Flying to and from Denver recently, we were looking for something to keep us occupied. There were no movies, no meals, no music and we finished our books. The crossword puzzles and Suduko had already been done. We picked up a copy of Sky Mall from the “seat back pocket in front of us” and began chuckling over the bizarre products ads we found.
We loved the ad for the Soma Wave Helmet ($79.95) which allows you to enter “a state of euphoria”, but not to be worn “while operating heavy machinery”. You can use it at your desk, on your commute or in front of the TV. As if?
A similar “helmet” product, the iGrow Hair Rejuvenation System ($695...yikes!) promises “thicker, fuller looking hair in weeks – guaranteed.” This is clinic-based, proven technology and since it's advertised in Sky Mall, it's got to be legit.
Moving right along, you can get a custom pet portrait canvas ($49) where your favorite cat or pooch is posed as a 17th century noble. Wow! There's also an option for Super Weiner Garden Sculpture ($39.95), i.e. a flying, red-caped, masked dachshund. Really?
Now we get to the more mundane offerings. “The World's First Suitcase That Kills Bed Bugs!”. We didn't know this was such a huge problem for road warriors, but evidently it is. The Thermal Strike suitcase reaches temps of 140ºF (60ºC) with its ultra-thin heating system and integrated electronics, then shuts off automatically. Evidently bed bugs toast with all that heat. Leading expert and bed bug entomologist, Richard Cooper, highly recommends this product. There was no option for bed bug carcass disposal once you've fried them all, but maybe we just didn't look far enough in the magazine. A matched set of this luggage will only set you back $709.
And finally, the ultimate in marketing “The Wordsmith's Manual Typewriter” ($199.95). Yes, a manual typewriter that “recalls the thoughtful, well-written correspondence of yesteryear. Devoid of technological crutches like spell-check and deletion … faithfully reproduces eclectic printed impressions ...variable kerning, subtly ghosted letters and nuanced baseline shifts...” Bravo! I was a marketeer in my past life and prided myself in selling the value/benefit aspects of any product, but this BS really goes over the top.
So my question to you ….do people actually buy this crazy stuff?