full head of hair. Cover that bald spot, or for women fix those thinning hair problems with just a quick spray or two. The product is supposed to look like real hair and stands up to rain.