Sunday, May 1, 2011

I can't believe a mere asteroid was powerful enough to wipe these things out

"It slices! It dices! Look at that tomato!
You can even cut a tin can with it, but you wouldn't want to!"

--Weird Al Yankovic, "Mr Popeil"

Here's another ad for a little piece of garbage I really wish I had the guts, know-how and lack of conscience to have invented and marketed myself. Oh, and I guess I should include in my list of inadequacies a little something called chutzpah- I mean, what could be more important to someone willing to slap a fancy name, a list of glowing attributes and an incredibly inflated price to a rope made out of rubber?

First, the fancy name- "Raptor Strap." Seriously, that's just awesome. Not only does the name "Raptor Strap" just scream strength and dependability (what is stronger and more dependable than an extinct dinosaur?) but the claim implied is also one hundred percent non-confirmable (is this product REALLY as strong as a Raptor? Well, if you disagree, go find me a Raptor, and let's compare. Oh, they haven't existed on the planet for a hundred million years? Well, that's YOUR problem, isn't it, buddy?)

Second, the logo- also awesome. That's one angry, confident-looking dinosaur there, holding a Raptor Strap as if he's ready to take on the largely unsecured, unfastened world on his own. Wouldn't you like to be as boldly ready to bind stuff to other stuff as this guy is? Well, there's only one product that can make that happen. And it's only available from this TV offer.

Third, check out all these awesome things you can do with your Not a Bungee Cord- you can secure things to posts! You can throw them over cars without permanently blinding your friends with iron hooks (Bungee Cords kill and injure THOUSANDS every year, you know! A Raptor told me so!) You can use them to walk your dog (did you know that every year, THOUSANDS of dogs chew through ordinary leashes, dash across streets, and get eaten by Raptors?)

Third, the price. Not much, as long as you are willing to forget that THIS IS A PIECE OF RUBBER WITH HOLES IN IT. And that's always the trick in these commercials- no matter how obviously stupid the product is, that stupidity can be disguised by a low price and AWESOME SPECIAL EXTRAS INCLUDED AT NO EXTRA COST JUST PAY SEPARATE SHIPPING AND HANDLING!! Because in our gullible little world, crap may not be worth the price tag it carries, but multiply that crap several times, and add some different crap, and suddenly it's a Must Have Once In a Lifetime Order Right Now Opportunity that Must Not Be Missed At Any Cost.

After all, remember that time your best friend was blinded by the lethal iron hook of a bungee cord?


  1. The scripts for these ads are so predictable I can't believe anyone falls for them.

    They always include lines like:

    "You've tried EVERYTHING!"

    "There's got to be a better way!"

    "Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more"

    "The secret is its... (space age fibers, cutting edge technology, whatever)

    Here's a point worth making -- if you're telling everyone about your product in a TV ad, there's no secret about it.

  2. 1. If you really have an awesome product, you sell it in stores, not in some "exclusive, tv only" offer reserved for disreputable companies trying to scam you. Chefs don't work in fast food restaurants- same principle.

    2. If the product really uses some amazing scientific breakthrough, THIS is the best use you could find for it? You couldn't sell that technology to, say, the US Department of Defense? Raptor Strap? Really? That's like inventing the internet and using it primarily as a porn-delivery system.

    Oh wait....

  3. There's another line in the adverts that bothers me:

    "For five easy payments...."

    That's because we're being exhorted to fork over money that could be better spent on something we could probably make ourselves if we wanted to for far, far less. Supposing, of course, that we couldn't buy something that works just as well for far less at a hardware store.

  4. No raptors aren't all gone: Raptors are birds of prey belonging to the scientific orders Strigiformes and Falconiformes. The first order is divided into barn owls and all other owls; ...

  5. It's kind of odd that I'm watching "Walking with Dinosaurs" on DVD when I get your reply...

    Saying that Raptors are still around because their ancestors, the birds, are here is like saying that wholly mammoths are still around because there are elephants and sabre tooths are still around because there are cats. In short, rather silly, don't you think?