The trend is broken at last! After weeks and weeks of having only two new items to write about, this week there are actually three items. Interestingly, two out of three are for a product that’s third to market in its DRTV category, a sure sign that the category in question is red hot.
1. FREE! OXI ODOR ELIMINATOR ($14.99) is a packet of deodorizing powder. You pour it in the toilet bowl before you "go," and it prevents embarrassing odors from lingering. The pitch: “Free! your bathroom from embarrassing odors.” The offer is for 15 packets, then they double it and drop the price from $19.99 to $14.99. This is a Sullivan Productions commercial. www.FreeFromOdor.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments: Apparently “free” now costs $14.99! That was my first thought when I saw the product’s package, before I watched the commercial. I’m not sure if that’s a clever naming idea or a potential issue at retail. In any case, this item has a lot going for it. I’ve liked the idea since someone first showed me Just A Drop, the original. The only issue I ever had with it was the perceived value on DRTV. Even 30 packets for $15 seems like a lot to pay for powder. Actually, there was one other challenge we debated: How to make a commercial about this problem without turning it into a Saturday Night Live skit. The Sullivan team did a pretty good job, but a few scenes (husband’s football buddies) didn’t quite pass the laugh test. Again, I’m not sure if that helps or hurts.
2. QUICK LAWN ($10) is a type of super grass seed. The main claim: It’s “the world’s first and only four-season grass.” It “resists insects and disease,” can “withstand heavy traffic,” holds up in shady spots and “stays green even in snow.” The offer is for a 1-lb bag that covers 500 square feet. The bonus is a second one free, just pay S&H. www.QuickLawnGrass.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments: It’s hard to make a commercial about watching the grass grow exciting, but they tried their best. Some parts are definitely forced, such as the cheesy tag line: “Sow it, grow it and before you know it – boom!” But overall, the commercial does its job. Will the product? That’s unlikely, given this is a third-to-market competitor to Patch Perfect, a DRTV hit, and Canada Green, the original product from up north.
3. VERSEO DETOX FOOT PATCH (Various) is a detoxifying foot patch. The main claim: They “extract toxins from your body naturally while promoting a strong immune system and healthy lymphatic functions.” The Web site has various offers, including a two-patch trial for $7.50, 10 patches for $16, 30 patches for $39.99 and 90 patches for $89.95. www.Verseo.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Comments: Another third-to-market product. This one is popular in catalogs, but the leader on DRTV is Kinoki Detox Foot Pads, which was followed this January by Power Purify. Again, it is difficult for a third player to sustain a TV campaign because he is trying to feed off the scraps, and his media ends up supporting the leader at retail.