When the Ginsu infomercial premiered in the late '70s, audiences were entranced by the miraculous Japanese knife that could cut through a tin can then slice through a ripe tomato like butter. But Ginsu wasn't miraculous. It wasn't even Japanese. It was instead the brainchild of marketing whizzes Ed Valenti and Barry Becher, who were trying to increase sales of an ordinary kitchen knife called Eversharp. They changed the name to "Ginsu," added a Japanese chef to the infomercial and launched a television icon. Years later, Valenti proclaimed Ginsu his "greatest advertising success" [source: Associated Press]. The Ginsu infomercial was even parodied in John Belushi's Samurai Deli on "Saturday Night Live."
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