February 04, 2016


Description: Flexible hair rollers
Main Pitch: "Just twirl, set and swirl, and pop out beautiful waves"
Main Offer: $14.99 for 10 large, 10 small and carrying case
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay P&H), 3 Strap Perfect (free)
Marketer: Allstar
Watch the spot

Allstar is the only DRTV company that has any success with hair these days. Both its "Hot" line and its "Secret" line have had multiple rollouts. This also isn't the first time they have tried a product for making waves. In 2011, they tested Natural Waves, but it didn't roll out despite good results in another channel of sale.

Incidentally, the producer of that commercial (Blue Moon) is the same company that produced Simply Straight, a $40 styling tool that is climbing the charts. If this project fails, then, we'll have to assume the secret to success is making hair straight, not wavy.

S7 Analysis: My last point was facetious, but there may be some truth in it. Only market research could tell us if the market for making hair wavy is significantly smaller than the market for making hair straight. If it is, this one may not be targeted to a big enough buying group.

Strain 7

Description: A multi-function strainer
Main Pitch: "Does the job of seven different kitchen tools"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch the spot

Telebrands is the only marketer that ever defied my "Swiss Army" rule. The product was Chef Basket, a 12-in-1 kitchen gadget that topped the charts in 2011. Otherwise, the rule is pretty robust and should apply here. In fact, this item was tried years ago under the name Smart Strainer. It didn't work then, and I suspect too many uses was the reason.

On live shopping, which is where this comes from, there's enough time to explain everything this product can do. But accomplishing that in a two-minute format is a much more difficult feat.

S7 Analysis: In this case, it's the needed criterion that gives me pause. There are plenty of good-enough solutions to all of the problems this product solves, most of them in the cabinets and drawers of the average kitchen. While an all-in-one solution might be a better idea, it's always hard to convince people to replace what they already have.

Strength + Tone

Description: Knee and leg sleeves
Main Pitch: "Designed to strengthen, shape and tone, and maximize performance results"
Main Offer: $29.99 for 2 sleeves, 4 resistance rods
Bonus: Free shipping
Brand: Copper Fit
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Blue Reef
Watch the spot

I've already shared my thoughts on taking the Copper Fit brand name and applying it to items that are not compression garments. This is better than a piece of wearable tech in that the item at least looks like a compression sleeve. It's also infused with copper, although that seems like an afterthought.The pitch is also totally different: You wear this particular sleeve to train muscles, not relieve muscle pain.

Putting aside the brand considerations, this is a really innovative product. I don't know that it's a DRTV idea, but it's a cool idea. I wouldn't be surprised if it generated interest.

S7 Analysis: How much of Copper Fit was driven by the copper trend and Tommie Copper's media impressions, and how much was driven by core interest among DRTV buyers? The answer to that question is the answer to whether this item is correctly targeted. If we're talking about older folks, it may also be needed in much the same way resistance bands provide a needed alternative to free weights and workout machines.

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Color Combat. Brand: Battle Balloons. Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: The Schwartz Group. Pitch: "Throw water balloons bursting with color on the inside." Comments: This is a line extension of Balloon Bonanza, now called Battle Balloons. For what it's worth, my inner child thinks this would be a lot of fun. [ss]
  3. 35 Below Socks. Marketer: Hampton. Pitch: "The amazing fabric developed for aerospace to keep feet warm and dry in the coldest, most extreme conditions." Comments: Neat idea, but the "cold weather adventure" idea may not resonate well this warm winter. Besides, Punxsutawney Phil says the selling season for this is going to be over soon. [ss]
  5. Bralief. Pitch: "Adjustable strap solution enhances fit, provides an instant breast lift and puts a stop to those falling shoulder straps." Comments: This could be considered another attempt to find out if Strap Perfect, a 2009 hit, was an outlier or a category. If there's a market for other bra accessories, this solves enough common problems to tap into it. [ss]
  7. Flex Seal Liquid. Starring: Phil Swift. Pitch: "Liquid rubber in a can. Coat, seal and stop leaks fast." Comments: Give Mr. Swift credit for line-extending his one hit as far as it can possibly go. He built an entire business around Flex Seal and somehow manages to keep coming up with new variations -- to his product and to his key magic demo. [ss]
  9. Kangarillow. Pitch: "Orthopedic neck support in a pouch." Comments: Anyone who reads this blog knows I am down on pillows these days, so it will come as no surprise that I think a pillow accessory has no shot. [ss]
  11. Prestige Light. Pitch: "The cordless LED-powered light that showcases all of your treasures." Comments: This is a very specific solution to a problem I imagine isn't very common. I also suspect that anyone into "showcasing" can afford real lighting solutions. For instance, "poor-man's art gallery" probably isn't a phrase for a reason. [ss]

February 03, 2016

A Panoply of Pans


Description: A copper-ceramic nonstick pan
Starring: Cathy Mitchell
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch the spot


Description: A titanium-ceramic nonstick pan
Starring: Cathy Mitchell
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch the spot


Description: A (square) copper-ceramic nonstick pan
Starring: Eric Theiss
Marketer: Tristar
Watch the spot


Description: A (round) copper-ceramic nonstick pan
Marketer: Tristar
Previously reviewed on: January 28, 2016 (read it here)


Description: A titanium-ceramic nonstick pan
Marketer: Emson
Previously reviewed on: November 5, 2015 (read it here)


This category got crowded real fast! At first, I didn't even see it as a duel. Emson was pursuing titanium and Tristar was pursuing copper, and the two have different strategies for going to market.

Now Telebrands has entered the mix with a pan to compete with both marketers, and Tristar has introduced a line of pans that includes the square one above. In other words, this competition just blew past duel and became a full-fledged melee.

There's no sense guessing at a winner because, with this many pans in the market, there won't be one.