January 22, 2015

Pillow Fight!

Bamboo Magic Pillow

Main Pitch: "Uniquely designed to provide comfort, contour and coolness"
Main Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Emson
Watch it on iSpot.tv

Miracle Bamboo Pillow

Main Pitch: "Softer than cotton while providing temperature regulation and the support you need"
Main Offer: $29.95 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Ontel
Watch it on iSpot.tv


Main Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Tristar
Previously reviewed on: November 27, 2014 (read it here)

This post should be titled "Dueling Pillows," but I couldn't resist the play on words. Besides, I've already used that title once before.

If 2014 is "the year competition reached a new level," then 2015 is off to a competitive start. This is only the third triple duel I've noted. (Both the first and second were in 2012.) As for this duel, I won't bother to predict a winner because it looks like Ontel is already at retail. The marketer also happens to have the best of the three commercials.

S7 Analysis: While poor sleep is certainly a problem in America today, the abundance of solutions (this category is super-crowded) makes it hard to call this needed. Along similar lines, I don't find this product different enough from other pillows to make a strong impression. Finally, as I've mentioned in posts about similar items, it's hard to make an engaging commercial about people sleeping, and the higher price points make the offer less motivating than in a typical DRTV commercial.

In summary, the S7 strongly indicates this type of product shouldn't produce a good CPO, and the recent history of pillows supports that hypothesis. No doubt past history (four pillows made the charts between 2010 and 2012) and the allure of promotional placement is what continue to drive these attempts.

Brow Perfect

Description: A device for shaping eyebrows
Main Pitch: "The fast, easy, pain-free way to shape your brows without the ow"
Main Offer: $10 for a set of two with guidebook
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay P&H), compact mirror (free)
Starring: Laura Baker
Marketer: Ontel
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Watch the spot

An item similar to this one has been tried before. It was called the Precision Brow Planing System by Christi Harris, and I picked it up in late 2009. With a $40 price point, it's not surprising that one didn't go very far. So will a $10 BOGO do the trick? Perhaps. But it seems like a lot of care and skill are required to use this without making a potentially embarrassing mistake, and that could be a barrier to purchase.

On a side note, I had to laugh when I read this line from the Website: "Not a razor, but a hair removal tool." I have never been a fan of this type of selling; i.e. asking people not to believe their eyes. They can see this is a razor, and they will describe it to others that way. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, you won't be able to convince people it's 'not a duck, but an aquatic bird.'

S7 Analysis: This one stacks up well against the criteria with the commercial being as engaging and motivating as I've come to expect from this creative team. If my primary concern above proves unfounded, this one should do well.

Weekly Round-Up

For that sexy welder look

  1. illuMask. Pitch: "Acne free skin at the push of a button." Comments: I don't normally review items like this since the business model is not traditional DR. But I couldn't resist posting this one for the novelty and entertainment value! [ss]
  3. Card Hawk. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Like a portable bank vault for your cards." Comments: This is Card Lock under a different name, and the third time Telebrands is testing this item. It's actually the fourth time the item has been tried if you count IdeaVillage's Credit Safe. There must be some reason for all the attention. [ss]
  5. Flip-It!. Pitch: "Get every drop you pay for." Comments: I've seen dozens of these over the years. So much time and money wasted on a minor annoyance and minuscule savings! This product is especially not needed now that many of the bottles mentioned are designed to stand on their heads. [ss]
  7. Hot Hula Fitness. Pitch: "Core focused, low impact and never, ever boring." Comments: Polynesian dance fitness? Why not? Everything else has been tried. [ss]
  9. One Back. Pitch: "Clinically proven to stop the pain almost instantly." Comments: With BeActive sitting high on the charts for the last four months or so, expect more back-pain products like this one to start popping up. I think it's risky business given the scrutiny anything with pain claims will be given, but the demand is obvious and attractive. [ss]

January 15, 2015

Zip Knee

Description: A knee wrap
Main Pitch: "The new compression knee wrap that easily zips into place"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch the spot

A logical attempt to turn the 2014 hit Ankle Genie into a line, this project may become a victim of bad timing. Since Ankle Genie first tested in the fall of 2013, there has been an explosion of copper garments in the marketplace. Today, Tristar's Copper Wear has a knee product, IdeaVillage's Copper Fit has a knee product and, of course, Tommie Copper has a knee product. With all of them vying for consumer dollars, it's hard to imagine a non-copper competitor winning out.

S7 Analysis: I've already mentioned my concerns about the market being too crowded for a new entry, but it was a different S7 criterion that put me "on the fence" when Ankle Genie (then Ankle Angel) came out. I thought perhaps the product was targeted too narrowly toward seniors. That didn't seem to matter. Interestingly, targeting may end up being a way for this product to compete. If the copper knee wraps, which are being marketed toward fitness enthusiasts, don't appeal to seniors for some reason, that may create an opening.

Jelly Strips

Description: A gel patch
Main Pitch: "Instantly soothes and protects for all day comfortable feet"
Main Offer: $10 for 2
Bonus: Double the offer, free shipping
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch it on iSpot.tv

This is one of those cases where experience puts my gut at odds with my head. My head says this is a good product because it solves a (literally) painful problem. My gut wants to group this product with all of the insoles that have been tried (none successfully).

Although rarely a factor, I think perceived value may also hinder this project. Even though the strips are supposed to be reusable, they look disposable (and probably should be). That makes it hard to get excited about the $10 price point -- especially when the offer starts with only two strips.

S7 Analysis: The one criterion I get stuck on is whether this product is different enough to get women's attention. To resolve the question, I'd need to do a lot more research than an unpaid blogger should be doing. Guess I'll just wait and see what happens.