November 20, 2014

Dump Dinners

Description: A cookbook
Main Pitch: "Make 'from scratch' dinners for your family in minutes -- just dump and bake"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: Dump Cakes cookbook (just pay a separate fee)
Starring: Cathy Mitchell
Marketer: Telebrands
Website: www.BuyDumpDinners.com
Prediction: Likely to succeed

The unappetizing titles continue! According to my mid-year True Top Spenders of 2014, Dump Cakes is a bona-fide hit -- despite its not-too-tasty title. It's also getting great PR pickup. (Here's Cathy Mitchell pitching it on the Today show and to Steve Harvey.) Meanwhile, Dump Loaf, and product with an even less appetizing name, didn't go anywhere.

Now it's back to books, and this one makes a lot of sense. Originally the bonus item for Dump Cakes, this was a natural extension and likely has legs of its own -- despite the negative associations created by the title.

[Spot is also available here.]

Cat A Pillar

Description: A cat tunnel toy
Main Pitch: "Keep your feline friends busy for hours"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Concepts TV
Website: www.BuyCatAPillar.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Telebrands deserves more than a flippant review, but I called it!

While eating crow for failing to predict the success of Cat's Meow, I wrote: "My only consolation will be watching 12 other cat toys fail as marketers demonstrate this isn't really a category ... Actually, that will be sad." We are now a third of the way there (see also Cheese Tease, SmartyKat Feather Whirl and Twinkle Paws).

Of course, this could work and really force me to eat crow. But I seriously doubt that. Like trying to have a hit with a hair product or fashion item, it's impossible to guess what cat owners will go crazy for .

[The commercial for this project is also available here.]

Purse Pouch

Description: A handbag holder
Main Pitch: "Keeps your purse and everything in it secure and right by your side"
Main Offer: $10 for one in black or tan
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Allstar
Website: www.BuyPursePouch.com
Prediction: On the fence

Allstar has tested a solution similar to this one before (Bundle Buddy in 2011). This is a better product, but I question whether that's enough to fix a failed pitch. I do like the "hammock for your handbag" idea, and the success of Catch Caddy (21 weeks on the Jordan Whitney) suggests there is something to the idea of making things easier to access in the car.

[Spot is also available here.]

Kitty File

Description: A cat scratcher/laser toy
Main Pitch: "Now kitty can trim her own claws while she plays"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Concepts TV
Website: www.KittyFile.com
Prediction: On the fence

Marketers continue to try bringing back old hits less than 7-10 years later. In this case the old hit is Emery Cat, which was No. 9 and No. 24 on the JW and IMS annuals, respectively, in 2010.

So far, though, the strategy hasn't produced a hit. Telebrands has been the most active this year, trying and failing to resurrect both Pedi Paws (a 2008 hit) and Shoes Under (a 2009 hit) . Of course, both Telebrands and Allstar have had success reviving items that conform to the traditional '7-10' rule -- sometimes in direct conflict with each other (see Perfect Pancake vs. Flip Jack).

As always, I appreciate it when I get an opportunity to learn for free. We'll see if this project is able to throw the old rule of thumb into question. I do like the new laser toy feature.

By the way, if you can think of an 'Old Gold' item that came back and made the annual charts again in under seven years, shoot me an email or post a comment. I'll give you a hat tip (and, as a result, bragging rights) the next time I write about this topic.

[The commercial for this project is also available here.]

Sealeeze

Description: A bag sealer
Main Pitch: "The new way to keep food fresh"
Main Offer: $14.95 for a pack of nine
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Emson
Producer: Kerrmercials
Website: www.BuySealeeze.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Bag sealers have a poor track record on DRTV. (See Ba'Noodle, Better Sealer and the failed revival of EuroSealer 10 years after it was a hit.

As I've mentioned before, I think this is because it's so easy to pick up "chip clips" and other good-enough solutions at the grocery store. There are also tons of quality food-storage products on the shelf by big brands such as Glad and Ziploc, which ultimately makes items like these solutions in search of a problem.

[Spot is also available here.]