Mark Lopreiato was thrilled when he was invited to promote his Forearm Forklift on ABC's "Good Morning America" last month. The chance for a small manufacturing business to reach 4.5 million viewers for free doesn't come around often.
Lopreiato appeared on "Buy it and Try It," a segment for hosts to test out popular niche gizmos from infomercials in front of an enthusiastic New York studio audience. The first product they tried was a steel nonstick pan, which smoothly cooked up eggs without the use of oil or butter.
Then it was Forearm Forklift's turn. After viewing a commercial for the product, ABC's Lara Spencer and Gio Benitez pulled the heavy-duty moving straps over their forearms and proceeded to lift up a washing machine and walk with it.
"I was pretty impressed," Spencer said to the crowd.
You'd think such a shout-out from the hugely popular morning show would provide a huge boost for Lopreiato's 18-year-old family business.
But this is Amazon.com's world, and Forearm Forklift, like so many brands, is uncomfortably inhabiting it.