From Demos to Production, McIntosh’s
Story Is DR in a Nutshell
By Thomas Haire ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
BELLEAIR BLUFFS, Fla. — Rick McIntosh, president and CEO of McIntosh Productions,
got his start in the DRTV business pitching the Smart Mop in front of live audiences at
housewares events and home shows. “I had to learn how to sell something for $20 and
convince a live audience — in three minutes — to part with it,” he recalls.
Today, after parlaying that success into solid work on the Home Shopping Network
(HSN), McIntosh’s expertise in product demonstration has turned him into one of the
most powerful producers in the direct response space.
Recently, Response sat down with McIntosh to discuss his past, present and future
— and that of the DRTV business.
Q: What is your professional background
and how did McIntosh Productions come
A: I was living in Boston when John Nokes
gave me an opportunity to travel selling the
Smart Mop while they were running heavy
media in the half-hour format. I moved to
Florida because I was working all over the
country and wanted to live in a more desir-
able location to enjoy my time off. I selected
Belleair Bluffs for that reason — and
because it’s located in the backyard of HSN. I
ended up being a guest on HSN, selling vari-
ous products, when Bill McAllister of Media
Enterprises gave me a break, and my first
product was “The Do All Disc.” I started to
learn the critical importance of the demon-
stration. After spending four hours prepping
for a seven-minute live demonstration on
HSN, we realized we could record it once and
play it over and over again on the networks.
Quarter Map and Coin Set,” which went on
to sell more than 10 million pieces for Tristar
and followed that up producing the Turbo
Tiger line of products. I’ve always had an
interest in inventing my own products and,
more recently, I invented the Dreamie, part-
nering with Zoom TV Products and receiving
a Best Short-Form Housewares Product
Award from Jordan Whitney. I have gone
on to produce eight new products and am
currently enjoying my most successful three
years to date.
Q: What does McIntosh Productions do
for its clients?
A: McIntosh Productions works closely
with its clients — who include Zoom TV,
IdeaVillage, Allstar Marketing and Tristar
Products — to understand their vision and
objectives. We pride ourselves on doing thor-
ough market research and work tirelessly to
figure out the best demonstrations and tal-
ent to showcase the client’s products while
making sure it appeals to the masses.
Q: What have been your two most suc-
cessful campaigns? Why do you think they
were so successful?
A: If I had to only pick two, I would have
to say the Steam Buggy and the FUSHIGI
Ball, which I co-created and produced.
The Steam Buggy was groundbreaking in
a sense because it introduced the world to
steam cleaning. By creating such strong and
powerful demonstrations, we were able to
revolutionize the cleaning industry for DRTV.
I’m very proud to say that those demonstra-
tions are still being used 14 years later.
The FUSHIGI Ball fit all the requirements
for a winning two-minute spot. It was new,
magical, compelling, mesmerizing, created
illusions and drove the masses to the phone
and Web because they had to see more!
Q: How did you move into the production
side of the business?
A: My first infomercial production was for
the Rotato for TELEBrands. We used the for-
mat and the talent from HSN, and it ended
up being an overnight success! Tristar
Products became my first full-time client
as a producer. I met Keith Mirchandani and
shortly thereafter was producing all of their
30-minute infomercials, starting with the
highly demonstrable breakthrough cleaning
product Steam Buggy. It produced more
than $300 million in sales. This was also
while I was running the talent and product
department at HSN for Tristar. I then dis-
covered and produced “The 50 State U.S.
Q: How does McIntosh Productions stand
apart from other companies in this space?
A: It’s our passion that sets us apart. We
take all the time needed and pay attention
to the small details — and somehow, we
are able to continue to work outside the box
all while keeping the client’s vision at the
forefront. It’s really personal to me. When
we commit to producing a show, I eat sleep
and drink that product! There is nothing
more gratifying than walking into any retail
store and seeing the products we produced
coming to life on TV and, ultimately, on the
Q: What your plans for the next five
A: It’s obvious: to be the biggest and the
best with the most success!