Billy Mays was known for such infomercials as OxiClean, OrangeGlo, and Hercules Hooks. He started his career as a pitchman on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and was thought by some to be one of the last remaining true Pitchmen in America.
His personal branding of blue shirt, khakis, and jet-black beard were unmistakable when combined with that booming voice that yelled at us across the airways nearly everyday. He was telling us that we couldn’t live without some exciting new product in our lives – sometimes we may have given in to this pitch.
Earlier this year the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen starring Mays and Anthony Sullivan to showcase how direct response marketing works on their side of the business. It was a good show. Being a designer I work with inventors trying to springboard their products out of their head and onto the shelves. The show displayed how hard and expensive this process can be.
Mays was found dead this morning. Though his overly excited attitude may have kept us up on some late nights; he will be missed. He was one of the best-known sales and marketing people in the nation, and I thank him for getting the face of homegrown inventors in front of the public.