Ron Popeil is one of the legends of infomercials and direct response marketing. Over the last 40 years, Ron’s products have pulled in more than $2 billion in sales. He is the most famous for products and infomercials like the Showtime Rotisserie where he says “Set it an forget it”, the Chop-O-Matic, Veg-O-Matic, Food Dehydrator and for using the phrase “But wait, there’s more”.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
Ronald M. “Ron” Popeil is an American inventor and marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. He is well known for his appearances in infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie (“Set it, and forget it!”) and for using the phrase, “But wait, there’s more!” on television as early as the mid-1950s.
Popeil was born in New York City in 1935. At age 17 Ron went with his grandparents to work for his father (Samuel) at his company’s (Popeil Brothers) manufacturing facility in Chicago.
Popeil is noted for marketing and in some cases inventing a wide variety of products. Among the better known and more successful are the Chop-O-Matic hand food processor (“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to show you the greatest kitchen appliance ever made … All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear.”), the Dial-O-Matic successor to the Veg-O-Matic (“Slice a tomato so thin it only has one side.”), and the Ronco Pocket Fisherman. Popeil is also well known for his housewares inventions like his Giant Dehydrator and Beef Jerky Machine, his Electric Pasta Maker and his Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ.
His Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ sold over 8 million units just in the US and helped Ronco’s housewares sales exceed the billion dollar mark. After retiring, Ron continued to invent products like his latest invention, the 5in1 Turkey Fryer & Food Cooking System which took him over 10 years to create.
Ron initially operated as a distributor of his father’s kitchen products and later formed his own company (Ronco) in 1964. He continued as a distributor for his father and added additional products from other manufacturers.
Popeil received the Ig Nobel Prize in Consumer Engineering in 1993. The awards committee described him as the “incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late night television” and awarded the prize in recognition of his “redefining the industrial revolution” with his devices. He is a past member of the Board of Directors Mirage Resorts where he served for 22 years under Steve Wynn as well as a past member of the Board of Directors of MGM Hotels for 7 years under Kirk Kerkorian. He became the recipient of the Electronic Retail Association’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2013 and he is listed in the Direct Response Hall of Fame.
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