March 26, 2015

Bit Shooter: Old Gold?

New Name: Bit 360
Starring: Dave Jones
Current Marketer: Allstar
Original Hit Year: 2005 (No. 51 on the JW Annual)
Original Marketer: Southern Tools
Watch the spot

Like lighting, tools is another category that was hot in the past but has struggled of late. If not for Infomercials Inc.'s Speed Out (a 2014 True Top Spender), I might have made it one of my bad categories for DRTV. We'll see what happens with Master Wrench. Either I'm wrong, or Doug Fowkes has the magic touch when it comes to tools. Of course, both statements could be true.

S7 Analysis: One reason tools tend to struggle on TV: They are typically targeted toward men, and there are a lot of men's tools competing for attention nowadays. What gives this project a better-than-average shot is it also has female appeal. Mr. Jones softer style (as opposed to the more typical 'yell and sell') will only enhance that appeal.

Hot Belt

Description: A fitness belt
Main Pitch: "Makes you sweat more when you work out"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one in black
Bonus: 2nd one in nude (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Tristar
Watch the spot

Is this commercial sexy? Or gross? I'm not sure. Some of the time, I felt it was the former. Some of the time, the latter. I can't say for sure what women will think, but my instinct is that they will lean more toward "gross." As far as I can tell, sweating isn't something women ever want to do, especially not in copious amounts.

S7 Analysis: Putting aside the aforementioned gross factor, a product that promises women rapid weight loss and better curves stacks up well against the criteria -- and DRTV history.

Crock Pot Dump Meals

Description: A crock pot cookbook
Main Pitch: "Just dump and slow cook"
Main Offer: $10 for the book
Bonus: "Freezer Bag Dump Meals" book (just pay a separate fee)
Starring: Cathy Mitchell
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Cole Media
Watch the spot

This probably should have gone into a round-up as it is simply another attempt at extending the Cathy Mitchell line of 'Dump' cookbooks. Dump Cakes was a 2014 True Top Spender, and it seems Dump Dinners will end up on my hit list as well. The fate of Mitchell's Easy Baking with Refrigerated Dough remains unknown to me, but if Telebrands has any more successes in this area they should seriously consider starting an imprint.

S7 Analysis: N/A - As I've mentioned before, Telebrands is the only company to have had any success in this category, so my criteria obviously do not apply.

Strap Hanger

Description: An organizing hanger
Main Pitch: "Organizes your camisoles and tank tops instantly"
Main Offer: $10 for 2
Bonus: 2 more (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Concepts
Watch the spot

Organization is tricky. When it comes to shoes (Shoes Away, Shoes Under) and spices (Swivel Store, Spicy Shelf) there seems to be enough interest to support a campaign. Not so in every other case I can think of. For this reason, I usually recommend against closet organizers unless they save space, which is the case here. Like Wonder Hanger and Magic Hangers before it, this takes a row of hangers and collapses it down into a single, vertical hanger -- and that seems to be a winning pitch.

S7 Analysis: Although I don't wear the clothes shown in this commercial (or do I?), my observations of women's closets over the years -- or the garments on the floor of said closets -- tell me this product is needed. This product certainly looks different than anything on the market, too. Whether women will like that look is anyone's guess.

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Bionic Bond. Marketer: Spark Innovators. Pitch: "The multi-purpose epoxy that permanently bonds almost anything in just seconds." Comments: I don't know a lot about this category, but this particular item doesn't strike me as particularly unique. I feel like it's something a motivated DIYer could easily find at the hardware store. Then again, the same could have been said of the plumber's putty that the late, great Billy Mays and the team at Hutton-Miller (recently named True Top Producer) made into the mega-hit known as Mighty Putty circa 2007. [ss]
  3. Cuddle Cool Pillow. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "The pillow engineered to keep you cool." Comments: The site for this is already down, so I'm just posting for posterity. Everyone knows my thoughts on pillows these days, and I have been down this particular road myself (see Cool 'N Comfy). It's a dead end. [ss]
  5. Arbee Recipe Butler. Pitch: "Serve up your recipe on a silver platter." Comments: An over-engineered solution in search of a problem. [ss]
  7. Catch It All. Pitch: "A new and better way to tackle food-prep mess and so much more." Comments: This reminds me of Scoop It, a 2011 no-go that I actually liked and that was a better solution than this bulkier contraption. [ss]
  9. Chef''s Thumb. Starring: Greg Stacy. Pitch: "No more slipping, no more fumbling, no more cuts." Comments: This is a neat little item, but it's strikes me as a better premium than a main product. Also, the problems presented aren't very high on the scale as most people have figured out how to slice food without going to the emergency room. [ss]
  11. Easy-Reach Loofa. Pitch: "Wash, exfoliate and clean those hard-to-reach areas." Comments: Similar items have appeared in catalogs for years, but none ever made it out of pre-DRTV research and testing. I just don't think it's a big enough problem. This version is also huge! [ss]
  13. Gerp. Pitch: "It's a handle. It's a stand." Comments: It's the worst category in DR. It's a bomb. [ss]
  15. HD Cable Stick. Pitch: "Watch all your favorite shows in stunning HD quality that's better than cable and Internet." Comments: With Tristar's Clear TV in roll-out and a 2014 True Top Spender, this project is second to market with a me-too solution. It could even be considered third to market as Telebrands rolled out a variation, called Rabbit TV, in 2013. [ss]
  17. Magic Tatts. Pitch: "The colorful new tattoos that come to life on you." Comments: These new augmented reality apps are truly amazing! If wow factor matters, this one should do well. Body art for kids has also been successful in the past (see IdeaVillage's Shimmer). My only criticism: The commercial has too many forced rhymes. [ss]
  19. Snoozeball. Pitch: "Sleep tight on your next flight." Comments: As I've shared before, my hypothesis is that Americans don't travel enough to buy travel products off DRTV -- and the problems only start there. The unattractive design of the product is another major issue. [ss]