Infomercial Mania

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(Flickr/renaissancechambara; Click for full image)
(Flickr/renaissancechambara; Click for full image)

The TV pitchman Billie Mays is dead, of a heart attack last month, but his pitch goes on. For Mighty Putty. For the Awesome Auger. For Jupiter Jack, a wireless speakerphone.

Even from the grave, Billie Mays is pitching. And a whole lot of others, too. In the deep of night and in prime time, the infomercials roll like fizzy water now. Breathless. Earnest. Cajoling. Demanding. For products simple and surreal.

And Americans get out their credit cards and buy.

Up next, On Point: A new book looks at the kings and queens, secrets and psychology of America’s booming infomercial empire.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Remy Stern, author of "But Wait...There's More!"

Noah Goldstein, professor of organizational behavior at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and author of "Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive."

This program aired on July 17, 2009.


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