Seth Stevenson Extracts Marketing Advice from the Shamwow Guy

I just stood hypnotized in the living room watching the Shamwow commercial again:

I’ve seen these carnie type salesguys at the Great American Hellhole known as the Kentucky Flea Market which takes place every month at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds. It is truly a wonder to behold with all manner of junk, treasure and mullets. There is something engaging about the smoothness of delivery. The effortless sell that has just enough aggressive edge to move products.

A quick Google search brought up this article on Vince, the Shamwow guy from Slate’s Seth Stevenson:
He’s got a great backstory involving lawsuits against the Church of Scientology and Anna Nicole Smith.

Quotes from the Slate article:

  • ‘The first thing I notice is the physical grace. Vince puts the Shamwow through its paces with the fluid dexterity of a three-card monte dealer. Cleaning up spills appears not just effortless, but fun.
  • ‘There’s a genius, too, in his hectoring tone. He makes us feel like idiots for even entertaining the notion of not buying a Shamwow.’
  • ‘Vince’s abrasive manner might also mark a unique, new strategy in the annals of pitchdom. TV salespeople tend to be warmly enthusiastic, not confrontational.’ [As compared to Screamy McScreamsalot pitchman Billy Mays who advises us to shut your whore mouth]
  • “What I think I like about Vince is that he is upfront and seemingly comfortable with his schtick. He appears to be saying, ‘I am a carnie huckster, you know it and I know it, but that’s OK because this product is that good.’ “
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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

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