Archive for July 2008

Recognizing TV offer ads for what they are

  1. Company names using words like "National" because that’s got to imply official government agencies.
  2. If it has "scam" or something with similar meaning in the name, it can’t be a scam. No one’s stupid enough to boldly declare that its a scam if it really was one.
  3. Limited edition, comes with numbered authenticity certificate. Limited because they’ll move onto new products so they can reach the same audience, certificates because not just anyone can print authentic looking certificates.
  4. Companies with "Mint" in the name, because not only can you mint coins, you can also mint cars and paper money too.
  5. They’ll triple the offer, because even though it’s the last insert-item-here you’ll ever need, you’ll need one for your kitchen, another for your other kitchen, and a third to commit seppuku with.
  6. Moving parts, spinning wheels, openable doors on this collector’s edition model classic vehicle, because that distinguishes it from the wannabes on the market – the Hot Wheels I had as a kid.
  7. If it looks like a brick, then it must be a brick. Nevermind that they never show you the edge of the item, or that they mentioned the words "foil" and "tissue" and "leaf"… all of which have the thickness of "paper".
  8. The guy doing the demo for a non-live TV recording wears a boom-mike-headset anyway to show you that he’s a professional TV salesman, so he knows a good product when he sees it, and he only sells you the good stuff.
  9. Strict limits on quantity per person. Because everyone will be crowding the phone lines to buy the limited quantities they have available. Nothing to do with how much they figure they can take you for without you losing enough to want to make headlines about it.
  10. The guy who was selling gardening tools on channel A is also selling health medicine on channel B, because if he’s a MD LLB OD PhD DDS CPU LCBO XKCD… then he must be right about his shit.
  11. It’s Liberian legal tender. Because even though it sounds like they’re saying it’s legal currency for a country that would logically be named Liberia, it’s got to a legalspeak term meaning "insert-your-country-here". They outright state that they are not affiliated with, nor licensed, nor endorsed, by the government of your country and the issuers of the money you use, but that they were endorsed by a government (and that’s really all that matters, that a government will endorse it).

You probably even know what recent product got me thinking about this…