August 15, 2014

Blow Lantern

Description: A vintage-looking LED lantern
Main Pitch: "The portable LED lantern that easily blows on and off"
Main Offer: $12.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Prediction: On the fence

This lantern blows ... on and off, which is a neat point of difference. It also has the same vintage/classic look that helped make Telebrands' Olde Brooklyn Lantern a monster hit and one of my True Top Spenders of 2012. But is that enough?

We now have pretty strong evidence that OBL was an outlier, not a category. That's because every marketer, including Telebrands itself, has tried and failed to replicate its success (eight such attempts are documented here). Although it doesn't make much sense, it appears the campaign was a moment in time that may never be replicated.

On the other hand, most of OBL's followers focused on utility at the expense of style, and that could be the key to the whole thing. This lantern also has some magic to it, which is always a plus on DRTV.

Shaggy Shower

Description: A handheld shower for dogs
Main Pitch: "The new, convenient way to clean your dog anywhere"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Easier pet bathing has been tried a few different times with no successes so far. IdeaVillage tried the product most similar to this one. It was called Handy Groomer, and it's still on a Sears Web page even though I'm fairly certain it never officially rolled out.

Other attempts include Allstar's Luv-A-Dub (No. 6 in this Weekly Round-Up and Sponge Buddies (No. 9 in this Weekly Round-Up), which featured the "Olate Dogs" from America's Got Talent. Because of this lackluster history and because this product will require installation, I think it's unlikely to take off. But I'm not ready to declare this a bad category until I see some more evidence.

Turbo Shot

Description: A hose nozzle
Main Pitch: "The little sprayer that's big on features"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 25-foot Pocket Hose (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This is another variation of the "fireman's nozzle" concept that Telebrands has already tried (see Mighty Blaster). In fact, they use the same magic demo in this commercial.

I shared all of my thoughts on the concept in that review, so there's no need to repeat myself here.

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Super Juicy Burger Pan. Marketer: Edison Nation. Pitch: "Locks juices in tight for the best-tasting burger of your life." Comments: This is a seasonal item that doesn't solve a problem, so the odds are against it. However, the commercial is well done (get it?) and certainly made me hungry, which are good things to be sure. If it flops now but isn't too far off, I'd probably re-test it at the beginning of grill season. [ss]
  3. Beast Ballz. Pitch: "Ugly, funny, squishy and sick." Marketer: Telebrands. Comments: This one is a total flyer in a hit-or-miss category, so I'm posting here for posterity only. [ss]
  5. Twinkle Paws. Marketer: Lenfest. Pitch: "Quietly entertains kitty while you sleep." Comments: The success of Lenfest's Cat's Meow surprised me, so I am even less confident of my predictions when it comes to cat owners these days. That said, it seems unlikely that more than one DR cat toy would be successful at a time. [ss]
  7. Nano Charger XT. Marketer: Top Dog. Producer: Hutton-Miller. Pitch: "The compact, portable power cord that fits on your keychain." Comments: This is an apparent 'fast fail' and yet another smart-phone accessory to bite the dust. I like the concept a lot -- just not for DRTV. [ss]
  9. Wonder Wrench. Marketer: Allstar. Pitch: "Works in the most difficult space and fits any place." Comments: A 'fast fail.' (Link goes to spot.) As I wrote in last week's round-up about Snake Bit (see No. 7), tools are tough category for DR these days. [ss]

August 07, 2014

Triple Smooth

Description: A hair remover
Main Pitch: "Removes unwanted hair anywhere in seconds -- and it's virtually pain-free"
Main Offer: $10 for one plus Slow Grow Moisturizing Cream
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Concepts TV
Prediction: On the fence

IdeaVillage clearly has the magic touch (get it?) when it comes to this category because no one else has been able to find success. However, Telebrands hasn't really done much in the space and should never be underestimated.

As for the product, it was tried once before under the name EZ Tweeze (see No. 3 in this Weekly Round-Up), but the attempt was by a non-player. IdeaVillage itself also tried the single-coil version of this product (under the name Twist Away), but it looked cheap and ineffective.