Thursday

Influence: Informercial

The P90X-90 day home fitness revolution is designed to help you get in shape in 90 days.  The program is designed for people who want to lose weight or get toned and muscle definition in the comfort of their home without dealing with the gym and the associated cost that come with it.  The demographics,-based on the people represented in the infomercial-are both male and female who want to lose weight or inches between the ages 20 to 60. This infomercial was geared toward people who are frustrated with their current routine and want something new that will work.  The main factor that made this product different from other home video workouts was the patented muscle confusion which forces the body to work more efficient to prevent plateau.   The program,-because of this muscle confusion-guarantees results designed to get you ripped in 90 days. When you place an order you can get this system for three payments of 39.95 which gives you 130.00 in savings because you ordered from the T.V. special.  You also get free bonus gifts; 30 day guarantee, upgrade to express shipping, free exercise band, free 90 day tracker, free online exercise forum to connect with other users and ask questions and you can keep the exercise band and tracker even if you return the DVD’s. 

    The first technique used was Social Proof: “the greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.” Influence (Cialdini, 2007, p. 128) Home video testimonials from other users that recommend the product with their before and after pictures and testimonies.  The announcer proudly declares that this is “the first infomercial created by actual customers that shows real people getting real results with this home system.”  Another great strategy used in social proof was the testimonies of both men and women so that everyone was included.  In one of the testimonials a woman talks directly to the camera in a soft tone talking directly to women.  Her message was short simple and to the point, she said ‘women don’t get scared this program is customizable so you don’t have to get bulky if you don’t want to.’
    The second technique used was the Authority technique. This technique uses the titles of people to validate a product.  Influence (Cialdini, 2007, p. 222) In this infomercial the directors used the fire department and law enforcement in different states as the title validation people.  First the sheriff, after showing his before and after picture, shares his experience and now it is apart of his training program for other police officers in his unit.  Another person that was brought into the infomercial was a doctor.  His role was to stress the importance of health. He recommends this system to his patients that want an effective way to get lose wight and get healthy.  There was also a reference that some of his patience were able to reduce their cholesterol, high blood pressure, and depression.
     I think the message of persuasion was clearly articulated and effective in this infomercial. It was well balanced with testimonials “home videos,” clips of the exercise DVD, and the announcer’s voice explaining how to buy the product. I also thought it was persuasive because it didn’t have a host; there was multiple people vouching for this product that came from different backgrounds.  The most effective part of the infomercial was the diversity of the before and after pictures.  The starting weight ranged from 160 through 300 pounds and they were all successful on this program with losing pounds and inches.  Social proof is a strong technique and because the majority of the infomercial was home video testimonials I think that was a great way to persuade the viewer to call in and “order now.”

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