Monday, February 21, 2005

Slobokan's Site O' Schtuff

The Infomercial of the New Millennium

We’ve all seen them. They are called infomercials. We all know the format. Thirty minutes to an hour of product demonstration interrupted only by commercials for the very products they are promoting in the infomercial itself. Those of us who stay up late at night are probably more familiar with the traditional infomercial than those of you who don’t, but those of you who watch Lifetime Television might be acting as a “test bed” for a totally new concept in infomercial marketing.

Last week, while channel surfing, Gidget and I noticed a new show on Lifetime, called “How Clean Is Your House“. We only caught the last 5 minutes of the show, and although it looked a bit quirky, we thought it might be fun to watch and decided to check it out, so we did a search on our DISH and put in a reminder for the shows for this week, which aired last night from 11:00 pm until midnight.

The first show started by showing the disgusting condition of the home of an apparently very lazy American family who lack the ability to clean their own home and need two British women to rescue them from their own filth. Nice premise huh? I will ignore the fact that each of the shows so far seem to imply that all Americans are lazy, dirty people, which we all know is not the case.


Images of bugs crawling all over the kitchen, mold spreading throughout the bathroom, and more dirt and filth than any “normal” house could ever accumulate in 30 years are splashed across the screen. Of course the bugs make your skin crawl, the sight of mold makes your nose run, and the dirt and filth makes you want to clean your own home. The power of suggestion is a mighty thing, and I think the producers of this show are banking on it. Our initial feeling was that the show was scripted and the filth in the house was staged. Was it? Who knows? But no one could live in that much filth, and if they did, someone should have called the authorities because their home was a definite health hazard to their children.

After showing the condition of the home, the women, Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie, get to work, taking samples of the bathtub scum, sending those samples to the lab, and showing the family how to clean their own house. This is where the real trouble begins. We noticed something during this show that you don’t see on most renovation shows. Product placement. Extremely blatant product placement....

This is a substantial post, so I've just excerpted a bit. Please click here for the full post and comments. Very interesting. -- Grace

No comments: