February 18, 2008

New This Week: Pasta n’ More, Spice Stack and AutoCerm

There’s a lot of activity in DRTV this week, but not a lot coming from the “pure” DRTV players. By that I mean the airwaves are full of diet programs, supplements and services – but few demonstrable gadgets. In fact, there are only three new items worth blogging about …

1. AUTOCERM ($19.99) is an engine treatment for improving performance and gas mileage. The pitch: “Start fighting high gas prices right away!” The offer is two bottles for the price of one. www.AutoCerm.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I have wanted to do an item like this for years, but the attorneys wouldn’t let me! The reason I always loved this idea is that there is so much pain out there because of gas prices, and experience has taught me that solving a painful problem is a sure-fire path to DRTV success. That said, I didn’t give this product a perfect score because it’s hard to explain. The marketing team did their best, but people will still be left wondering, How does it work?

2. PASTA N’ MORE ($19.99) is a microwavable pasta pot. This particular version has a few added features: Handles that double as a way to measure pasta portions, a snap-on strainer lid that can be removed to turn the pot into a serving dish, and an expander ring that doubles the capacity of the pot. The latter item is the bonus, along with a recipe book. www.PastaNMore.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
The pasta pot idea is over, in my opinion, and it might never come back. That’s because every pot manufacturer has added a version to their line. Even the microwavable pasta pot idea has been done before – twice. It succeeded once, albeit for a brief period of time, and bombed the second time. I see no reason to believe this product will overcome the odds even thought it has a few unique features.

3. SPICE STACK ($29.99) is a way to store and organize up to 27 spice bottles in one place. The pitch: “Stop looking and start cooking!” The bonus is a cook’s apron with the product logo. www.SpiceStack.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This item is unlikely to succeed on DRTV because only 'organization freaks' will appreciate it. In other words, this commercial won't create an impulse to buy because the product doesn’t solve a pressing problem for most people. It is also expensive for DRTV, another impulse killer.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 2/15/08,” IMS (2-3); "Vol. XVII, No. 17-B for 2/15/08,” Jordan Whitney (1)

* 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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