I'm a pretty trusting guy when it comes to TV. I believed the Fox network when they said they got their hands on an alien autopsy video in 1995. I believed those commercials that told me The Blair Witch Project was legitimate found footage. Hell, I thought Lost was just a really well done documentary until about halfway through Season 2. But with the internet being such a reliable fact-checking machine nowadays, it's become easier to distinguish between real life and the bullshit that marketing companies would have you believe is real life. Apparently, directors of infomercials never got that memo, because they continue to make some of the most batshittingly ridiculous claims you'll ever hear. Claims like ...
#4. A Fishing Lure That "Triggers Their DNA" and "Genetic Responses"
You know what the worst part about fishing is, aside from the fact that you're fishing instead of doing literally anything else? The worst part of the whole sport is when those snobby-ass fish refuse take your bait. Luckily, millions of years' worth of fishing R&D have finally brought humanity to a perfect solution: lures that kind of wiggle.
We have truly plateaued as a species.
These small, electronic fishing lures are guaranteed to catch you "too many fish," at least according to infomercials like this one:
This type of lure uses its patented "Vibra-Strike" technology, which sounds like a finishing move Chun-Li would use in Street Fighter but, in reality, just means that the thing will shake for a bit while a little light goes off on its head. Honestly, there isn't much to say about this thing that can't be said for many other fishing lures out there, like the Mighty Bite and the Mighty Bite UFO, which glows in the dark, if you can believe it. So how do the engineers at a company like Twitching Lure Inc. set themselves apart from the rest in the competitive fishing accessory industry?
Since proclaiming "Fish will eat anything that moves because they're fucking stupid" doesn't make for a great ad campaign, the commercial instead claims that the flashing light along with the buzzing and vibrating will "trigger a fish's genetic urge to strike." If that sounds confusing, it's because what they describe as "triggering a genetic response" basically boils down to "fish see something they want to eat and then eat it." Genetically, that's what fish are inclined to do, or else they'll starve to death. That kind of description would be the same as McDonald's airing a commercial that claims "The Big Mac triggers your genetic urge to be a big, fat slob." If you asked me to list which industries I believed to be conniving and evil, the fishing lure industry would be at the absolute bottom of that list.
A common theme I noticed while reviewing way too many fishing commercials is that they try to exaggerate what is actually going on with their lure. Like the Lucky Bug, which tries to convince you that ripples in the water are actually "a unique, erratic action that sends distress signals."
Lucky Bug Lures
I'd have been more impressed if they called them "Grief Shockwaves."
Throwing techno-jargon buzzwords around for a fucking fishing lure just seems condescending and is a huge waste of everyone's time. And it isn't even like they have an actual geneticist backing up these claims. The only authority I can see in the commercial is Thom Buck, a fishing expert from this and at least one more infomercial.
Lucky Bug Lures
Fishing Authority/Paid Infomercial Actor
Even if you ignore the lies about fish genetics, you'll find that these types of commercials will do anything to prove that their dumb lure is the dumb lure for you. Like the part that claims the lure will catch a fish in 10 seconds while hoping you won't notice the four or five editorial cuts they make while the stopwatch is running in the corner of the screen.
Look, consumers don't need you to embellish the truth for a fishing accessory. You can have a perfectly effective commercial for your fishing lure that doesn't try to glamorize or outright lie about what the product does. Yes, the lure catches fish. No, it doesn't "trigger their DNA," because that isn't a thing that exists.
A good example of what I mean can be found in a commercial for the Shadow Rap fishing lure: Two fishing buddies are using the lure, when a fish grabs the bait and is caught. No outrageous claims about DNA or genetic responses, no sneaky editing, and also, one guy admits to the other that he fucked his wife a few nights ago, an unrelated side note to the fishing lure, but at least it keeps the viewer focused on the commercial.
Wife-fucking commercials aside, the fishing lure industry seems to relish creative uses of bullshit to sell their products, and they can usually get away with it by guaranteeing their product for 60 days, which puts the onus on you to decide whether or not you're totally satisfied with your genetic fish magnet.
Or at least as satisfied as this guy has made your wife.
#3. Wearable Weight-Loss Solutions
The weight-loss industry is a competitive one. Every year there seems to be a new Atkins Diet or some variety of horrifying juice cleanse that puts a temporary stopper into the problem but does nothing in the long run. Look, if someone had the end-all solution for quick weight loss, the world would have heard about it by now. So you can forgive me for being a bit of a Doubting Thomas when I'm presented with a commercial like this one on late-night television:
According to products like the Sauna Massage there, dieting and exercise can go fuck their collective selves. Instead, you can just wear their product and the weight will pour right off your body like someone just opened the Ark of the Covenant, Indiana Jones-style.
Products like the Sweaty Massage Belt make a guarantee that you will lose weight simply by sweating it all out. It's easy and probably legal to say that, too, because technically they're not wrong. We all sweat out at least a liter of our inside juices a day, juices that contain water and sodium, among a bunch of other chemicals. It's a negligible amount to lose and is all stuff that your body gains back after your next meal and drink of water. So while they're selling you some false hope at best, their tactics are still as scummy as I'll bet that belt is after one use.
Focus groups didn't respond well to the original name, "Smelly Belly Belt."
The massage belt is just one product that claims the answer to your weight problems lies in a less-than-fashionable accessory. There's another belt out there called the Tummy Tuck Belt, which helps you lose your fat while also hiding it. By just wearing the belt, which is really a tan piece of spandex, twice a day for 10 minutes at a time, you'll be well on your way to weight loss! The thing is, you actually don't need the belt at all. The actual weight loss comes from the thermal accelerator cream included with the belt. And if you do a search for the accelerator cream, you'll quickly find that it's available everywhere. The belt is simply their way of giving you a temporary trim-looking stomach, but it isn't actually doing any of the heavy lifting.
Another wearable placebo for weight loss is the Zvelt Patch, which is like a NicoDerm patch but without all that sweet, delicious nicotine. The folks at Zvelt tell you to just slap this baby on your skin to lose the weight; no diet or exercise needed!
And if anyone asks, you can tell them it's a botched Zeppelin tattoo.
I looked into this miracle patch and found it contains chemicals to stimulate your thyroid, burn calories, and regulate weight loss. Aside from being made from things you can buy over-the-counter at any health store, none of those chemicals will totally eliminate fat by themselves; you still have to get off your ass and work out. And while they claim that you don't need to diet, it's not going to protect you from the dietary lifestyle that made you fat in the first place. Basically, there are no free lunches, and the lunches that you do eat have to be at least kind of healthy, patch or no patch.