October 24, 2007

New This Week: 1001 Cleaner & Degreaser, 3-in-1 Slow Cooker, Touch N Brush and more

Back on schedule at last! Below is my report on the latest DRTV commercials.

You’ll notice that in addition to a product score, I am now including a commercial rating. For an explanation of this rating, see my earlier post. I haven’t stopped critiquing spots using the T&T criteria, but I will be reserving that for full reviews that I’ll be posting separately (and randomly).

1. 1001 CLEANER & DEGREASER ($19.95) is a spray-on cleaner with a special nozzle that lets you dial the concentration you want. It features a “dual chamber” system: one is concentrate and the other is water. The main claim: “Replaces dozens of cleaners with one.” The bonus is a second bottle of concentrate. This is a WD-40 Direct product. www.1001Cleaner.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good/Excellent**
Comments:
This is a well done commercial for an interesting item with real potential. But will it sell? I see two barriers. One, the problem this solves isn’t terribly painful. Sure, it’s more efficient to have one cleaner instead of several, and it saves you money to put your own water into your cleaning products instead of paying a premium for someone else to do it for you. But those arguments aren’t compelling enough to motivate people off the couch, in my opinion. Second, and this is the biggest problem I see, the idea being pitched runs counter to consumer perception, which has been created by years and millions of dollars worth of marketing. To cite one example: Windex has convinced the consumer that their brand is specially formulated to prevent streaking. Now that same consumer is being asked to accept that a diluted (dialed down) general-purpose cleaner can do the same job on windows.

2. 3-in-1 SLOW COOKER (2 pay, $29.95) is a slow cooker with removable stoneware that comes in three different sizes. The bowls come in 2, 4 and 6-quart sizes, and they double as serving dishes. The pitch: “A home-cooked meal every night, no matter who can -- or can't -- make it to dinner.” The bonus is a recipe book. This is a Hamilton Beach product. www.3in1SlowCooker.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I’ve long been a fan of Hamilton Beach products and commercials. They do DR with a brand feel very well. This particular commercial is a little slow, however, and lacking in excitement. As for the product, it’s innovative and presents the consumer with a “better than” solution. However, it doesn’t solve a particularly pressing problem and the price is high for DRTV.

3. MEAL MAKER MULTICOOKER (2 pay, $44.95) is a combination fryer and steamer. The main claim: “Steam up to 8 ears of corn, or fry a whole 4-1/2 pound chicken in just 35 minutes.” The bonus is a recipe CD. This is a Hamilton Beach product. www.HBMultiCooker.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I have the same comments here as I did for the previous Hamilton Beach item. I like the production quality of the commercial and the presentation of the item. But the commercial lacks excitement and the product isn’t sufficiently compelling to drive an impulse purchase, in my opinion. Also, the price is very high for DRTV.

4. CERAMIC EZ PEEL ($10) is a potato and vegetable peeler with a ceramic blade. The main claim: “Cut your peeling time in half.” The offer is buy one, get one free. The bonus is a ceramic blade mandolin slicer. Separate S&H is charged on both the second unit and the slicer. This is a Telebrands product. www.CeramicEZPeel.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This is pretty standard fare for DRTV, but the item is unlikely to succeed because it doesn’t solve a problem. It has also been around in other channels and is “old news” as a result.

5. TOUCH N BRUSH ($19.99) is a toothpaste dispenser that mounts to the wall. The main claim: It’s “the first hands-free, mess-free toothpaste dispenser that works with just a touch.” The offer includes two “multi-surface super grip discs.” The bonus is a Sonic 4X toothbrush. This is a Merchant Media product. www.BuyTouchNBrush.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This item will really only appeal to children because it’s fun and easy to use. For adults, it will seem like a solution in search of a problem, in my opinion. Also, the idea that this will work perfectly and get all the toothpaste out of the tube is lacking in credibility, a problem that is compounded by the over-the-top “here’s how it works” segment. They actually say, “the secret is vacuum force”!

6. ULTIMATE BODY SCULPT ($49.95) is an exercise program on DVD featuring someone named Gilad. The offer includes three DVDs. www.Gilad.tv
Product (D7) Score: 3 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
There isn’t much to distinguish this program from any other, and Gilad isn’t well known enough to bring credibility to the product.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 10/19/07,” IMS (1-3, 6); "Vol. XVII, No. 1-B, 10/12/07," Jordan Whitney (4-5)

* See my July 24, 2007 post for a complete explanation of the D7 product score.
** See my October 22, 2007 post for a complete explanation of my commercial rating system.

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