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The 6 Greatest Infomercial Salespeople

The 6 Greatest Infomercial Salespeople

“Hey, what is that guy’s name? You remember. The infomercial guy!”

Ever caught yourself asking that question?

Here’s your comprehensive list of the most memorable infomercial salespeople.

1. Billy Mays

Billy Mays is the name that comes to the minds of many when they think of “that infomercial guy.” He was known for his work as an infomercial pitchman before his death in 2009. He was popular for advertising Fix-it, OxiClean, Orange Glo, Kaboom, and Zorbeez. Everything is through the Home Shopping Network. He also advertised with his own company, Mays Promotions Inc.
His success was not limited to selling infomercial products though. He was also featured on late-night talk shows. He even had his own TV show. Together with his partner Anthony Sullivan, they are Pitchmen on The Discovery Channel. Mays’ success brought a $10 million net-worth valuation.

2. Anthony Sullivan

Anthony “Sully” Sullivan, a frequent business partner of Billy Mays, is an icon among infomercial salespeople. He found success in pitching products on the Home Shopping Network when he sold his own creation, the “Smart Mop,” on the network in the early ‘90s. He founded his own production company, Sullivan Productions, who create marketing content for the likes of OxiClean, H20 Steam Brand, Nutrisystem, Arm & Hammer and Swivel Sweeper.

Sullivan took over spokesman responsibilities for OxiClean after Billy Mays’ death. In addition to numerous TV appearances, Sullivan also starred in two seasons of Pitchmen, first with Mays and then as a solo star subsequent to Mays’ death.

3. Offer Shlomi

The name Offer Shlomi doesn’t ring a bell for you? What about Vince Offer? If that didn’t do it for you, you probably just know him as “The Sham Wow Guy.” The offer, beginning to pitch products in 2006, provided a different type of pitch than what was common.

This infomercial guy tended to pitch his products with a more abrasive, lewd, and lackadaisical approach. The tactic won some credibility with consumers. He found great success with the Sham Wow but has since pitched other products. Offer’s career goals include working as a screenwriter, film director, film producer and editor but his primary success has been found in direct sales.

4. Mike Levey

If you didn’t grow up in the early to mid 90’s, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which Infomercial Guy is Mike Levey?” If you were of TV-watching-age between 1989-1997, you might remember him from Amazing Discoveries, a segment of TV allotted for various infomercials on late night TV.

Levey is best known for his role as host of the show. The show aired worldwide in 12 languages and brought Levey much notoriety. In a 1992 newspaper, Levey referenced himself as, “TV’s Most-Watched Person,” a title he said was given to him by David Letterman. Levey also played his infomercial persona in various TV comedy shows and sitcoms before dying of cancer in 2003.

5. Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons is an actor and comedian. So wide, that many forget his roots are in fitness system sales. Simmons’ interest in stems from his self-proclaimed childhood obesity. He began his career in fitness when he opened a workout studio in 1974. The establishment opened under the named “The Anatomy Asylum”. It was eventually renamed “Slimmons.” He is so fed up with the Hollywood gimmick diets. They were so prevalent in those days. Simmons release his own line of an at-home workout.

Some of the videos like the hugely-popular “Sweatin’ to the Oldies.” Simmons’ over-the-top persona certainly contributed to the successful sale of the videos. This over-the-top persona has led Simmons to be featured on tons of other TV and Radio shows. Simmons is a pop-culture icon, not for his workout videos, but has since left the public eye. Simmons’ last TV appearance was in 2014.

6. Ronald Popeil

Ronald M. “Ron” Popeil is the king of catchphrases in the world of infomercials. Popeil coined the phrases, “Just set it and forget it,” and, “But Wait, There’s more!” He is well-known for the products he sold on TV.
The infomercial products he invented are the wildly-popular Ronco Pocket Fisherman. He also invented the Showtime Rotisserie Oven. Ronco, the small-appliance company founded by Popeil, claims over $2 billion in sales.  It is no longer operated by 82-year-old Popeil, Ronco. It still sells many small appliances. Some modern variations of the originals sold on TV by Ron himself.

So which infomercial guy were you thinking of?

Infomercials do exactly what they’re supposed to do, make us pay attention. A memorable infomercial guy can make all the difference. Whether he’s loud, boisterous or cool like a cucumber. Regardless of the quality of the product sold, a good pitch can convince almost any buyer.

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