September 01, 2015

Bubble Ninja

Description: A bubble maker
Main Pitch: "Make giant 3D bubbles"
Main Offer: $12.99 for one with giant bottle of liquid
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Watch the spot

I can see this one becoming a big hit. Recent category history is very promising (see Wubble Bubble, Juggle Bubbles) and the similarities to a popular app game (Fruit Ninja) can only help matters. As for the commercial, it overdoes the rhyming a bit but follows the H-M format closely enough to do well. In other words, this one has all the elements. Seasonality (and it is late in that season) is the only potential drawback.

While the S7 criteria don't apply, this one certainly hits the two criteria I consider when evaluating kid items: It has a lot of the "wow" that generates pester power and tons of play value.

Was on TV

Description: Tristar's "Official Warehouse Outlet Site"
Main Pitch: "Once 'As Seen on TV' mega-hits at 'you'll never see again' prices"
Starring: Brian Hyder
Marketer: Tristar
Watch the spot

This is a fascinating experiment. Kudos to Tristar for trying something new and different. If it works, they will surely be copied!

How Scientific Is Direct Response Marketing?

In case you missed it, my August Field Report can be read here.

In the report, I explore our scientific approach to marketing and ask some thought-provoking questions.

In other news, as I announced Monday, I am giving a pre-conference workshop in Las Vegas titled "What Every DRTV Professional Should Know." For more information, visit the landing page for the event.

August 30, 2015

DRTV Pop Quiz!

It will probably be Monday morning when you get this, so I apologize in advance. Maybe wait until you've had another cup of coffee and are settled, then tackle this? I'll wait ...

OK, here we go. Do you know everything a DR professional should know? Are you sure? To find out, see how you do on the short pop quiz below:

  1. What do you call the part of a DRTV commercial where a more expensive product is contrasted with your product?
  3. Based on DRTV history, what's the maximum amount TV buyers will spend on impulse (aka the maximum main offer price point)?
  5. Name three costs that must be subtracted from revenue when calculating a break-even CPO.

How did you do? No shame if you don't feel like you aced it. In fact, based on my recent experiences and the response to a blog post I wrote for ERA a while back, many people in the business have gaps in their knowledge. (In the article, I explain why this is completely understandable.)

Anyway, the point of this post is not to start your week by making you feel inferior (or superior). It's to let you know that I am giving a pre-conference workshop at the 2015 ERA D2C Convention called, "What Every DRTV Professional Should Know." The seminar will take place Monday, October 5 between 1 and 5 pm, and it will cover the answers to questions like those above. For more information and to register, visit the landing page for the workshop. Registering online saves you $100, so don't delay! Click here to register today! (See what I did there?)

Speaking of answers, here are the answers to the quiz above:

  • The part of a DRTV commercial where a more expensive product is contrasted with the hero product is called a "value comparison."
  • The maximum amount TV buyers will spend on impulse is $19.99. There have certainly been exceptions, but history has shown that going above that price typically turns an impulse buy into a considered purchase (more on those terms at the workshop).
  • Finally, any of the following would be acceptable answers to the question of what costs should be subtracted from revenue to arrive at a break-even CPO: the cost of goods sold, telemarketing costs, Website transaction costs, fulfillment and warehousing, shipping, customer service, chargebacks, declines, returns, credit-card processing fees and royalties/commissions.

So how did you really do? Don't worry: I'll be posting more pop quizzes in the weeks to come.

August 27, 2015

Sonic Groom

Description: A grooming tool for men
Main Pitch: "The world's first trimmer to combine sonic power with MicroTouch technology"
Main Offer: $39.99 for one
Bonus: Grooming kit (free)
Brand: MicroTouch
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Watch the spot

This is the male version of Yes! by Finishing Touch except "sensa-light technology" has been replaced with "sonic power." Since both products are really just trimmers with fancy lights (one pink and one blue), I suppose any explanation for how it works is possible. But why stray from the association with No! No! and the possibility of again drafting off their impressions?

My guess is that while "great for men" is part of the No! No! pitch, the product is perceived to be mainly for women. Yet I can't think of any association for "sonic," so it seems to me that something would be better than nothing. Plus, the lack of association also removes the value comparison that was being used to justify the higher price.

As for the commercial, it represents a new twist on the drafting strategy in that it seeks to leverage the impressions being generated by the latest Mission Impossible movie. I guess it was inevitable that the product followers would also become creative followers when the opportunity presented itself.

S7 Analysis: IdeaVillage has clearly demonstrated, with an unprecedented string of successes, that hair-removal products meet all of the criteria for DRTV. The only possible shortcoming here is whether the commercial will be clear given this is a bit of a Swiss Army product. That didn't seem to matter in the case of MicroTouch Switchblade, a mid-year 2014 True Top Spender, but then that was a simpler product and pitch (i.e. there was no blue light or sonic technology to explain).