ShamWow! Wins CNBC.com's "As Seen On TV" Tournament
After more than 300,000 votes over 11-day period, CNBC.com readers have made their decision.
The ShamWow! is the best "As Seen On TV" product of all-time!
At the close of business yesterday, the George Foreman Grill had a single-digit lead in the championship matchup, but between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, votes poured in for the ShamWow!
After more than 8,500 votes, the ShamWow! beat the electric grill by a 55-45 when the polls closed at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning.
Considering that this "Wow towel" was the newest, along with the Snuggie, of all 64 products, it might have had a top-of-mind advantage. It entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed, but impressively took down three No. 1's — The Clapper, Girls Gone Wild and the George Foreman Grill — en route to the title.
We wish we could profile the ShamWow! more, but it already ranks as one of the most mysterious "As Seen On TV" products of all-time.
To start, initial commercials at least said it holds 20 times its weight in liquid. But the Web site now says it holds 12 times its weight in liquid.
Trademark records show that the trademarks were originally owned by Square One Entertainment, which was the same outfit that produced the film directed and written by ShamWow! star pitchman Vince Offer (more about Offer later). They have since been transferred to a company now called ShamWow Inc. based in Las Vegas. We didn't receive an answer to our interview requests through the contact e-mail on the ShamWow! Web site and we couldn't find a general number, other than the ordering number, for the company.
So yes, it's tough to give an award without having someone to accept it.
Now, we're aware that ShamWow's victory in this tournament might be a surprise to some, but let us just remind you what this tournament was all about.
We asked you to vote based on the product's worth — if you indeed owned one — and on the infomercial itself. For our part, we think Vince Offer — also now star of the Slap Chop (owned by ShamWow Inc. as well) — is taking over as the next Billy Mays. He has some incredible lines ("The Germans always make good stuff") and is very effective in his two-minute pitch.
We don't care about all the noise about what Offer's litigious past. He once sued the Farrelly brothers for allegedly ripping off elements of his film and putting it into their hit "Something About Mary." We care about the fact that he, at the very least, might have come up with the perfect infomercial and he deserves credit for that.
But big business, like all infomercial products, has obviously welcomed devotees as well as critics, including those who are skeptical of the soda experiment in the commercial.
It also has generated many great parodies on YouTube. Here is one of our favorites.
So, once again, congratulations to the ShamWow! You are CNBC.com's best "As Seen On TV" product.
Vince, we hope you'll take now take us up on our interview offer. From our perspective, we think that this world is about having a dialogue with your customers and staying out of the spotlight won't make this product an all-time classic that sells for decades.
If you have any thoughts about the ShamWow! send them to us at SportsBiz@cnbc.com. We'll run the best of the best tomorrow morning.
And This Update: We Test The ShamWow!
We just tested the ShamWow on air. Take a look at the segment to judge for yourself.