The Father of Direct to Consumer Advertising Has Gone to That Big Infomercial in the Sky

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If you haven't heard of Philip Kives you may have heard of his company, K-Tel and certainly his ultimate creation: Direct to Consumer Advertising. Depending upon how old you are, you may remember his ubiquitous TV commercials that ranged from household products (The Veg-o-Matic) to music compilation records (Hit Action, 20 Original Hits).


Whether you loved or hated his commercials or simply laughed at Dan Aykroyd's Bass-O-Matic parody, those advertisements launched what is today a mainstay of modern couch potato life. Philip Kives was a self-made man who came out of the Canadian prairie to change retailing and advertising. At first working with inventor, Sam Popeil (the father of Ron Popeil) and later with music, Philips legacy can be seen in everything from the voice of Oxyclean, Billy Mays to the Ginsu Knife Set to the ubiquitous "As Seen On TV" logo.

Download (3)Philip Kives is an integral link in a chain going back to the Medicine Man who roamed the west selling miracles from the back of their wagons to the sidewalk corner, master salesman to today's infomercial pitch person. Rest in peace, Philp Kives, you deserve some rest. In the meantime, we'll keep watching, buying and chopping.


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