I’m always amazed at the power of infomercials. I usually watch them from Saturday night to Sunday morning, to see who’s pushing what…and anything that is new or revolutionary. I’ve learned from several of the top guys in the business that crafting one, a successful and profitable one, is the art. Specific segments of that market respond to different proven formulas. These formulas get you to respond…whether or not the product is valid or not.
Robert Cialdini wrote the book on Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and infomercial creators took note. One of the biggest KEY points to convincing others to do as you want is social proof. Infomercial USE this through their use of testimonials, stories from satisfied customers. This serves to allay your fears, maybe find someone you identify with, and, have you forking over your cash for the solution.
If the product works, you’ll be happy you did it. If it doesn’t…
The first point that didn’t compute
With Red, there were people who stated that they lost HUGE amounts of weight on it…like over 50 pounds…in a relatively short time span. From what I know about exercise and weight loss, I couldn’t see anything that would validate these claims.
The second point of concern
So I went to the local sporting goods store to find one and TEST it out. Actually, I went to SEVERAL stores, including WalMart, and didn’t find Red anywhere! The price that was quoted on the infomercial was ridiculously expensive for what appeared to just be a rotating stool. It was early in their marketing cycle, so they probably hadn’t forced the retail market yet. If it really worked, that would come.
So, the only thing left to do was to look for it at some of the big online retailers. These guys usually have it in stock and most of the time, can get it in your living room in less than a week! Now that’s what I call service.
I ended up finding it at QVC, if memory serves me right…and for much less – about 60 bucks versus its original price of $99. I was also prepared to keep it because…I could use a swiveling stool.
Today’s QVC price is $99.85 with $11.22 shipping and handling. What is it that Red charges $32.pp JUST for shipping? Sheez!
If you’ve ever been to a gym, you’ve seen a machine that strengthens your core rotators using weighted resistance. It’s a popular machine as people THINK this machine almost magically whittles their waist down. When I watch how people actually use this, I rarely find an individual who uses it correctly. That means nearly ALL are using it incorrectly. I think the makers of Red KNOW that.
Since most of the people I watch at the club have no clue that what they’re doing is completely ineffective, how would they know whether a home exerciser that does the SAME thing is effective or not? I bet the makers of Red were counting on this point…that many of the people buying their machine wouldn’t know IF they were getting results from it. It’s the ultimate placebo effect.
We call that pixie dust. Maybe they were bewitched, enchanted by the Red Fairy? You seemed surprised that one actually existed, eh?
Enchanted, ah yes my precious. Otherwise how do you explain their success? They’ve made MILLIONS on the basic Red model, even before they launched their variety pack. Retailers like QVC aren’t into gambling. They only take on proven WINNERS of products…that is, products that have high consumer DEMAND.
Or will we swallow up anything that promises maximum results with minimal effort?
Red is positioned as bargain basement rotator machine.
Now before we finish our words on Red, let me tell you a little about the DVD that comes with it…
Well…it’s just plain BORING! It was a one camera shoot and well, let’s say you or I would have shown more enthusiasm than the 3 people they used.
Back to Red…
Is there anything special about it? No, nothing whatsoever. It has a catchy name, it is EASY to search for online and…it was sold promises from a well crafted infomercial based on mistruths. Well crafted hype! That isn’t illegal in America.
When the product was initially launched, the company got a lot of negative feedback on what was missing in the design…namely any serious tension and concern over flimsy design. So, what do you think they did? Enter the new models with higher tensions and claims to be more sturdy. (None of these claims are on their site today – just the order forms)
Hummm…is there a better BANG for my buck than Red for similar or less money? And almost as easy?
Yes there is…and it is called The Bean…and this sucker actually works! We’ll talk about that on another review. Another good option is Body Blade, which will be fodder for yet another review.
However, would you like the ultimate poor man’s rotator strengthening solution? Here it is…
Get a dowel or broomstick. Use these to do twisting movements where you HOLD the peak contraction for a few seconds at the top of the movement while exhaling. I do this in a bent over position with my legs spread apart. THAT works very well, and guess what? I’ve SAVED you like 95 bucks as dowels and broomsticks are cheap! Just head over to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up one (between 4 and 5 feet).
So for Red, the verdict is two thumbs down – keep your money in your pocket, that is, unless you need an expensive swiveling barstool. Plus we SHOULD have all seen the warning signs. Red means STOP!
Oh yeah…before I go, to see more works of the incredibly gifted fantasy artist, Howard David Johnson, just click on the image to the left.