Alison's Writing Portfolio · On Culture & Trends · On People & Co.

Your Name in Stickup Lightbulbs –New York, May 21st, 2007


In a squat brown office park in
Fairfield, New Jersey—the headquarters of the Telebrands
empire—five men and one woman are gathered around a long conference
table, trying to figure out what’s wrong in your life.

any given morning, they might ponder how bad cat litter smells,
consider how hard it is to cut wrapping paper in a straight line, or
wonder why fruit rots so quickly in a refrigerator. In the
silver-wallpapered reception area, a flat-screen TV shows their ads in
a continuous loop—an infinite sequence of encrusted grime vanishing
from dirty pots, a little white dog trying to jump up onto a bed.
Lining the walls are floor-to-ceiling foam-core displays of the
company’s latest hit products, including a pacifier-style light that
promises whiter teeth (over a million sold!), and a peel-and-stick
adhesive lightbulb (installs in seconds!).

This story looks at how one company, responsible for many of the short
infomercials you see on TV, finds the products that it
puts on the air.