Jun 30, 2009

Samurai Sellers: Ron Popeil

Second on our list of elite sellers of crap, we have Master Ronco, Ron Popeil.

In the mastery of selling crap, the name Ronco is synonymous with phrases like:

"Oh my god why the hell did I buy that?"

"I just have to find the perfect recipee to use it for the first time"

"This will make a great pass along gift for grandma"

And other bullshit lines to try to accept, understand or justify buying a piece of kitchen equipment that seems pulled out of Ripley Believe It or Not's ass.

Few people have the innate talent of mesmerizing viewers into generating 3:00 a.m. phone calls to buy obscure kitchen equipment. So what if he looks like Eric Robert's gay uncle? This man can sell. That soothing tone is the trick to luring you in and once he's crossed out two prices, you're in for one hell of a ride as he trickles down to the selling price, inspiring people at the same time as he convinces them that the three digit price is not only reasonable, but downright gracious on his part. I lost count how many times I tried to convince mom to buy the Food Dehydrator (3) when I was in gradeschool. Need evidence of the greatness that is Ronco? Then look below.

Video Evidence:

As you can see, the cool demeanor thinly veils one of the sharpest selling styles in the history of selling anything. The formula is simple, slash a price at least 16 times, include at least four extra products that are equally or even more useless than the one you are being hypnotized into buying, say wait there's more before every extra little thingamajig and include a lame recipe book a toddler would scoff at. But make no mistake, the Vanilla Swirl goodness of his hair was only the icing on the seller's cake. He obviously brainwashed a fairly heterogenous crowd of people so that all races were represented and you were doubly sold.

Marquis Products:

Ronco Food Dehydrator


Pasta Maker

NOTABLE MENTION: The Flavor Injector... because after all, what the hell type of science is there in a flavor injector?


- Hiding the real price of ANYTHING in three to five "easy installments"
- Persuading people to genuinely believe that they NEED a food dehydrator
- Coming up with great copy to sell all his products: "Set it and forget it"... Fucking brilliant.

Weapon of Choice:

Ingenious ploys to toy around with the impulsive buy sector of our lymbic system.


- Slashing prices
- Lowering prices
- Reducing prices
- Setting and forgetting but never forgetting to set
- Generating ludicrous amounts of empathy from a biased (bought out) crowd


- Short Pitches (Where billy mays excells, Ron fails and vice versa. No one can marathon like this man... well maybe one... but that's another Samurai)
- Hair dishevelling gusts of wind
- Taffy

Special maneuvres:

- The Eternal Price Slash
- The Wait There's More
- The Neverending Price Drop
- The Hidden Fee-liner


- Dehydrating
- Making Pasta look like play doh
- Setting and forgetting


- Forgetting to set
- Hurrying
- Logic


- Humidity
- Chef Boyardee and Bertolli
- Real products


- Liza Minelli lips
- A vast array of aprons


If it's an untimely death, Fear the Reaper. But if you fear an untimely purchase, fear the Ronco.


Jake P. said...

Damn. Was hoping for a Pocket Fisherman, but that appears to have only been an ad, not an infomercial....

Joker said...

Well there are many infomercials I love, but not all of them had sales gods behind the push. But will consider it for a future post/s.

Me said...

DUDE. I have just been crying all day because I lost a presentation TWICE to Mac failures. Um, yes, twice, 5 hours each time it dissapeared, so you do the math.

I just read this post. YOU MADE ME GIGGLE.

Thank you.....

I need to set it and forget it.

Teenie said...

What in the world are "12 different pasta dies"?

How many ways can you kill spaghetti?

Joker said...

@ Teenie: you made me snort. :) As for the 12 pasta dies, you could very ask yourself if this whole cutting the carbs has gotten out of hand, and gone down the pastacide route.

What I can't get is how the hell THAT is a selling point. But hey, to each their own.

Joker said...

That's awesome of you to share noherveleger. Can I next post the naked pics of your mom? Let me know. By the way, I didn't know Spam was on the menu tonight...

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