Ron Popeil

veg-o-matic

Ron Popeil (b. 1935) is an American inventor and marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. He is well known for his appearances in infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie (‘Set it, and forget it!’) and for using the phrase, ‘But wait, there’s more!’ on television as early as the mid-1950s.┬áPopeil learned his trade from his father, Samuel, who was also an inventor and carny salesman of kitchen-related gadgets such as the Chop-O-Matic and the Veg-O-Matic. The Chop-O-Matic retailed for US$3.98 and sold over two million units.

The success of the product caused a problem that marked the entrance of Ron Popeil into television. Chop-O-Matic was efficient at chopping vegetables, but it was impractical for salesmen to carry vegetables for demonstrations. The solution was to tape the demonstration; it was a short step to broadcasting the demonstration as a commercial. Some of his better-known products include: Mr. Microphone (a short-range hand-held radio transmitter that broadcast over FM radios), Showtime Rotisserie (a small rotisserie oven designed for cooking smaller sized portions of meat such as whole chicken and lamb),GLH-9 Hair in a Can Spray, and an Electric Food Dehydrator.

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