TODAY   |  June 12, 2013

Behind the scenes of inventors’ infomercial auditions

Infomercials often inspire the thought: “Why didn’t I think of that?” NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren gets an inside look at a leading infomercial company’s recent auditions, which give inventors the opportunity to become millionaires, and A.J. Khubani of Telebrands talks about how they select their products.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> here's a number that will get your attention. as seen on tv products have become an $8 billion a year industry. think the snuggie or sham wow but where do they get the ideas? kristen shows us.

>> good morning. don't you just sit there and say why didn't i think of that? one of the leading infomercial companies gave them five minutes to pitch their products and potentially become millionaires.

>> 18 inventors.

>> it's called the cotour cover.

>> the prep administer.

>> the duster vac.

>> 5 minutes each.

>> it's like american idol meets the apprentice.

>> one shot.

>> the earring remover.

>> a.j. has made millions and millionaires selling simple products like the ped egg.

>> the amazing new foot grooming miracle.

>> and the pocket hose.

>> it's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

>> but it's though the easy. the odds for the inventors of coming in today of getting picked and having a big winner is about 1%.

>> there's things for stress, your kids.

>> we call it the back saver.

>> your kitchen.

>> there won't be spilling there.

>> i've got the latest greatest pans. pots and pans.

>> but wait, there is more.

>> this is basically a home salad bar , a taco bar, a sundae bar.

>> products for your pets.

>> it makes grooming fun and easy.

>> most have one thing in common.

>> what's the price on this baby.

>> we're looking at 19.95.

>> how much are you going to sell it for.

>> 19.95 price point.

>> how did i know?

>> they have the pricing and the pitch. but most don't have the wow factor.

>> i can't think of how i would possibly market it.

>> except for a few that seem to peak his interest which means they could soon be seen on a tv near you.

>> i'm going to say this is my number one pick of everything i've seen today.

>> thank you. i appreciate that.

>> that's pretty good.

>> so a really talented people there. he only offered a contract to one inventor that day.

>> thanks very much. that one inventor is with us. we'll talk to him in a second. a.j. is with us. he's the president and ceo of the company that brought you the peg egg and the pocket hose. greg is the inventor. good to see you as well. what's the difference between a good idea and great idea?

>> a great idea is something that people get right away. like it's got to be something. you always hear why didn't i think of that? it's like the expandable hose for example. the pocket hose. hoses are so difficult to carry around. this one you hook it up. it expands to 50 feet. you shut it off it contracts to 10 feet .

>> according to industry standards the inventor gets between 3 and 5% of the royalties from the product which raises the question why can't i take this directly to market. why do i need your company? why should i lose the extra money?

>> why does an author go to a book publisher to print it and distribute it and margaret it? because they have the expertise and know how and experience to do it.

>> greg has come up with this product. the one you really liked. before we talk to greg , let's take a look at the quick piece of the infomercial that will introduce it.

>> dog fur everywhere but brushing can take forever.

>> yeah i can use a rake.

>> you're right. try the rover rake. it cuts grooming time in half. you and rover will love it. i actually massages out the loose fur .

>> greg is at it now. why do you think this is going to change your life.

>> it makes my life easier and a whole lot of other people's lives easier to maintain their pet's coat. it makes grooming fun and easy. it massages.

>> that's a sensitive spot obviously.

>> she likes it though.

>> you don't have to pull the hair out with your hands. tap it on the ground.

>> do you expect to sell enough that you could change your life.

>> i couldn't do it without tele brand. it's easy to come up with a design or idea but the hardest thing in the world is the marketing and distribution and you can't do that by yourself so i was fortunate enough to be discovered by a.j.

>> we hope it works. do you have a product to pick pet hair up off the floor? we'll use that next. thanks. we're back after your local news.

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