Catch Consumerist On 20/20 Tonight And Meet A Real Life Infomercial Junkie

Tonight’s episodes of 20/20 (10 p.m. ET) features self-proclaimed infomercial junkie, Marisa Woolsey, and her obsession with all things “as seen on TV.” She has the “Ninja Blender, the Magic Bullet, the George Foreman Grill and the Han Steam Sanitizing Mop. Under every sink in her home, you’ll find ShamWow towels.”

So, why does Marisa order product after product? From ABC News:

Woolsey’s infomercial infatuation began when she was working the overnight shift as a home care aide. Watching infomercials — hundreds of them — helped her stay awake, she said.

The infomercials had a particular allure: They promised a better and easier life. Trapped in a tough job, Woolsey was hungry to buy in to that dream.

“I’m always wondering. Does that work? I really just have to know. And it drives me crazy,” she said.

Why are Woolsey and so many of us susceptible to the infomercial pitch? When a hot new product seduces us, researchers believe we’re excited with anticipation as our brain is flushed with the addictive pleasure chemical dopamine.

The ads work by playing to our basic emotions, said Ben Popken, editor of Consumer Reports’ The Consumerist blog.

“There’s not a whole lot of higher level cognitive thinking going on that infomercials are targeting,” he said. “Fear, need, greed and sex. That’s what they’re going after.”

Infomercial Junkie: How She Got Hooked…Are You Next? [ABCNews]

Watch the full story on “20/20” TONIGHT at 10 p.m. ET and watch NEXT FRIDAY when “20/20” teams up with Consumer Reports for a one-hour special, “Infomercial Nation.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.