September 03, 2007

New This Week: TheraPedic, Rock ‘N Roll Stepper

Only two new items of interest this week:

1. THERAPEDIC ($29.95) is a pair of insoles. The main claim: They “keep feet cool and energized while relieving aches and pains throughout the entire body.” The offer is buy one, get one.
Product (D7) Score: 3 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Comments: This product appears to be positioned toward people with Type II diabetes. For that market, it may make sense. But it is not a DRTV/mass market item. For one, branded insoles are everywhere at much cheaper prices. Also, the claims are hard to believe. Cooling, yes, but “energizing”?

2. ROCK 'N ROLL STEPPER (2 pay, $39.95) is a new Tony Little exercise product. It’s a wedge-shaped stepper that rocks from side to side. The main claim: It’s “four workouts in one machine.” That is, it’s a cardio workout, a core routine, a muscle builder and a balance improver. This is a five-minute spot cut down from an infomercial, so it has a big offer. It includes a Fit-Track computer that counts reps, a Tony Little workout guide and a 21-day eating guide. The bonus is a free subscription to Tony’s helpline. They also promote an upsell called the “Slim Down Package,” which includes resistance bands, an extra workout and a free upgrade to rush shipping.
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7 (What’s “D7”?)
Comments: Far be it from me to critique a Tony Little product: That guy knows what he’s doing! I do see a few weaknesses, but maybe Tony’s enthusiasm – “You can do it!” – will overcome them. One weakness is the price: It’s at the upper range of what an infomercial can charge, and I have no idea if a five-minute spot shares that upper range. Another weakness is that it will not appeal to older folks since it requires good balance to use the product, and the older crowd will fear falling and hurting themselves. True, infomercials skew younger, but older folks are an important buying group. Lastly, the commercial is poorly edited. It’s very choppy and the offer is confusing as a result. I’m sure the half-hour show is great, but they should have spent a little more time in the editing room for the five-minute version.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 8/31/07,” IMS

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