May 26, 2008

New This Week: Malibu Pilates, Ped Egg for Men & Voots

Here are three new items to kick off the summer. One's a winner, one's a line extension and the other is a long shot.

1. MALIBU PILATES ($14.95 Trial/$300 To Own) is an exercise chair for doing Pilates exercises as well as other muscle-toning exercises. The pitch: “It lifts, firms, sculpts and burns for a slim and sexy Malibu Body.” The offer includes the chair with three workout DVDs and an eating guide. The bonuses are a workout DVD by Mari Windsor (of Windsor Pilates fame) and a wall chart. This is a Guthy-Renker product with Susan Lucci as the celebrity testimonial.

Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Excellent!**
Few do it better than Guthy-Renker. They get the product right and produce top-shelf commercials that use all the DRTV techniques – and then some. The only reason I didn’t give the product a perfect score is the price. I don’t know enough about the back end of fitness programs to know if the “stick rate” will be sufficient when the price is this high. Paying $300 for a chair seems steep to me. But the on-screen price is definitely low enough to drive initial response.

2. PED EGG FOR MEN (2 pay, $9.99) is a foot file for men. The pitch: “The man’s version of the best-selling pedicure tool in America.” The difference? “Over 150 precision stainless steel micro-files, 45% more than the original.” Plus, a 30% larger size that fits better in a man’s hand. The offer includes two buffing pads. The bonuses are a second one with buffing pads and a tube of Miracle Foot Repair cream, just pay additional S&H. This is a Telebrands
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
This is essentially a larger, black version of the mega-monster-hit Ped Egg. All sources say the original product is one of THE biggest DRTV items in recent history. But will this men’s version sell as well? I doubt it. The big problem I see: Most men don’t care about these things nearly as much as women do. It’s the old metrosexual vs. retrosexual debate. I think most men still fall into the latter category, especially the older, DRTV-buying male. As for the commercial, I considered giving it a “poor” rating because the opening is that cheesy. Watch it and tell me if you don't agree that it seems like a lead-in to a Saturday Night Live skit. However, once you get into the commercial, there are a lot of the tried-and-true techniques in there. So I bumped it up to an "OK."

3. VOOTS ($19.99) are chewable tablets designed to help kids get their recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. The main claim: “There are three servings of fruits and vegetables in each serving of Voots (2 tablets),” and they “taste like candy.” The offer is for two boxes (72 servings), then they double that to four boxes. The bonus is a book titled, “The Kid’s Guide to Balanced Eating.”
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
I like this product because it solves a problem. I also think the commercial is well done. However, the odds of success here are lower than average because the product is really only for kids. That narrows the market considerably, especially since most DRTV buyers are older than parenting age. I also think the product has a credibility problem in that people may not believe kids will eat these like candy. Re-purchase will also be affected when kids aren’t fooled.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 5/23/08,” IMS (1, 3); "Vol. XVII, No. 31-B for 5/23/08,” Jordan Whitney (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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