Flex tape has been described as a super-strong, rubberized, waterproof tape capable of patching, bonding, and sealing almost anything in existence. According to its awfully cheesy infomercials, it’s proprietary rubber backing can conform to any shape and any object whether it’s hot, cold, dry, wet, or even underwater.
If you buy into all the marketing hype, then you might be persuaded to believe that it is in fact one of the most revolutionary products of our modern era. This sort of hyperbolic inflation of its capabilities has led to the internet having a veritable field day coming up with all sorts of memes about its amazing potential for mending all the woes of the world.
But beyond these jokes, there’s a much darker story behind Flex Tape, Flex Seal and the man behind them – Phil Swift. In this video, we’re taking a dive into the history of Flex Tape and how it became the sensation that it is today. We’ll also take a look at some of the marketing tactics of Flex Tape, like the infomercial where Phil Swift taped a boat together and hit the water. Is this even possible? Stay tuned to find out!
In the beginning…
Phil Swift wasn’t always the universe-saving man floating on a boat patched with tape over shark-infested waters that he is today. No, long before the marketing genius that we all know and love showed up on late-night infomercials selling the world miraculous tapes and adhesives, he was just like you and me.
According to the Flex Seal website, he graduated from the University of Houston and went on to accumulate 26 years of experience in business administration, fine-tuning his marketing and direct sales skills ever since the 80s.
With the help of his brother Alan, the duo founded Swift Response, a limited liability corporation that specializes in what they call “high-performance products” that are not only easy to use, but also solve all sorts of everyday issues that one might come across at home or work.
The Brothers Swift
We all know about Phil Swift, but it’s kind of peculiar how difficult it is to find out any reliable information about his brother Alan, despite the fact that the two founded the company and developed Flex tape in tandem.
Who really is Alan Swift? Is he ridiculously attractive like his brother? Is he a marketing genius with uncanny wit and charm or did he not inherit that genetic trait? If you really want to find out, you can follow Alan on Instagram, but that might not clear up any questions seeing as he’s never posted on his account as of the production of this video.
The plot thickens when you discover that there is actually a third sibling as well, Rick Swift, who is even more mysterious than his other 2 brothers. In fact, his Instagram is set to private, leading us all to wonder what in fact he is hiding? We may never know.
On Phil’s account, he makes mention of having a son – Nic Swift, who is some kind of hotshot music producer living in LA. Apparently, Nic worked as a production assistant on the first Flex Seal commercial. So obviously Flex Seal is very much so a family affair.
Flex Tape Fame – A Brief History
Marketing will have you believe that Flex Tape would have saved the Titanic from sinking or prevent the assassination of JFK, but give us a break! It’s just a roll of tape! How did some roll of over-glorified rubber coated electrical tape win the love and respect of every man, woman, and child on the planet and earn its own unique display case in the internet meme hall of fame?
Okay, so there’s a YouTuber named JonTron who has made a lot of money sitting on his couch and ranting about various topics, and he made one video about Flex Tape that has scored 35+ million views.
To be fair, all he did was talk about a crappy product pitched by a very loud guy that was very clearly trying to impersonate the late and great Billy Mays – may he rest in peace. All things considered, JonTron probably did a great service to Flex Tape. The least Phil Swift could do is send the guy a lifetime supply of the sticky stuff.
By now, we’re sure you’re all wondering the same question…
Is Flex Tape All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
Before we answer that question for you, do us a quick favor and like this video, subscribe to our channel, and tap the bell icon to turn on notification. Stick around for the rest of the video to find out about the totally insane Phil Smith Halloween costume that used to be available on the Flex Seal website.
Well – Flex Tape might actually not be quite as phenomenal as it’s depicted on late-night television. I know you might be shocked to hear this after it’s long series of infomercials!
A lot of people have tried to recreate the results seen in the commercials with varying levels of success. Sure, the stuff’s good for fixing leaky pipes under the sink, but can you really tape a boat back together and not sink?
Inside Edition attempted to duplicate the feat and found that their boat had a bit of a leak.
Their boat only remained afloat for an hour before it sunk below the water. Flex Seal responded by saying that they must have applied the product incorrectly – thus distancing themselves from any liability. So if you’re boat goes down and you get mulled by sharks, don’t blame Flex Tape! That’s on you.
Can It Stop A Bullet?
If the stuff can keep a leaking boat afloat for any length of time, it’s only reasonable to call into question where it could also stop a bullet right? Because that’s totally the next logical thing to ask right?
Let us be extremely clear here. NO. Absolutely Not. Flex Tape won’t save you from any caliber bullet. So don’t go wrapping yourself up in the stuff thinking you are now impervious to ammunition. Flex Tape won’t save you in war times – except maybe if you row your leaking Flex boat to safety somewhere.
To put that truth to the test, Matt Carriker from Demolition Ranch coated a test dummy with flex tape and a layer of cardboard to see if it would stop a .22 bullet. Of course, it didn’t. So he kept adding more and more layers before he finally managed to thwart the impact of the bullet. It took an astonishing 80 layers to finally stop a bullet. So no, Flex Tape is not the answer. Try Again.
What About The Reviews?
If the stuff was really as magical as Phil says it is, then Amazon reviews would logically agree, right?
A whopping 36% percent of users gave Flex Tape a 1-star review.
The most popular complaint wast that It doesn’t actually stick underwater. In addition to the mountain of bad reviews on amazon, 26 complaints have been made to the Better Business Bureau with many of them being related to shady over-charging practices on the Flex Tape website.
Flex Tape And NASCAR
For the last 7 years, JD Motorsports has been sponsored by Flex Seal. SO every time fans watch a NASCAR race, they get to remember Phil Swift’s iconic commercials as one of the unmistakeable Flex cars round a corner.
“That’s A Lot OF Damage”
“It’s like the Hoover Dam in a can!”
In February of 2017, Phil himself must’ve been shocked when a Flex Tape car at a race in Daytona crashed and needed a quick repair. And of course, the pit team had a stash of the stuff on hand, because why wouldn’t they right?
Well, Driver Garret Smithley was up in running in no time and managed to place 8th in that race. But that begs the question. Shouldn’t NASCAR ban the use of such a miraculous item halfway through a race? It seems as though it gives an unfair advantage, doesn’t it?
Just In Time For Halloween
So a couple of years ago, you could actually purchase a Phil Swift Halloween costume off the Flex Seal Website. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available. I know, I know… Halloween is ruined.
Hopefully the folks over at Flex Seal all sense our collective pain and longing to be like Phil and re-release the festive bundle. The costume came with an officially licensed Flex Seal polo, Flex Tape Baseball cap, and several cans of Flex Seal products. Who doesn’t need that in their lives?
If the costume wasn’t your cup of tea, you could still give your home some familiar warmth by purchasing the lifesize cardboard cut-out of Phil Swift for the low price of $59.99. Of course, that wouldn’t be a purchase you would regret or anything.
Okay, that’s about as much Flex Tape as we can handle at the moment. Now it’s time to hear from you. What do you think about Flex Tape? Is it everything that Phil says it is and more, or is it a waste of your time and hard-earned money? Let us know what you think in the comments section
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