The In-flight Bazaar That Is SkyMall

Alright. So it’s finally come to this. I can’t keep it inside any longer.

The next time you fly, if those little screens don’t drop down and reruns of The Office don’t start rerunning, you might think you don’t have any in-flight entertainment. Think again. It’s right under your nose in the seatback in front of you. What is it? Why, it’s the silliest publication since the longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons was released… it’s the SkyMall catalog.

What other publication can offer such over-priced gems as follows? By the way, I’m still waiting on the smoke alarm with a snooze button.

The Inflatable Blue Triangle. Let’s kick it all off with an old classic. Like me, you may have seen this treasure for sale in SkyMall at least 1000 times, and each time I see it I think the same thing – who the hell would buy this thing? Evidently a lot, since this contraption still manages to acquire real estate in the catalog (and buyers’ laps) after all these years. The fun part is in trying to imagine this guy preparing to take a nap by inflating it like he’s blowing up a beach ball.

The “Are You Still Alive?” Pillow. As the name suggests, you might be inclined to do a pulse check if you come across this lady. The best part? The diagram in the lower left. Let’s see – lumbar, thoracic, spinal… well, I guess it’s all there. And the lines seem to indicate something scientific. You sold me.

The Pointless Purchase. I don’t know. Maybe this product fills a major consumer need that I’m unaware of. I had no clue that so many people we’re pining to wear something for the sole purchase of moisturizing specific areas of their body. Now lotion in tissues, I get. I’ll buy that. But this prize pick is about as dumb as a tank with a kickstand. $50 for temporarily moisturizing your hands and feet? What happens when you wash these? And lastly, have you considered just buying a bottle of your favorite lotion?

The “Swimming” Shoes. Product and branding conception (ahem) is as follows. Step 1: Secure financing to develop a state of the art, innovative and unique atheletic shoe. Step 2: Create said atheltic shoe. Step 3: Eliminate any possibility of consumers taking the brand seriously by choosing a swimming “tadpole” as your logo. WTF? Here’s the thing – most people take pride in what they wear. Shoes are no different. Especially shoes. Nike with the iconic swoosh, New Balance with the monolithic N, Adidas with the three stripes and now these pearls with what I personally consider to the be the most ridiculous choice for a logo ever. But hey, bad publicity is better than none. Right? Special thanks to Michael Harwood for the nickname title.

In closing, I do appreciate SkyMall. The publication seems to actually embrace what it is – that being a catalog that peddles stuff of the semi-useful and very unusual nature. More to come…

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