I had the flu

I had the flu.  Yeah.  The real 102 degree temperature version.  And I had a shot, too, earlier in the season.  But I don’t want your pity.  I had enough of my own.

So here I was, home sick.  There was a lot of snow outside and I had a season and a half of the Tudors yet to go. What did I do?  I watched QVC.  Actually, I was so sick that the only thing I could watch was QVC. Products floating by regularly on the screen was all my brain could (barely) focus on.

I truly hadn’t watched QVC in years.  I was a huge fan when it first emerged on the screen. I thought of it as perfect consumer marketing theater.  For one, these people knew all about positioning. Everything…EVERYTHING…had a benefit.  If it’s cotton, it’s breathable.  If it’s polyester, it’s washable. There was something in every pitch for every product.   And in the years when my clients were spending $$$$$ to understand their customers with market research, these folks were on the phone connecting with their customers every minute of the day.  Real humans, all the time.  I just loved it.

I also rediscovered a great benefit to QVC. Again, something that I used to do regularly. It’s the perfect TV to fall asleep to.  There is nothing on it that you really need to see…nothing important that you really need to listen to.  And so it makes pretty perfect background noise until, at least for me, that great codeine cough medicine took over my brain.

I always thought that QVC as sleep aid (actually QVC as anything) was my own guilty secret.  Until I started mentioning that I was watching from my sick bed to family and friends.  And all of a sudden I discovered that there were quite a few of us closet QVC watchers…and QVC buyers. And, most interesting of all, people who used it to fall asleep in exactly the same way I did.  People who you would just never think had the same habit.

It’s gotten more sophisticated over the years.  More interesting sets, multiple folks pitching, better “brands” and more upscale designers (and has-been designers with good name recognition) making specific, more downscale, lines for the show.  And it’s still as brilliant a marketing idea as it always was.

But this time around it taught me a great lesson about me.

No matter how sick I am, I can still shop.

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