- EverLight. Pitch: "The light that automatically goes on when the power goes off." Comments: A 'fast fail' from yours truly. Take it from me: This is a Siren category. [ss]
- Airman. Marketer: InvenTel. Pitch: "The all new radio-controlled super hero of the sky." Comments: This is very cool. Toy distribution can be tricky for dilettantes, but otherwise I can see this doing well -- especially in Q4. [ss]
- Custom Genie Bra. Marketer: Tristar. Pitch: "The first convertible bra that custom conforms to you." Comments: The latest addition to the line. I like the pitch. [ss]
- Effortless Sheets. Starring: Susan Williams. Pitch: "The world's first top sheet that's fitted at the bottom." Comments: A solution in search of a problem. Prediction: Bomb. [ss]
- Flexy Cord. Pitch: "The expandable, tangle-free, self-coiling extension cord." Comments: An apparent 'fast fail.'
- Pocket Hose Ultra. Starring: Richard Karn. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Three times stronger with a lifetime guarantee." Comments: Given how many of these hoses Telebrands has sold, it makes sense to try extending the line. [ss]
- Pocket Juice. Pitch: "Stay charged while on the go -- wherever and whenever." Comments: Speaking of Sirens, this has become a Siren product. Sailors beware. [ss]
- Tomato Garden Caps. Pitch: "Enjoy great-tasting tomatoes and strawberries all year long." Comments: Another apparent 'fast fail.'
- Rack Trap. Starring: Marla Schultz (the inventor). Pitch: "An undetectable one-size-fits-all personal bra pocket." Comments: Allstar already tried this concept under the name Secret Keeper. But I love their name! [ss]
- Trust Coin. Producer: Greenberg Direct. Pitch: "Show your allegiance to principles the United States was founded upon." Comments: From what I know about this category, which admittedly is very little, this seems like it hits all the right notes. [ss]
- World Class Knife. Starring: Marc Gill. Pitch: "The best features of a gourmet French chef's knife and a classic Japanese chef's knife." Comments: With one notable exception (IdeaVillage's Yoshi Blade), single knives haven't fared well on DRTV -- although it seems Telebrands is making a serious run at bringing Aero Knife to market. As for the creative, I'm impressed! I didn't realize Marc was such a skilled 'knife worker.' [ss]
December 05, 2013
Posted by Jordan Pine at 5:15 PM
Description: A see-through birdhouse
Main Pitch: "Watch up close birds nesting and feeding their young"
Main Offer: $14.99 for one with 2-way mirror & privacy curtain
Bonus: My Spy Bird Feeder (just pay P&H)
Prediction: Likely to succeed
Want to spy on a mother while she is feeding her baby? You’re a sicko who ought to be arrested. Want to spy on a mother bird while she is feeding her baby? You’re a nature lover with a healthy curiosity. Such is the double standard other species must endure.
Fortunately, kids don’t care much about animal privacy: They just want to see really cool stuff up close. That’s why I can see this project doing well. What it lacks in the problem-solving area, it makes up for in uniqueness and ‘wow factor.’
Posted by Jordan Pine at 4:27 PM
November 26, 2013
Description: A hair accessory
Main Pitch: "Turns long locks into a beautiful faux bob without scissors"
Main Offer: $10 for one set (2 flexibands, 2 ponytailers)
Bonus: 2nd set (just pay P&H), style guide & storage case (free)
Prediction: On the fence
For what it's worth: I like this item. Not because I have any sort of "finger on the pulse" of what's in style (far from it), but because it allows women to experiment with a look that is usually permanent, temporarily. That's different and, if DR criteria apply at all to this category, different should be good.
That said, I have to wonder how viable this category really is. Looking at the track record, I still must conclude that hair is a 1 in 50 category. Just because Allstar found two hits close together (Hot Buns, Hot Huez) doesn't mean the industry won't have to go through 98 more items to find the next hit.
Posted by Jordan Pine at 11:48 AM
Description: A weight-loss system
Main Pitch: "Retrains your body to be skinny again by simply walking"
Main Offer: $10 for the 'Secret Success Formula,' 'Slim Eating Secrets,' Quick Start Chart and Talking Pedometer
Bonus: Skinny Belt (just pay a separate fee)
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed
I continue to give Telebrands credit for trying different things. If anyone has the funding and capacity to go outside of the box once in a while, it's this company, so it makes sense for them to take a few flyers every year. It's how exceptions to the rules are discovered and, in that sense, those who are paying attention are getting free "market research" on Telebrands' dime.
So what is Telebrands' research team up to here? One, they are trying to disprove the popular theory that fitness programs can't work on short-form DRTV. Two, they are testing my hypothesis that "kitchen sink" offers cause so much confusion that they kill the sale (whether they realize that or not).
As for that offer, it's a basket of failed (pedometer) or recycled (belt) DRTV items with a few ideas borrowed from the book business Telebrands is trying to build (see my review of Dump Cakes).
Incidentally, that last sentence explaining the offer was difficult for me to write in a way that was clear, which does not bode well for this project.
Posted by Jordan Pine at 11:27 AM
Description: A storage belt for small personal items
Main Pitch: "Hands-free security that stays in place, right around your waist"
Main Offer: $10 for one with Go Wallet
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay S&H)
Producer: Sullivan Productions
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed
This item reminds me of the SPIbelt that was tested years ago and never heard from again (but apparently does fine online and in certain sporting goods chains). I think my comments back then are still relevant and apply here:
[T]his item gets a checkmark in every category except 'problem solver.' That’s because it only solves a pressing problem for runners. But here’s the Catch 22: If you were to narrow the pitch to hit that target demographic, you wouldn’t be talking to the mass market or the older DRTV buyer any longer.
The commercial does make a noble effort to expand the uses for the item beyond outdoor fitness, but I just don't think any of those uses are particularly motivating. Moreover, the fanny pack crowd -- insomuch as they still exist -- won't believe this is roomy enough to replace their old standby.
Posted by Jordan Pine at 11:14 AM