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Infomercials Products

Infomercials often peddle products under the guise of "studies show". While some of the products are surprisingly good (e.g., FoodSaver, Foreman Grill, Ronco Rotisserie), many of the products are not.

a. Why should you be initially suspicious of any products advertised on these shows, despite the "existence" of data?
b. What factors would help to convince you that the claims might be true?
c. How does this apply or could apply to your workplace or home?
d. How does this apply or could apply to your daily use, business use, or personal use?

This an example on C and D

c. At home, I deal with formal proofs that have nothing to do with statistics. When I worked in physics labs, there were people dedicated to working that data sets over using statistics. I was that unlucky sod when I worked in various biophysics, astrophysics, and particle physics labs.

d. Caveat Emptor comes to mind. That, and "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". As a scientist, I reject all claims out of hand, then force the claimant to prove them rigorously. As such, I have little use for advertisers and salesmen.

Solution Preview

a. If the product was as good as it is, why is it being sold in the infomercial form? Let us think - what is an infomercial? It is a highly energetic person trying to sell you a product. Not once, like a traditional commercial, but they try to push it on you 30 times in a 1 hour segment. They are working over-time to convince you the product is good.

If the product really was great, then it would be sold in the traditional way, where a marketer creates a 30 second commercial and it is aired once or twice a night. If people are interested, they might try it.

The infomercial will push the product on you. It will work so hard to convince you that the product is amazing. It will often put a time constraint on you (order in the next 10 seconds...). It will pressure you. It will make you panic to get the product NOW. Then, if you are not convinced, it will up the ante by ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses infomercials products.

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