Maybe it's just me, but I get the feeling like whenever there's a downturn in the economy, this lowest-common denominator merchandise seems to appear. It's like a guy on the Titanic trying to sell "improved life jackets" that are really just a party balloon and a toilet seat. If such a character ever existed, I'm sure there would have been a lot of people throwing money at the guy.
And yet, in spite of all logic, reason or financial sensibility, I am told that people actually buy this stuff. Though I honestly don't know who. I don't even know anyone who knows anyone who's actually purchased one of these things. But somehow, these companies stay in business just enough to permanently infect our brains with a carefully constructed mix of marketing ingenuity and mind-numbing stupidity.
Here are Hollywood Dump's picks for the top three stupidest products being sold today:
While the technique for increasing upper arm strength seems sound enough, the actual design of the Shake Weight is simply far too hilarious to be taken seriously. Geared toward women, its hard to picture a woman grasping this weight and jerking it up and down and not be drawn to the obvious innuendo the image conjurs up. File this one under "What the Hell were they thinking?"
"Its a blanket with sleeves!" says the commercial
"Its a robe you wear backwards," says everyone else.
This commercial has the trademark shtick common in commercials of the genre: a clumsy actor, ham-fisting their way through the demonstration of a "normal" product. This sequence is usually shot in either black and white, a sickly color, or a sepia-tone with old-timey film scratches. The actor in this particular commercial is putting on an Oscar-winning performance, showing just how awkward and physically challenging a blanket can be.
The Snuggie has been declared "the ultimate kitsch gift" by the Associated Press. For only $19.95 you can traumatize your kids by wearing them at their sporting events.
And the #1 strangest product being sold today goes to...
This appears to be the newest crazy product on the market. Essentially it's two stuffed arms with 40's era cartoon hands that you can wrap around yourself and velcro together.
That's it: two cartoonish-looking foam arms.
The description of this product is worthy of a Pulitizer:
A Hug-E-Gram lets you give your hug to someone when you can't be there! It is the hug that lasts. You will understand how very special the moment can be as the love and sentiment from you comes through.
Similar in style to the Japanese "Boyfriend's Arm" Pillow - yet somehow even creepier, the Hug-E-Gram also comes with the ability for you to record a message that the recipient can hear when they push a button on one of the "arms."
The commercial cheerfully states "Its the warmest, most personal gift you can share." Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing that unless you have a significant other that's OK with you blowing your money on stupid crap like this, the odds of you being single after giving this gift are going to increase logarithmically.
Not only is this a product so ridiculous that it makes the Snuggie seem practical, I cannot get past the fact that their website address (hugegram.com) looks like "huge gram" in my mind.
As a bonus item, the Hug-E-Gram comes with a bouquet of wooden roses. Because if you are going to give a half-assed, fake hug, you might as well go all out and include some half-assed fake flowers as well.
You know, if you pair the Hug-E-Gram with the Snuggie, you at least have a pretty awesome looking robe.
Just a thought.