In The New York Times Magazine: Billy Mays

Posted by Rob Walker on October 26, 2008
Posted Under: Advertising,Consumed,Entertainment

The enduring appeal of the pitchman.

Today in Consumed, a look at the appeal of one of TV’s most ubiquitous sellers.

Much more interesting than the unlikely merchandise he booms on about is the boomer himself. With his slicked-back hair, beard and thunderclap voice, he begins most of his many two-minute spots by proclaiming: “Hi! Billy Mays here!” Usually declarations like this are reserved for those whose achievements or fame in some other corner of culture (movies, sports, reality television) are being leveraged on behalf of a product. Mays is a celebrity endorser whose celebrity is based entirely on having endorsed things.

Read the column in the October 26, 2008, issue of The New York Times Magazine, or here.

Bonus link:

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