Listen Up TV Commercial Encourages Snooping

There is a “short form” infomercial being aired currently that manages to pack more strangeness into 30 seconds than most infomercials can manage in 30 minutes.

This commercial is for a device called Listen Up, which they describe as a “Personal Sound Amplifier.” If you haven’t yet seen this television masterpiece, you can see video of the Listen Up commercial below:

Basically Listen Up is a hearing aid, but one designed to look like it’s an MP3 player so that grandpa can look hip and cool instead of looking handicapped.

But what is most interesting about the commercial is that they actually encourage people to use Listen Up to eavesdrop on conversations—or “discreetly listen in” as they phrase it in the ad. So we get a woman listening in on her neighbors across the street and a man at the gym spying on two hot chicks. You might have noticed that the people being snooped on in the ad only have nice things to say. “Have you met the new neighbors?…I met him. He seems nice,” says the lady walking her dog. Even more implausibly, the two women at the gym are actually talking about how hot the guy listening in on them is. (Although once they find out he’s the kind of weirdo who uses a hearing aid to spy on people they’ll find him considerably less attractive.) This isn’t the best way to market this feature. No one wants to hear banal compliments. People eavesdrop so that they can hear juicy gossip or catch someone talking bad about them behind their backs.

The other interesting scene is the couple sitting in the pew using Listen Up to better hear the church service. That doesn’t seem like a good idea. This couple is so pious that they want to make sure they can hear the entire sermon—but everyone around them thinks they’re listening to an iPod the whole time! No doubt their fellow congregants will talk bad about the couple behind their backs—but with the Listen Up at least they’ll be able to hear it!


  • 19 Responses to “Listen Up TV Commercial Encourages Snooping”

  • Ya, I totally agree, what kind of product encourages people to be a wierdo evesdropper

    Comment by Nope on December 30, 2007 at 2:26 pm

  • This blog post is HILARIOUS! I’ve been meaning to blog about this commercial for weeks and in doing a google search, I found your blog. I meant to talk about the mean bitch in the commercial. Who’s also in the commercial for the portable light switch…still acting bitchy. LOL

    Comment by Sugar on January 4, 2008 at 12:43 am

  • I’ve never seen the commercial for the portable light switch but I’ll look for it now. I guess that actress is trying the corner the market for “Bitchy Woman on Cheesy Gadget Commercials” roles.

    Comment by Paul Lucas on January 4, 2008 at 10:18 am

  • Product is a DUD and a scam. I bought one. You have to put the amplifier within 12 inches of the speaker, otherwise, all you hear is static. I called the customer service office but because I bought it at a store and not “their” website, they refuse to replace it. They are willing to sell me another one at the same price however. No thanks, I don’t think so. Don’t waste your money.

    Comment by Marlean on August 29, 2008 at 8:55 am

  • That woman really sets tone! “COULD YOU TURN THAT TV DOWN… PLEASE!” Its not what she says, its how she says it that makes any stable person want to slay her. The first scene is not enough – the poor guy has to be humiliated again while the Harpy is on the phone, “DOES THAT HAVE TO BE SO LOUD!!”

    You know the actors have to be aware of how bad and inappropriate these scenarios are, not to mention the product itself. I can’t get my mind around that an agency hired a production company and actors to produced this “gem”; had the clients on set and was able to keep a straight face. There were production meetings, product meetings, pitches and all the sort circled around this product; and no one said, “sigh – I don’t know about this…” I just got a piss shiver thinking about it.

    Comment by Jeff on November 17, 2008 at 5:34 am

  • On a similiar subject – how about the AT&T commercials where the mother is ‘putting down’ the teenager about the leftover minutes. She is really obnoxious!! I can’t find where to complain to AT&T.

    Comment by Glenda Swink on November 18, 2008 at 7:42 pm

  • OMG that old couple cracks me up! She’s soooo mean and he is obviously tired of her…plus they are on the handy switch commercial too and she’s a total bitch on that one as well!!

    Comment by Trish from Memphis on December 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm

  • The Listen Up is an all time classic commercial. The old lady is a premium bitch. “TURN IT DOWN, TURN IT DOWN, TURN IT DOWN!!!!!” As if any volume level will set off a nuclear bomb. Now they have the new improved cyborg ear piece “TURN IT DOWN” (as I like to call it). So you can look like a jackass while acting like one…TURN IT DOWN!

    Comment by Kelvin on December 31, 2008 at 9:36 am

  • UPDATE. The old man in “Listen Up” is in the “Snuggie” infocomm. Have you seen this? It is really only a lightweight bathrobe but here’s the kicker…you put it on BACKWARDS. No kidding. What idiot would wear this. The infocomm shows families going to public events and such wearing these. They look retarded. I bought 5.

    Comment by Kelvin on January 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

  • This is an awesome blog!

    Comment by Akash on January 20, 2009 at 8:58 am

  • I wanted to see in the last seen of this commercial the old man hovering over his wife preparing to strangle her,frothing at the mouth and with a weird grin on his face as the image fades to black

    Comment by Ed mcgrath on January 23, 2009 at 9:44 pm

  • I thought I was alone in hating this wench…thank you!!!!

    Comment by Taj on April 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

  • Women use these all the time at the gyms to listen what men are saying about them or in general. Heh, weirdo eavesdropper ? Women do it all the time.. even as kids and teenagers.. they pick up the phone to listen in, or 3-way call some guy.. example : 2 girls, one want so know what this guy thinks of her, they 3 – way call the guy so she can listen in while the other asks questions about her… guys beware and get smart ! They do this all the time…
    Women do this to figure you out .. a form of control and self-defense also… heh..weirdo eavesdroppers.. who you kidding ? that’s the female middle name 🙂

    Comment by winsor on May 29, 2009 at 9:25 am

  • Winsor…what the hell are you talking about? You sound like a “weirdo eavesdropper”….heh!

    Comment by Olivia on July 23, 2009 at 9:54 pm

  • As a woman, Winsor, I have to say that you sound insane. Put your foil helmet back on and go away.

    Comment by Canaduck on November 9, 2009 at 11:28 am

  • I bought this product, actually. it was only $5 where i bought it though. The part of the commercial where the guy is at a game and all the people are cheering, and he is hearing what is going on down on the field is bogus. if there is ANY, ANYYY noise between you and what you’re trying to hear, it WILL get drowned out. hearing the loudness of people cheering would bust my eardrums at only(just under) 1/2 volume! this thing is definitely bogus. and i dislike it. plus, the one i bought, the volume and power control is in the same dial on the side. not on the top as advertised. This is just FYI for everyone.

    Comment by Eds3284 on February 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm


    Comment by Bonnie on July 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm

  • Have you met the neighbors yet?

    “I met HIM, HE seems nice” hahahahahaha

    Comment by Joe Public on September 14, 2010 at 6:35 am

  • While Windsor comes off as ranting and the matter is slightly off subject regarding this blog, I believe his point is accurate. Certainly, in general, this behavior is more prominent during adolescents. I find it interesting that this silly commercial sparked Windsor to air some dirty laundry.

    On the point – this has to be one of the best class B ads. Everyone’s comments sum up all my emotions that this ad seems to evoke. Most certainly – action packed!

    Comment by Alan on December 19, 2010 at 8:55 am