May 21, 2015

Dueling Sprinklers

Point Perfect

Main Pitch: "The fully adjustable, flexible sprinkler"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Lenfest
Watch the spot

Spyder Sprinkler

Main Pitch: "The flexible sprinkler that conserves water"
Main Offer: $14.95 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Eagle Eye
Watch the spot

After revisiting the history of sprinklers for my review of Sprinkler 360 (one flop per marketer per year) I quipped, "I guess it's Emson's turn?" Who knew it was going to be a party this year?

All joking aside, while the look of these products is unique, the pitch isn't much different from the Emson product. Regardless, it's unlikely that any of these will defy the history of the category.

Knee Angel

Description: A compression knee sleeve
Main Pitch: "Seven different zones for soothing relief"
Main Offer: $12.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H), Rolling Knee Massager (free)
Marketer: Ontel
Watch the spot

As I wrote in my review of Telebrands' Zip Knee, this is a terrible time to attempt a non-copper knee brace (or a copper knee brace).

Naming side note: Zip Knee was an attempt to extend the Telebrands' hit Ankle Genie, which was originally called "Ankle Angel." Not sure why Zip Knee wasn't called "Knee Genie," but this product's name would have been the right choice if Telebrands had kept its original name.

S7 Analysis: Once again, the glaring lack of a check mark for the uncrowded criterion overshadows any other pros or cons.

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Curl-A-Dog. Pitch: "Make the most incredible-tasting hot dogs you ever had." Comments: My guess is that this one will go the way of Boardwalk Tater Tornado and Happy Hot Dog Man. As I've theorized before, novelty food items don’t work unless someone else has already done the hard work of popularizing the idea. I've never heard of curled hot dogs, but maybe I'm out of touch? [ss]
  3. Attach-a-Vac. Marketer: Lenfest. Pitch: "Cordless, compact power vac that fits on any broom handle." Comments: This is a unique product but also an odd one. My guess is the broom and Dustbuster in most homes are 'good enough' solutions, and that the line dustpans leave behind is much closer to an itch than a heart attack. [ss]
  5. Cobra Max. Marketer: National Express. Pitch: "Trim your lawn quicker and easier than you've ever done before." Comments: It seems that one of these is attempted every year about this time. Several have been successful, so I guess it's not a bad idea if you can handle a seasonal seller. This one doesn't strike me as particularly exciting, but there must be a chronic frustration with edgers that is fueling all of these attempts. [ss]
  7. Diamond White. Pitch: "Get dazzling white teeth with polished natural diamonds." Comments: This one enters the epitome of a crowded category with a low-credibility pitch. Looking at recent history, Telebrands' White Light (2005-2006) was totally unique, and IdeaVillage's Finishing Touch Smile (2012) was mostly a retail play. Otherwise, there is nothing to suggest a whitening toothpaste would make a good DR product. [ss]
  9. Dr. Milano's Washable Potty Pads. Producer: Dynamic TV. Pitch: "Keep your pet from having untimely accidents." Comments: This is too soon after Telebrands' Bullseye Pee Pads, a 2014 True Top Spender, to have a shot. In fact, it appears that not even Telebrands can launch a similar product for this reason. [ss]
  11. Finally Me. Pitch: The "fast, discreet and modern way to deal with an old-fashioned problem (incontinence)." Comments: Reusable adult diapers? Gross! And what an odd choice for DRTV. [ss]
  13. Hot Straws. Pitch: "The only straw for hot drinks." Comments: I tried to think of one criterion this product meets besides "unique" and came up empty. Speaking of white teeth, the "keep teeth white" pitch is interesting. But seriously: How vain do you have to be to use a straw with your coffee to prevent tooth discoloration? [ss]
  15. Pinion Pins. Pitch: "Hold comforters and duvets in place." Comments: A solution in search of a problem -- with a perceived-value problem to boot. $19.99 for 8 pins? [ss]
  17. Twist-A-Plug. Marketer: Allstar. Pitch: "Easily accommodates a variety of plugs and adapters." Comments: An apparent 'fast fail.' NB: This marketer has one of the only successes in this category -- Side Socket, a 2013 True Top Spender. [ss]

May 19, 2015

Pedi Peel Magic

Description: Exfoliating boots
Main Pitch: "Magically removes calluses, corns and cracked, dry skin right before your eyes"
Main Offer: $10 for a pair
Bonus: 2nd pair (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Tristar
Watch the spot

This concept has been tried at least once before (see 30 Minute Foot Repair). I never liked the perceived value because it always looks like a pair of plastic bags. More to the point, the timing is off for a foot product given the ASOTV section of every store is dominated by power pedicure devices right now. There's only room for one -- even if the one is a crazy duel.

S7 Analysis: As indicated above, the problems here will be with the needed and uncrowded criteria. The latter (too much on the shelf at retail) will impact the former.

Secret Cover

Description: Snap-in hair
Main Pitch: "Naturally beautiful hair to cover what isn't there"
Main Offer: 2 pay of $24.99
Bonus: None
Starring: Tabatha Coffey
Marketer: On Demand
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Watch the spot

By my count, this is the fifth attempt to extend the partial-word brand launched with Secret Extensions, a 2014 True Top Spender. The others are Secret Color (in rollout), Secret Cinch and Secret Twist. In this way, On Demand is attempting to do with "secret" what partner Allstar did with "hot" -- albeit with less category discipline. When it comes to hair, these two may have the category figured out. Time will tell.

S7 Analysis: What I like most about this product idea is that it's different in a way that makes a lot of sense. Women use hair extensions to make their hair look longer and fuller. Why not use a variation of the same idea to conceal thinning hair? On the other hand, products targeted toward this segment of a segment have struggled to find the same sort of success enjoyed by products for men with hair loss. It may be that even a smart idea like this can't find enough pockets of response to build a campaign.