We’ve all seen infomercial products filling the airwaves during the late night hours and weekend days when there is nothing else to watch. While most are compelling in their own way, some managed to hook us more than others — no matter how unnecessary or laughable the product might seem.
From skincare systems to kitchen gadgets to workout routines, some products have spurred millions of people to pull out their credit cards and pick up the phone. Click through to see the “As Seen on TV” products that are the most lucrative of all time.
- $545.5 million in revenue in 2016
Remember Marie Osmond and her 50-pound weight loss? The celebrity spokeswoman not only endorsed the brand, but also kept the weight off with NutriSystem. Millions of other people wanting to shed pounds have also used NutriSystem weight management system. In 2017, the company’s market value was estimated at $1.6 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- $500 million in revenue
The Snuggie is one of the most successful infomercial products, even if the commercials did give people a good laugh. The cheesy ads worked to the company’s benefit, though. Snuggie sold over 30 million units as of 2013, just five years after its launch, despite not even being the first product to feature a blanket with sleeves. It did, however, have the best sales tactic, and the revenue to prove it.
Showtime Pro Electric Rotisserie Oven
- 2.5 million ovens sold
“Set it and forget it,” right? It appears that many households did, as more than 2.5 million Showtime Rotisseries were sold, according to Ron Popeil, the infomercial products icon and founder of Ronco Inventions. The rotisserie oven is a top contributor to the company’s $2 billion in sales earnings since the 1960s. The oven makes easy weekend meals even easier.
George Foreman Grill
- 100 million grills sold
Boxer George Foreman, two-time world heavyweight champion, got the deal of a lifetime outside of the ring. Although he initially signed on to earn 45 percent of the profits in return for the use of his name, by 1999 the grill had sold more than 100 million units, and the maker of the grill opted to buy out their spokesperson instead. Foreman earned $137.5 million for his endorsement, plus an additional $11 million for grill-related TV appearances. “Big George” tried to parlay that success into other products, including a line of frozen meats, but they’ve flopped in comparison.
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- $400 million in annual revenue
When P90X, the “As Seen on TV” workout routine featuring Tony Horton, debuted in 2005, it wasn’t an immediate success. In fact, it took 22 tries to get the infomercial just right. The work was worth it though, as P90X has been one of the top 25 most popular infomercials for several years since its launch, according to Informercial Monitoring Service, a company that gauges the success rate of infomercials. As of 2012, the product had raked in over $700 million in sales.
Outfit Your Home Gym: Workout Accessories for Under $50
- $1 billion in sales as of 2015
Proactiv was the first “As Seen on TV” acne product, and today it has more than 20 million customers worldwide. Since the late 1990s, the skincare kit has had many celebrity spokespeople including Alicia Keys, Jessica Simpson and Julianne Hough, and you can’t have big names without making a lot of dough to pay them. In 2010, the product was paying $15 million annually to spokespeople, including Justin Bieber.
The original creators, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, have since left the company to pursue a new venture. The Rodan + Fields skincare line, which had $626.9 million in revenue in 2015, does not rely on infomercials. Rather, the company uses a “social commerce” model, in which independent entrepreneurs use social media to sell products directly to consumers.
- $450 million in sales as of 2013
TV viewers loved the PedEgg, despite the fact that it’s basically a pocket-sized cheese-grater for your feet. The PedEgg seemed to fascinate rather than repulse infomercial viewers, who have been impressed with its skin-softening ability. Over 50 million of the devices have been sold since 2007.
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- $280 Million in sales to date
If you’ve watched any television at all over the last year or so, then you’ve likely seen an ad for My Pillow, the $45 pillow that claims to adjust to fit you and help you get a better night’s sleep. The company has sold more than 26 million pillows to date, and spends $1.4 million per week on advertising, according to the Boston Herald.
The Hair Club for Men
- Sold for $210 Million in 2004
The Hair Club for Men aired its first infomercial in 1982, and you may recall the famous tag line: “I’m not just the president of Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client!” The company gave men with thinning hair or not-so-great combovers a chance to have a full head of hair again with a transplant. The company has changed hands several times since it launched, and expanded its services to women and even children. According to Entrepreneur.com, the company treats 50,000 clients each year.
If you’re considering a hair transplant, make sure to shop around. It’s one of 10 common medical procedures your health insurance probably won’t cover.
The BowFlex Workout Machine
- $193.9 million in sales in 2012
When it comes to “As Seen on TV” exercise equipment, the BowFlex Workout Machine must come to mind. You may even be one of the 2.5 million Americans who own a BowFlex home fitness machine. The “no-weights, just resistance” system of cables and straps promises to deliver amazing muscle-building results — and folds up in a cinch. One of the brand’s most popular infomercials featured a 50-year-old grandmother who claimed the machine kept her looking anything but grannyish.