Without a doubt Billy Mays helped the recent Infomercial industry rebound.
Our industry has experienced great success lately, due to the current economy in part; however you have to give the pitchmen credit…good or bad. I’ve seen several posts today stating that “now the guy from Shamwow has it all to himself”. What a terrible mistake to put Vince and Billy in the same category. Vince is everything that our industry has tried to move away from, while he is a very effective pitchperson, his reputation and credibility is horrible.
Billy on the other hand was just the opposite, he pitched products that he liked, because they worked and he used them. His image was solid and he would often give a guarantee that made you feel that he personally stood behind the product. Billy was a successful business man, a devoted (note how he tried to bring his son into The Pitchmen shows when the opportunity presented itself) family man and one heck of an Infomercial Industry Icon.
From the first time we saw Billy we knew he was here to stay. He projected a safe, strong and honest image. You felt he was more like the neighbor next store than the typical “Carney Barker” you see at the State Fair.
I recently met his wife and daughter found them to be exactly what Billy projected, a typical family. Billy worked as hard as anyone in the business and deserved ever hit he helped make.
Our thoughts go out to his wife and children as they deal with this terrible event.