When did Billy Mays take over TV advertising?

i don’t watch a lot of TV. Mostly because i have daughters and cannot endure the excruciating embarrassment of having to watch endless ads for erectile dysfunction drugs.  Plus i simply don’t have a lot of time so i tend to watch what i perceive to be quality shows via video- on-demand.    But over the holidays i had the opportunity to watch a lot of TV.  and one thing struck me loud and clear:  billy mays now owns cable TV.

for the benefit of our foreign reader, billy mays is an aggressive pitchman who tends to shill for products that are directly marketed and not available in stores.  he has been doing this for years but lately he seems to have become an unstoppable force of nature.  he is everywhere.  he has even spawned an imitator.   i’m not quite sure i see his appeal.  but apparently he has magical powers.  behold just some of his recent efforts.

3 responses to “When did Billy Mays take over TV advertising?

  1. Kathleen Lavelle

    Billy Mays is in the opinion of this family the most irritating pitch man ever to be seen on TV. He instantly reminds one of the villain “Bluto” from the old Popeye cartoons. While most men in beards can be attractive, his is a detriment, merely furthering his resemblance to “Bluto”. When he comes on, the mute button always gets pushed, as all he does is shout and we’ve no need or desire to be shouted at. We cannot believe this guy has made a career of shouting at people. We don’t buy products he pushes for the very reason that if the product owners are stupid enough to hire this loud mouth, their product probably is not much as well. The new Mr. “Sham-Wow”? Another eejit who gets muted. Will someone please shut Billy Mays big mouth and tell him to shave? Thanks for letting us vent on a long time pet peeve.

  2. Kathleen, i agree. a little billy “bluto” mays (and mr. shamwow) goes a very long way. but i think part of their appeal is that the products they sell are such “great deals”. and that is very timely in the current economic environment. maybe we should do a cool version of what they do. ie, 180 away. watchable.

  3. Kathleen Lavelle

    Right. A cool 180! Thinking of the men that I have listened to in many commercials, hey – even William Shatner’s wooden acting is better than Bluto Mays and The Sham Man (and that’s saying a lot). Billy Mays might even have a nice, mellow voice, be a grand fellow to know, a fine neighbor dude, but tell me, WHY MUST HE BE SHOUTING AT US IN ALL OF HIS ADS? If he was quiet, I might listen. Maybe.

    TV advertising has gone far beyond the line of what is acceptable for children. What can be said when 5 year old Bridget asks her mom, “What is erectile dysfunction? Does daddy have it?” She shouldn’t even hear of it, c’mon. Is the advertiser there for when this question pops up all across America, likely at least once a day, from some young child in a small town or city household? Nope!

    To me it’s: Hello America, how are ya? This is NOT the 70’s anymore, so here we go, no more Country Joe. Now we Baby Boomers are seeing “Future Shock” right up close. It’s not so “groovy” anymore, is it? Who is to blame for the current topics of some TV advertising? We old hippies? Generation X? Generation Y? Some ad guy?

    Advertising is essential to business, it’s all about letting the world know you’ve got something great to sell and this ad is going to tell us why we need to buy it. It presents the product to the masses. I happen to like Progressive’s series about “Flo” selling their insurance. She’s cute and the ads are humorous. But mainly, there’s no reason for some of these products to be advertised on TV. Why not keep the erectile dysfunction ads in the market it’s made for? Try AARP magazine, G.Q. or ESPN if it’s got to be TV?

    There are a lot of us post WWII Baby Boomers. We spend most of the $ these days. I love what Guinness did in their 2007-2008 ads with the rather “Terry Gilliamesque” Monty Python type men. Advertising can be funny, and you catch more attention with humor than with…well, you know what I mean.

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