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Swivel Sweeper

What it Is: An ultra-light, slim vacuum cleaner.

Quote: "It cleans forwards, but it also cleans backwards!"

Cost:$40 (Apparently cheaper here.)

Shill: Young-ish, slim, British infomercial super-hunk Anthony Sullivan. What is it with these Brits in infomercials? Some sort of shill-exchange program we haven't been told about?

sweeper.jpg

Set and Costumes: Sullivan appears to be in some sort of convention hall - he says he's in Orlando - with carpet so blazingly red it alters the intended psychological feel of the spot (more on that below). It's also got a demonstration set of stairs, but, most importantly, more than enough room for every conceivable substance you'd ever want to get out of your carpet - Pet hair! Dirt! Broken glass! Also some wood floors with wet vegetables on them.

Gimmick: Multiple action shots on that red carpet - a matching red color's splashed all across this spot.

Empathy Ploy: A kindly, sorta-Southern woman in her 50s or early 60s takes a run around the set with a variety of inferior cleaners. The back strain of the Dustbuster! The clumsiness of the leading-brand floor vac amid furniture!

Casting Triumphs: Nearly all the people brought in to testify are boring without being off-putting. There's only one goof in the bunch - a fortysomething guy who beams that he's now "lookin' for stuff to clean" with his Swivel Sweeper. In other words, joining this bunch really doesn't seem too far-fetched or embarrassing.

Performance Stats: "It uses sliders - not wheels."

Evaluation: Anthony inevitably gets a tad boorish at times, but otherwise, his delivery is consistently taut, snappy, and incredibly professional. And the pervasive red color is one of paid programming's most effective tricks - it could snap your eyes open at 4 a.m. after a two-week morphine bender. Combine these elements, and you've got an infomercial that's uncannily focused on matters both Pavlovian and practical, numbing the mind to any potential humor in the spot's goofier moments - though there aren't many to begin with. In short, this is the most scarily effective, credible spot entered in the Infomercial Reviews Catalog so far. Like the Swivel Sweeper itself, it's a minimalistic, self-powered machine whose only flaw is the obligatory glint of hucksterism.

Rating: 9

- Scott Gordon



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Posted on May 16, 2007


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