ERA Awards Attempt to Honor the Best Infomercials of 2008

Every year the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), a trade group for the direct response biz, recognizes the finest in human achievement by honoring the best infomercials of the year. On September 23, at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, the winners for the 2008 ERA Awards were announced. (To learn about previous award winners, check out my posts on the 2007 ERA Awards and the 2006 ERA Awards.)

So put on your powder-blue ruffled tuxedo and applaud this year’s winners and nominees…

One interesting category was that of Best Male Presenter. In the previous two years, just two men—David Oreck and Jake Steinfeld—dominated this category. Between them the two men received 7 of the 8 of the nominations in this category in 2007 and 2006. But this year not only did neither man win this award, but neither even received a single nomination. Instead the nominees were:

Chaz Dean for Wen Hair Care

Mitch Gaylord for Melt It Off with Mitch

Jan Mueller for Tobi Steamer

And the winner is…Jan Muller for Tobi Steamer.

Actually, I think Chaz Dean received more votes but was disqualified on a technicality. The judges thought it was too much of a stretch to include him in the Best Male Presenter category.

I was actually planning on writing a post about Jan Mueller’s performance on the Tobi infomercial. On this infomercial Jan Mueller sports a brand new look: his hair is poofy and frosted and his face craters have been filled in with considerable quantities of putty. I just hope Jan thanked his stylist for helping him win this prestigious award.

As in previous years, the ERA Awards contained countless sub-categories in addition to the major prizes. One of these sub-categories that caught my eye was “Best Long Form Housewares,” which was awarded to the Flavorwave Oven Turbo. It is not clear if this award was given to the current version of the Flavorwave Oven Turbo hosted by Mr. T or to some earlier version of the infomercial. If this award was given to the current version, then why in the world wasn’t Mr. T nominated for Best Celebrity Presenter?!?!

And speaking of Best Celebrity Presenter, here are the nominees in that ever-popular category:

Cindy Crawford for Meaningful Beauty

Susan Lucci for Malibu Pilates

Caroline Rhea for Kodak Easy Share 5300 All-In-One Printer

And the winner is…Cindy Crawford for Meaningful Beauty. A separate award was given to Cindy’s mole.

After winning the category for Best Short Form of the Year in both 2006 and 2007, the infomercial for Proactiv Solution was denied the chance to “three-peat” by not even getting a nomination in 2008! Instead the nominees were…

Bugville Butterfly Treehouse

Sheer Cover

Space Bag

And the winner is…Sheer Cover (snooze). Frankly, I have never seen the commercial for Bugville Butterfly Treehouse and I hadn’t even heard of the product. The Bugville Butterfly Treehouse is a kit that lets kids raise butterflies from caterpillars. I can’t wait for the infomercial selling kids their own genetic engineering sets. (“Look Mom: I have Fido’s ears growing out of Fluffy’s tail!”)

In the all-important Best Long Form of the Year category, the award went to…Kodak Easy Share 5300 All-In-One Printer.

I know that I have seen the Kodak EasyShare infomercial on TV before, but frankly it left so little impression on me that I couldn’t tell you anything about it. I didn’t even remember that was hosted by the unfunny comedienne Caroline Rhea.

Once again I was forced to boycott this year’s ERA Awards ceremony. I did this in protest that the commercial for ShamWow was not considered in the Best Short Form category nor was host Vince Offer even nominated as Best Male Presenter! It’s an outrage I tell you, an outrage!!


  • 4 Responses to “ERA Awards Attempt to Honor the Best Infomercials of 2008”

  • As is par for the course with award shows a few categories were left out.

    For example:

    Most Annoying Host With An Accent: Beau Rials

    Most Appearances In 2008: Billy Mays (who also incidentally wins the award for Most Irritating Host In General)

    Lifetime Achievement Award: A three-way tie between Tom Vu, Kevin Trudeau, & Santo Gold

    Most Lawsuits Brought On By Infomercials: A two-way tie between Santo Gold & Kevin Trudeau

    The Grandmother Award: Cathy Mitchel

    And so on…..

    Comment by Kyle Varnell on October 5, 2008 at 2:03 am

  • I think Vince from ShamWow deserves something too… heh.

    Comment by TimNRA757 on October 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm

  • No mention of fecal matter?

    Comment by Visaman on October 8, 2008 at 12:46 am

  • Short form should’ve went to either:

    Tater Mitts
    Tiddy Bear

    Comment by blackwidow on November 3, 2008 at 11:09 am