Late-night infomercials, entertaining or disgusting?

Published 6:59 pm Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes late-night infomercials are just that. It’s the kind of stuff for people to doze through or to really get hyper about, depending on who is doing the shouting.

Recently, MSNBC ran a late-night infomercial about an all-body spray. It was the last time the news network ran the commercial, according to The Washington Post.

The effect of this commercial is summed up in one word: Gross.

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Frequently, commercials turn us off or on. Remember ‘where’s the beef’ from a few decades ago? Everybody has said those words at some time or the other. For those a little older, the grammar debate of Winston cigarettes (Winston tastes good like a cigarette should or Winston tastes good as a cigarette should evolved into ‘what do you want? Good grammar or good taste?).

Infomercials are of a different breed. They have more time to drag out, so they don’t have to fall in the pithy category as much. A few will guilt you into buying a home gym because you want rock-hard abs or thighs that could crush rocks. Others take on a talk show kind of format informing you of property investments, say in the swamps of Florida and Georgia, or you could invest in that beautiful waterfront property in Arizona. No matter, your portfolio will flourish and you’ll make thousands and never have to work a 9-to-5 again.

Then there come the hollering, screaming infomercials usually for household gadgets, ranging from knives that slice paper to slicer dicers to bags for preserving clothes as long as you take your vacuum cleaner and suck out all the air.

The guy who made these commercials famous, Billy Mays, died in June. He promoted home cleaning items, such as OxiClean and Orange Glo. He was loud and obnoxious and would wake up the living dead.

Well, meet Adam Jay, a blonde, clean-shaven version of Billy Mays. Jay doesn’t sell household items or cleaning items. He sells Doc Bottoms Aspray. Jay, whose last name is really Geisinger, is a former building contractor, who invented the all-body spray because he was tired of smelling at the end of the day before the soap and shower.

This commercial is foul. It describes all sorts of body odor — smelly armpits, stinky feet and malodorous bottoms. Yes, except Jay uses the butt word.

If you’ve ever been in a group with people and someone carries body odor, you’ve seen the wrinkled noses, rolled eyes and shaken heads as the scent wafts in various directions. Fortunately for everyone, the smell is colorless. Not here in the infomercial (which times out at 2:01). The ad men have given a green color to odor as it spreads from affected body part to affected body part.

Facts are nobody wants to publicly talk about B.O. Even the deodorant commercials on mainstream T.V. are tastefully constructed to avoid the “stink” word and no painted “odors” imamate from particular places on the body.

But for those of you who are into foul, the ad still exists on You Tube.

Oh, and it’s no joke. You can purchase the stuff for $14.99 plus $7.95 shipping and handling.