Wednesday, January 6, 2010

QVC, we've never really met, but you're starting to freak me out a little.

We are back from Dallas and about to head up to Mom and Dad's house in the mountains for a week before making the long, long, LONG trip home. Did I mention that it is a long trip? But I won't think about that right now. Grace was such a trooper on our trip, being schlepped in and out of the car and all over the city while we visited with everyone. She still has her cold, and Jason is still traumatized by the battery-powered snot sucker. He doesn't want me to use it on her again, but I think I'll sneak out and buy one before we leave. Don't mention it to him.

Jason and I stayed with our good friends Greg and Susan while we were in Dallas. We sat up late one night chatting about books. Susan works in publishing, you see, and handles marketing campaigns for a well known author. So we were asking her about the inner workings of publishing and book retail--this kind of stuff is really interesting to me. Then she told us that next week she'll be presenting a book and being interviewed on QVC. Do you ever watch QVC? For my Aussie readers, QVC is a home shopping channel that is on 24 hours a day--all live, even in the middle of the night. I have never really seen it, except for when I'm flipping through the channels.

Susan told us that QVC has a huge viewership--that during the day there are anywhere from 9 to 15 million viewers, and that even in the middle of the night about 2 million people are watching. I had no idea! That's massive. She told us all about how she had to travel to QVC heaven in Pennsylvania for a day long training and "audition" to be on the air. It's a huge complex there, and while the hosts are on the air, they have live minute-by-minute feedback of what people are buying and what "pitches" are working best. Producers monitor how what the hosts say effect sales and direct them via earpieces on what's working. Susan had to do two taped auditions and then get feedback before they told her she was okay to be on air. And then they give you a window of time where they can call you and ask you to fly in--so you have to be on alert for a time. There's a big list of what to wear and not wear on air, and you have to get a manicure. All those close-ups of hands showing products--I guess they don't want any distracting hangnails!

She was talking about how QVC really knows their demographic, and what kind of people are watching at certain times of the day. So I thought, Oh really? Then let's turn it on right now and see if they know us. Greg turned it on and a man and woman were selling under-eye concealer. Just earlier that day I'd said to myself that I really needed to get some better concealer. Seven months of broken sleep are accumulating under my eyes. And now, here is my new friend QVC giving me what I asked for!

How did they know I'd be watching? Do they have magical mind reading powers? What else does QVC know about me? Maybe they know stuff about me that I don't even know. What if it's stuff I need to know? Like if my butt looks big in the new jeans I bought the other day? Or that I ought to moisturize more often? Maybe they know it and they're telling everyone else. QVC thinks I'm fat and scaly but they won't tell me to my face!

I didn't actually order any concealer, but if I'd been watching by myself I might have! They know that, don't they? I guess lots of tired mothers are watching QVC at 11:45 on a Saturday night. Lots of tired, paranoid mothers.

Anyway, I love learning about how stuff works. Don't you? Good luck next week, Susan! Do you ever watch home shopping channels? Have you ever bought anything? Do they use their mind powers on you too?


  1. My mother is a devout QVCer. And actually she bought me an adorable red ruffle jacket last year. And the earrings that I was gawking at the other night---those are from QVC too. QVC got it goin on. Shoo.

  2. QVC is one of the reasons I have never had a credit card. Dangerous dangerous stuff!

  3. I've been eying that battery powered snot sucker, but I'm a little afraid it'll suck the brains right out through Miles' nose.

    My mom bought me a phone from QVC when I was in high school. It had a speaker function. It thought it was boss.

  4. I had the same reaction when I learned of the QVC power. I was working at Origins and there was a new product about to come out, so the big launch event was a QVC showing. I was like, what? Who watches QVC? I need to speak to the marketing people! Then the product sold out in like three seconds, or something crazy like that, after it aired. Totally rocked my world.

  5. Wow! QVC knows all. Post and comments both cracked me up. hee!

    Mark's Auntie is an avid QVC-er. She bough Sam a hideous collectible knife from QVC. Wonder what that demographic is? Cranky old widow women, with 2 small dogs, and an adult son at home?

    Jenni has inspired me to start using 'Boss!'