August 28, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Roll-A-Troll. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Roll 'em, catch 'em, toss 'em around." Comments: Like Beast Ballz (see No. 2 in this Weekly Round-Up), this is another flyer in the toy category. [ss]
  3. Blobbits. Pitch: "Moldable, meltable creatures that melt away." Comments: This looks like something boys would like, and it has play value. As for the odds of success, see above. It's a roll of the dice. [ss]
  5. EZ Manicure. Marketer: Global TV. Pitch: "The fool-proof cure for messy manicures." Comments: A 'fast fail.' (Link goes to spot.) This has been a hit-or-miss category with the hits (Salon Express, Hot Designs) being strong enough to warrant the losing attempts. Variety and style -- as opposed to problem/solution -- seems to be the key, hence the unpredictability. [ss]
  7. Holiday Light Saver. Producer: Kerrmercials. Pitch: "Pack and store lights in seconds with no tangles." Comments: I don't understand why anyone would test a hyper-seasonal product like this one because of the retail challenges. If anyone is able to make the case, I'd love to hear it. [ss]
  9. ICEE Float Machine. Pitch: "Now you can crank out fun, fruity icees like you ask for at the store." Comments: Great brand, solid demos, proven category (Slushy Magic, Squeezy Freezy, Ice Cream Magic) ... and yet this is a 'fast fail.' (Link goes to spot.) One reason: A DR 101 'fail' with regard to strategy. They tried to sell more than one product in a two-minute spot. It's technically a "kitchen sink offer," but it starts at the one-minute mark. [ss]
  11. Luma Pots. Pitch: "Bring some life, color and style to your planters." Comments: This product doesn't solve a problem, so the project is betting on people liking this decorative concept. I typically don't like to gamble in this way, but (benefit of the doubt) maybe this marketer has some research to support the bet? [ss]
  13. Perfect Hands. Marketer: Will It Launch. Pitch: "The fast, easy, safe way to give your hands a paraffin spa treatment at home." Comments: Another 'fast fail.' (Link goes to spot.) This has been tried for feet without success (see 30 Second Foot Repair and also No. 9 in this Weekly Round-Up), and hand treatments don't have a good track record on DRTV, either (see Hand Perfection and No. 7 in this pre-blog Weekly Round-Up). [ss]
  15. Wonki Wands. Pitch: "Makes bubbles up to four feet wide and 40 feet long." Comments: A cool product and a great spot with plenty of 'wow' ... but there may not be room in the marketplace for another bubble product given Juggle Bubbles and Wubble Bubble are already in rollout. [ss]
  17. Zippy Sack. Pitch: "Easily zips up and down to instantly make beds." Comments: This was an interesting attempt because it solves a problem for kids and parents alike. However, it's a 'fast fail.' (Link goes to spot.) My guess: The lack of 'pester power' and play value is what sunk this one. [ss]

August 26, 2014

True Top Spenders: Mid-Year (Review Copy)

(Click to see the full list)

It's time once again to reveal our industry's True Top Spenders and name a True Top Marketer and True Top Producer of the 2014 mid-year period. However, before I name any winners, I am opening up my chart to 'peer review' once again.

Click on the image above to see and study the full 'review copy' of the chart. Producers: Claim your winners! Marketers: Let me know if I missed any of your bona-fide hits. Of course, keep in mind that I only track 120s and that I only count true short-form, CPO-driven campaigns (to the best of my ability).

On a related note, my cutoff for the first six months of the year was $1 million in spending (at rate card). If your campaign started later in the year, just recently took off or was winding down this year, it probably didn't make the list for one of those reasons.

Whatever the case, I want to hear any criticisms or complaints you may have, so please feel free to contact me privately or to publicly post a comment.

SciMark Report from August Response

Ontel's Dream Waves

My latest SciMark Report in print is now available on the Response Website.

For this month’s column I reviewed: Ontel's Dream Waves [ss], Top Dog's Fast Trim Roller [ss] and InvenTel’s Perfect Pop [ss].

Coming Soon

In the upcoming September issue, I'll review the following new projects:

Why two Telebrands projects? Because at press time, no one else had a test on the air! In any case, check out next month's issue to see what I have to say about those projects.

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.