December 06, 2007

New This Week ... and last week, and the week before that

I am way behind on my new items reports. The fourth quarter blues have given way to the madness of first quarter preparations. At the same time, many DRTV players (including me) have decided to test in December despite the horrible media environment. All of this means things have been hectic, to say the least.

To catch up, here's a quick report that combines three weeks' worth of new items. I only had time to evaluate the first six. The rest of the report is for informational purposes only. I promise I'll do better in the new year ... but focusing on my 2008 hits has to come first!

1. AQUA GLOBES ($14.99) are decorative glass bulbs for keeping house plants properly watered. The pitch: "Add beauty to your plants and keep them perfectly watered every day." The complete offer with bonuses is four globes -- red, blue, green and rainbow -- with gift boxes for each. This is an Allstar item and a Blue Moon commercial.
Product (D7) Score: 6 of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments: Fred Vanore does excellent work, and this commercial from his studio is no exception. It hits all the key selling points and employs all the right DRTV techniques in a clear and compelling way. As for the product, it has the potential to be a winner if it can overcome two weaknesses that I see. One, it's a piece of art. That's good for the perceived value, but risky from a taste perspective. Some people just may not like it. Second, it has a crediblity issue. It's hard to believe an open-ended spout will correctly water even delicate tropical plants without overwatering them.

2. MONEY CLAMP ($19.95) is an ultra-slim combination wallet and money clip. The main claim: "Holds the same amount in one-third the space of a regular wallet." The bonuses are two additional clamps (without the wallet), one metal and one plastic.
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Poor**
Comments: Some of the D7 criteria are more critical than others. For example, an item lacking in credbility may succeed despite that shortcoming. But there are some criteria that are inviolable, and being unique is definitely one of them. This product fails in that category, and the cheesy quality of the commercial won't help either.

3. CHIC SHAPER ($19.99) is an undergarment that is worn over the bra to correct posture. The added benefit is it lifts and enhances the bust. The pitch: "Instant results that will get you noticed." Comes in choice of black, white or beige. The bonus is clear straps for evening wear. This is an Ontel item and a Sullivan commercial.
Product (D7) Score: 5 of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Sully's team does great-looking commercials that add perceived value to any DRTV product, and he hits all the right selling points in this spot. The only issue I had was clarity, which may be a shortcoming of the product itself. It takes a while to understand this isn't a bra. Rather, it's an undergarment that works with the bra. And viewed in that light, it becomes less compelling. The real problem this product is solving is poor posture, and that may not be a big enough problem to compel women to buy it.

4. SMART LIDZ ($10) are silicone lids that fit any size bowl. The pitch: They create a vacuum seal that locks in freshness. The offer includes four lids of various sizes, then they double the offer. The bonus is a jumbo lid free, just pay S&H. No URL.
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments: This Chef Tony commercial has a lot going for it. Great demos, great presentation and a great offer. However, the product doesn't solve a painful problem in my opinion. Or, at least, there are a lot of other solutions to the problem on the market, from vacuum sealers to whistling Tupperware. Additionally, it has a credibility problem. It's hard to believe these lids will stay on, let alone create a vacuum seal.

5. ROTO WRENCH ($19.95) is a box wrench that adjusts to any size bolt. The pitch: It has 16 sizes in one and 12 gripping teeth so it grips and won't slip. The bonus is an "always straight nail gripper" that holds a nail straight while you hammer it. No URL.
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments: Tools are always a tough sell, in my opinion. Yes, there have been several hits in this category, but you have to have something uniquely compelling with multiple uses. This product doesn't hit that bar. It addresses a nuisance, not a painful problem, looks weird and lacks credibility.

6. COLD HEAT GLUE GUN ($24.99) is a cordless glue gun for crafts. The pitch: Heats up "seven times faster than a typical glue gun." The offer includes a charging base and eight glue sticks. The bons is 100 glue sticks free, and free shipping.
Product (D7) Score: 2 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
This is a bad extension of the Cold Heat brand, which is male-oriented and stands for "a soldering iron that rapidly cools." This glue gun is female-oriented and, as far as I can tell, doesn't cool down any faster than a regular glue gun. Additionally, it fails five of the Divine Seven. It's not all that unique. It has limited appeal (craft people only). It doesn't solve a painful problem. It's $5 too expensive for DRTV. And it lacks credibility. Other than that, I love it!

7. NAPA GRAPE LIGHTS ($14.99) by Telebrands are decorative hanging lights that look like bunches of grapes.

8. LONG LITE (24 for $19.95) is a disc that sits in the bottom of a light bulb socket and extends the life of the bulb up to 300%.

9. PETICURE ($29.99) is a cordless nail buffer for cats and dogs.

10. DREAMSHIELD ULTRA (Soft Offer) by Homedics is a mattress and pillow cover/protector that keeps out the dust mites that aggravate allergies and asthma.

11. HOT LEGS ($19.99) are strips of cold wax with anesthetic for "pain free"' hair removal.

12. BETTY CROCKER ALL-IN-ONE (2 pay, $14.95) is a set of fill-and-bake pans. No URL.

13. DOUBLE-TAKE BRA (2 pay, $19.95) is a bust-enhancing bra.

14. CHIRO WALLET ($19.95) is a wallet designed to prevent chiropractic problems related to sitting on a bulky wallet. No URL.

15. L'AZZIO ($24.95 trial) is a hot air stlying brush that straightens, volumizes and curls.

16. INSTACURLS (2 pay, $19.95) is a set of curlers that comes with a microwaveable cap for setting the curls. The pitch is "curls in two minutes."

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 11/16/07, 11/23/07 and 11/30/07,” IMS; "Vol. XVII, No. 5-B, 6-B and 7-B for 11/16/07, 11/23/07 and 11/30/07," Jordan Whitney

* 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.

1 comment:

  1. You were the only person I found mentioning Smart Lidz. Good to see a good review. I ordered a set, hoping to get them as a Christmas gift. The site said delivery is 4-6 weeks. I hope that isn't true. Also: shipping/handling was $20! So, the total was $30 for the order.

    Hopefully this will help someone else who is googling for Smart Lidz!