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October 01, 2013

An Infomercial That Raises More Questions Than Answers

A slight change of pace.


TV personality/author/convicted felon Martha Stewart inspects the Phototron

Infomercials fascinate me. Gone are the days of Billy Mays, but in his absence we've seen the rise of Vince from ShamWow and the two-minute commercial featuring some housewife usually dramatizing her plight with household cleaners or cooking utensils; or beaming a smile about a great new product she just has to share with you. I guess this odd ad fits in the latter category.

I don't understand who would need such a large fancy terrarium, but over 150,000 of these things have been sold, and I like the idea of "growing my own", though I'm a bit confused by them not specifying what exactly it is that I am growing. Judging from the size of the box and the promise to deliver "harvest after harvest", perhaps in-home sunflower growing is back in style? Or perhaps those monstrous tomatoes I see promised in other infomercials? They imply its great for dorms, but what college student is going to grow mint or basil in their own room? Martha Stewart looked awfully interested in the above still-shot. Perhaps she's going to do some indoor herb gardening?
The scientist she was conversing with implied the device was developed from research into space travel. I guess I could see the use flying high above the earth, but I guess I'm missing the point of the average Dick or Jane trying to grow their own food (and the stressed "21 day" cycle). Perhaps this is for those prepper types. When the Burning Times come, growing your own medicinal plants like aloe would help out in bartering.
The housewife sure looks happy that her grow box arrived discretely on her doorstep, but that raises yet another question: why is it shipped discretely? Is she in a "World's Biggest Beet" competition? Even more puzzling, who exactly spends upwards of a thousand dollars to grow cucumbers or basil in their living room?

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posted by CAC at 04:20 PM

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