March 17, 2008

New This Week: Pet Zoom, Vidalia Chop It

This is getting predictable! Another week, another two items …

1. PET ZOOM ($19.95) is a self-cleaning pet brush. When the bristles are full of fur, you press a button and the base comes up to push the fur off and into the trash. The same mechanism also allows you to adjust the bristle length for pets with different fur thickness. The bonuses are a “pamper-size” (mini) version and a fur-trimming comb. This is an Emson product.
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
This is a popular DRTV item done many different ways over the last few years. Two successful variations were the Pet Groom Pro and the Shed Ender. Because novelty is so critical to success on DRTV, and because this version isn’t nearly as cool as some of its predecessors, I think it’s unlikely to succeed.

2. VIDALIA CHOP IT ($19.99) is a manual food processor. You load it with fruits or vegetables, close the lid and spin the crank to slice and dice. The main claim: It’s “the fastest and easiest food processor you'll ever use - guaranteed.” The offer includes free whipping blades, a salad spinner insert and a recipe book. Then they double the entire offer. This is a National Express product pitched by the ubiquitous Billy Mays.
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
This is third product in the Vidalia line, coming on the heels of the Slice Wizard and the Chop Wizard (a mega-hit). But as is often the case with line extensions, the likelihood of success is diminishing with each new item. Although this item is admittedly more interesting than the Slice Wizard, it still faces several challenges. One, it might actually create a problem as opposed to solving one. I’m not sure why anyone would choose this item over an electric food processor, especially if they’re elderly and have dexterity problems. Two, it’s lacking in credibility. Faster and easier than an electric food processor? Somehow I doubt it. Third, and I hate to say it, Billy is wrong for the product. A woman, especially an older woman (e.g. Cathy Mitchell), would be a better choice. That’s because the major barrier to purchase for the DRTV audience will be believing they can turn that crank hard enough to chop things.

Source: "Vol. XVII, No. 21-B for 3/14/08,” Jordan Whitney (1-2)

* 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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