Iconic infomercial pioneerRon Popeilhas dead at the age of 86. According to a press release from his family, he died in Los Angeles after a medical emergency. For the uninitiated, Popeil sold items such as the Pocket Fisherman, the Bedazzler, the Veg-O-Matic and Mr. Microphone. Thanks to his invention of cooking inventions such as the ‘Ronco Rotisserie.’ He also coined the phrase, “Set it and forget it!”
But more than that, Popeil is credited with creating the formula that became dominant in infomercials:
- While in front of a “live studio audience,” present a “revolutionary” invention that addressed a minor problem.
- Throw in "free" bonus products to the delight of an in-studio audience
- Most importantly, warn viewers that supplies are low, so they have to "call now!"
Popeil was survived by his wife Robin, four daughters, and four grandchildren.