October 19, 2007

New & Recent: Scrub & Rinse Wand, Razor Thin, Mighty Putty and more

Summertime craziness and a West Coast vacation have put me a few weeks behind on my new items monitoring. I returned to find a sizeable stack of tapes and papers, a pile that I only recently managed to get through! Below is a condensed report to bring you up to speed on what’s new on DRTV …

1. SCRUB & RINSE WAND ($19.95) is a scrubbing wand for tubs and showers that also rinses. It has a hose that connects to the shower head so it can dispense water with the press of a button. The offer includes the scrubbing wand, hose and shower head connector. The bonus is five disposable scrubbing pads loaded with cleaner and a storage bag. www.ScrubAndRinseWand.com
Product (D7) Score:
6 out of 7 (What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: Generally speaking, I like this item. It’s different, practical and priced correctly for DRTV. The only problem I see is that it doesn’t solve a pressing problem. It’s just a “nice to have” kind of product that people won’t be terribly motivated to purchase.

2. QUICK DRY (2 pay, $49.95) is a garment drying station. The pitch: “Dry clothes faster and wear them sooner.” The offer is for a unit with five drying shelves and a drying fan. The bonus is triple-drying hook attachments for hang-drying on the sides of the unit. This is a Hamilton Beach product. www.QuickDryOffer.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This is an innovative solution to an unsolved problem: It takes forever to air-dry sweaters and delicates. That said, the commercial does a poor job of explaining why people must have the product, and the price is too high for DRTV buyers.

3. SIMPLY SWIPE ($19.95) is a wood restorative in a compact, handheld dispenser. The main claims: “Restores color, watermarks, scratches, sun fade, oxidation and worn-off finishes.” The offer includes one bottle of the main product and one bottle of Seal & Shine, a finishing product. The bonus is a metal polishing cloth. www.BuySimplySwipe.com
Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7 (What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This is a classic "As Seen on TV" style product, but in today's environment I don't think it will play well. The product does too much too well in the commercial, and people aren’t going to buy it (figuratively and literally). Its small size also makes it impractical for many of the larger jobs shown.

4. BRILLO CLEANING TOOLS ($14.99) is a set of scrubbing wands and sponges from Brillo. The main claim: They're “uniquely designed to scrub faster and scrape easier.” The entire offer with bonuses and doubling includes two Brillo Scratch Free Scrubber Wands, two Brillo Scratch Free Scrub n Scrapes, two Brillo Scratch Free Scrub n Sponges and two Brillo Abrasive Scrubber Wands. This is a Sullivan Productions commercial. www.BuyBrilloTools.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: Brillo is a powerful brand in this category, but is this offer right for DRTV? I say “no” for three reasons: One, the products aren’t new or unique. Two, the offer has too many components to clearly explain in a two-minute commercial. And three, the problems these tools address are already being solved every day using good-enough solutions. Brillo could be successful in the DRTV space; the marketing team just needs to find something innovative and focus their message.

5. RAZOR THIN ($29.95) is an ultra-thin electric razor for men or women. The main claim: It's “smaller than a credit card … thinner than a deck of cards.” The bonus is a carrying case, and then they double the offer. No URL.
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This item is cool in a James Bond sense, but ultimately it's just another travel shaver that doesn’t solve a big enough problem. Yes, there are some men who have a pressing need to shave twice a day and, as a result, could use a deck of cards-sized shaver that discreetly slips into a shirt pocket. But once you sell those 10 guys, what then? (This product is marketed toward women as well, which raises some truly scary thoughts.)

6. TABLE MATE II ($29.95) is an updated version of the successful folding table. The main claim: “With six height adjustments and three tray angles, it’s like several trays in one.” The offer includes one tray, which is now available in wood grain. The bonus is free S&H. No URL
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This is a proven item, but the DRTV pitch has a few weaknesses. The main one is the offer: One folding table for $30 isn’t likely to motivate people off the couch. A secondary issue is the product itself: It’s “evolutionary,” something experience has shown is much less exciting to consumers than products that are “revolutionary.”

7. MIGHTY PUTTY ($19.99) is a super-strength epoxy. The pitch: “Fix, fill, seal and repair anything fast and make it last.” The offer includes two sticks of the epoxy. Then they double and triple the offer, ending up with six sticks. This is a Media Enterprises product pitched by the ubiquitous Billy Mays. www.MightyPutty.com
Product (D7) Score:
4 out of 7 (What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: The main challenges this product faces are that it’s lacking in credibility and it solves unusual and infrequent problems. The commercial claims the product can support 350 lbs, and it is later shown being used to pull a tractor trailer. The first claim is hard to swallow; the second is off-the-charts unbelievable. Then there are the uses. How often do people need to hang a shelf without nails or screws, or mold a new handle for their favorite coffee mug (two key demos in the commercial)? Finally, the offer is a little weak. It’s an interesting product, but the marketing team needs to go back to the drawing board on what will motivate consumers to purchase it.

8. PORTA BOOK ($19.95) is a laptop tray that angles the computer for more comfortable use: According to the commercial, it can also be used as a stand for cookbooks, sheet music, etc. The bonus is a mini-Porta Book. No URL.
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This is an interesting solution for laptop owners who travel a lot or who like to use their laptops while sitting in bed. Of course, it is also limited by this narrow appeal (potential sheet music applications aside). Also, technology-related items don’t usually work on DRTV because a large percentage of buyers are senior citizens.

9. PLUG GRIP ($19.95) is a tool for installing electrical outlets. It also has a built-in testing light. The offer includes a second tool called the Switch Grip, which is used for installing light switches. The bonuses are a screwdriver set and safety gloves. www.PlugGrip.com
Product (D7) Score: 3 out of 7
(What’s “D7”?)
Quick Comments: This product is way too niche to be on TV. It’s an innovative specialty item to be sure, but the universe of potential buyers is just too small to support a DRTV campaign.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 9/28/07,” IMS (4); “New Spots for Week Ending 10/5/07,” IMS (1-3, 5); “New Spots for Week Ending 10/12/07,” IMS (6-9)

2 comments:

  1. The Pluggrip has a pretty good MER ratio for every 10,000 spent on the spots it makes 19,000. Thats not to bad. I can see how it looks niche, I get that all the time. Bryan

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  2. Bryan, that is great. My perspective is always colored by the big national DRTV campaigns I have worked on. I sometimes forget there are companies out there happy to spend a few grand per week on a targeted media plan. If you're doing a 1.9 to 1, I say keep doing it!

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