January 16, 2008

New This Week: EZ Bundler, Steam Buddy, Blo & Go and more

Welcome to my first new items report of the new year. Believe it or not, we have two potential winners already! They’re both pitched by none other than DRTV King Billy Mays. You’d think with a hit commercial all over TV already (i.e. Mighty Putty), Billy would rest on his laurels a bit. But no, he’s out there making sure 2008 is going to be his best year ever.

Check out items No. 1 and 2, and see if you agree with me that these are upcoming hits.

1. EZ BUNDLER ($19.99) is a gun that instantly bundles anything – a stack of newspapers, a cord of wood, etc. The gun feeds the exact amount of nylon strapping you need, then you click the trigger to cut and secure it with a fastening clip. The offer includes the gun, 25 feet of strapping and 50 clips. Then they double that to 50 feet of strapping and 100 clips. The first bonus is double the entire offer. The second bonus is three large vacuum storage bags. The final bonus is a lifetime supply of strapping and clips, just pay S&H. This is a Billy Mays commercial. The product is under the Home Smart brand, and it appears to be from SAS Group. No URL.
Product (D7) Score: 7 out of 7!*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This item is a new and improved version of the Handy Bundler, which was a DRTV hit nearly a decade ago. As they say, “old is gold.” And with a seven out of seven product score and a good commercial made great with the help of Billy Mays, this is going to be gold indeed. The commercial is also chock full of great demos, which is what you need to succeed these days. I have only one criticism, and it centers on the offer. The initial buy one, get one free offer is an excellent value. But then they throw in three Space Bag knockoffs as a second bonus. Huh? To quote Andy Khubani, president of IdeaVillage: “Don’t sell past the sale.” That second bonus is so out of place, it might actually kill the sale!

2. STEAM BUDDY ($19.95) is a handheld clothes steamer. It’s essentially a steaming ‘wand’ with a long cord, so it allows you to remove wrinkles from clothing while it’s on the hanger. The pitch: “Put the power of your dry cleaner in your hands.” The offer includes a fabric brush attachment. The bonus is a creaser. This is another Billy Mays commercial. The product is under the Legacy Products brand. www.BuySteamBuddy.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This item is essentially a poor man’s version of The Tobi. I write that as a compliment to the people who succeeded in getting the price point of this item down to just $20. After all, creating a mass-market (read “cheaper”) version of a popular-but-expensive infomercial product is a time-honored DRTV strategy. It’s worked before, and I fully expect it to work again. Oh, and did I mention they have Billy Mays?

3. BLO & GO ($19.99) is a hair dryer holder that suctions to the bathroom mirror. The pitch: It’s the “extra hand” women wish they had. The bonuses are a styling brush and expert styling tips. This product was created by former runway model Laurie Coleman. www.BloAndGo.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This is an interesting idea that had its moment in the sun a few years ago. But it ended up being a double in baseball terms, and I see no reason why this improved version (the old one stood, it didn’t suction) will do any better. It’s too soon to bring the idea back, and a double is a double.

4. PICO PAD ($16.99) is a tiny pad of sticky notes with a tiny pen. Together they are small enough to slip into a wallet. In fact, the secondary name for the product is “wallet notes.” The offer includes three pads and six sticky note refills. The bonus is three more pads and six more sticky note refills. www.BuyThePicoPad.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This is a cute product, but it doesn’t have a chance on DRTV. For one, it doesn’t solve a real problem. The perceived value is also a problem. A handful of tiny sticky pads for $17? Should have been disqualified in the product evaluation phase.

5. SIDING CINCH ($19.99) is a plastic gadget that allows people to hang things from their vinyl siding without damaging it. The offer is a 21-piece pack. www.BuySidingCinch.com
Product (D7) Score: 2 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Poor**
Comments:
This is another commercial that should not have been shot. The product is niche, lack credibility, has a low perceived value, doesn’t solve a common or pressing problem and has a confusing array of pieces. Somebody wasted their money, and it’s sad, really. If only that person read this blog!

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 1/4/08 (2) and 1/11/08 (1 & 3),” IMS; "Vol. XVII, No. 12-B for 1/11/08,” 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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