The 2009 ERA Awards Pick the Best Infomercials of the Year

Every September the Electronic Retailing Association presents its “ERA Awards” for the best infomercials of the year. (See my take on the ERA Awards for 2008, 2007, and 2006). This year’s awards ceremony was held on September 15 at the Las Vegas ERA convention. So ladies, put on your pearls and gentlemen straighten your bowties as we honor this year’s nominees.

Best Celebrity Presenter

And the nominees are:

Joan Lunden for Murad Resurgence

Billy Mays for Jupiter Jack

Cesar Milan for Cesar Milan

And the winner is…Cesar Milan for Cesar Milan.

I am very surprised that Billy Mays did not win this award, in light of his untimely death. But I was even more surprised that Cesar Milan won this award because I had no earthly idea who Cesar Milan was and had never seen him on an infomercial. Apparently, he has his own TV show called the Dog Whisperer. The ERA Awards people must not have been too familiar with him either because they spell his name “Milan” when it is actually “Millan.” None of his nominations mention the product Ceasar was selling; they simply say “Cesar Milan for Cesar Milan” so maybe he was auctioning off a date with himself to the highest bidder.

(Fortunately, Anthony Sullivan did not storm the stage during Cesar Millan’s acceptance speech and insist that Billy Mays really deserved to win.)

Best Male Presenter

And the nominees are:

Anthony Robbins for Ultimate Edge

Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan for Omni Dual Saw

Rob Nevins for Skinny Switch Secret

And the winner is…Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan for Omni Dual Saw

Finally, the recently departed guy gets his due! I can’t recall either Billy Mays or Anthony Sullivan being nominated for one of these awards before; I suspect these nominations go to whoever does the most schmoozing at ERA events, and Mays and Sullivan never bothered before. (Anthony Sullivan’s infomercial for Swivel Sweeper G2 won an award in the “Best Long Form, Housewares” category this year as well.)

I question why Billy Mays got a nomination in the “Celebrity” category but Anthony Robbins got a nomination in the “Male Presenter” category. Mays only became a celebrity for being an infomercial pitchman, and Robbins appears as an “expert” only in infomercials for his own products.

Best Female Presenter

And the nominees are:

Jayne Roberts for Slim N’ Lift Comfort

Jennifer Nicole Lee for Ab Circle Pro

Molly Culver for Three Minute Legs

Tricia Springer for Clearchoice

And the winner is…Jayne Roberts for Slim N’ Lift Comfort

It says something about this category that I haven’t even seen half of these infomercials, and I know Molly Culver only for looking really hot on the old TV series VIP with Pamela Anderson.

Best Short Form of the Year

And the nominees are:

bareMinerals “120”

Meaningful Beauty “Cindy Crawford”

Netflix “To the TV”

Proactiv Solution: Focus on Travel Kit

And the winner is…Meaningful Beauty with Cindy Crawford (yawn)

Last year the ad for Sheer Cover won in this category, and this year yet another boring commercial for a Guthy-Renker product that women smear on their faces got the award.

And now for the most important category:

Best Long Form of the Year

And the nominees are:

bareMinerals “Girlfriends”

Kodak ESP7 Printer

Kodak Easy Share Camera

Meaningful Beauty 2

And the winner is…bareMinerals “Girlfriends”

All the nominees in this category are among the dullest and most forgettable infomercials you will ever see in your life. So, once again, yawn. But I am glad that at least the “Girlfriends” version of the bareMinerals infomercial won and not the “Boyfriends” version.

You can get the complete list of nominees and the list of winners at the ERA website. There are many secondary awards given out in specific categories (Best Live Shopping On-Air Guest, Best Short Form U.S. Hispanic, etc.) so that everyone who shows up can leave “feeling like a winner.”

Among these lesser awards, I noticed that something called “Total Vibes” won “Best International DRTV Production.” I found the commercial video online:

So this thing is a big total body vibrator. I am deeply disappointed this masterpiece didn’t win the “Best Product of the Year” award.

According to the ERA website they “had a record number of entries this year.” Yet it is amazing how few companies continue to dominate (Guthy-Renker, Thane, R2C Group).

I am sad to say that I had to boycott this year’s awards ceremony in protest that the infomercials for Potty Patch, ExtaMax, Comfort Wipe, and the Snuggie for Dogs were not even nominated in any category! It’s an outrage I tell you, an outrage!!


  • 2 Responses to “The 2009 ERA Awards Pick the Best Infomercials of the Year”

  • The pickings for Best Celebrity endorsement were MIGHTY SLIM if all they had to choose from were Joan Lunden (hardly the most electrifying personality out there!), Billy Mays (like you said, a ‘celebrity’ only because he hawked cheap dollar-store quality items), and Cesar Millan (host of that unforgettable study in BS, “The Dog Whisperer”).

    As for this vibrating total-body machine, um…WHAT??? I’m a big fan of relaxation and using vibration to achieve that goal, but excuse me if I don’t quite buy what they’re trying to sell. (pun fully intended) Yes, I know this machine is supposed to contract your muscles a billion times more than you yourself ever could but when, exactly, did we Americans become SO LAZY that we no longer can even contract our muscles ourselves???

    Comment by John Abramson on September 27, 2009 at 10:29 am

  • I do like the Slim N’ Lift one, but Darla Haun should’ve got that award, since she is the real presenter in that infomercial (Jayne is the co-presenter). I know, since I got a clip form it on YouTube.

    Comment by Mike Smith on September 29, 2009 at 11:57 am