May 14, 2008

New This Week: Mighty Mendit, AkroWheels and Incredihang

This week would have been another slow week if I hadn’t come across an interview with the president of Media Enterprises. He went on ABC News to talk about Mighty Putty and also took the opportunity to introduce Mighty Mendit – which gives me the opportunity to lead this week’s entry off with a winner!

1. MIGHTY MENDIT ($19.99), the sequel to Mighty Putty, is a liquid bonding agent for fabrics. While Mighty Putty repairs plastic, wood and similar hard materials, this repairs cloth materials like denim, nylon and leather. The pitch: “The fast, easy way to mend, hem and wear it again.” The offer includes three large bottles (triple the base order). The bonuses are a travel-size bottle, an Idea Guide and a bottle of Mighty Gemit, an adhesive for adding gems to clothing, etc. This is a Media Enterprises product pitched by Billy Mays and produced by Miller Direct. www.MightyMendit.com

Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Excellent!**
Comments: After missing the boat on Mighty Putty, I’ve learned my lesson! I’m predicting this item will be a hit. Not as big as Mighty Putty (brand extensions seldom do as well as the flagship product), but successful nonetheless. Like Mighty Putty, this product might have faced a credibility problem. But Billy Mays and John Miller have outdone themselves again. They prove the product works in the highest-stakes situation imaginable: They repair a skydiver’s parachute and then have him jump it. As a skydiver who’s familiar with the type of equipment necessary to survive a leap from 14,000 feet, I can appreciate how impressive that really is! The marketing team also did an excellent job of making this an everyday problem-solver, something I felt the early versions of Mighty Putty failed to do (this was later corrected). So I’m giving the commercial a perfect rating. The only reason I can’t do the same for the product is that it isn’t unique. A similar product called Liqui-Sew has sold well on HSN and in catalogs for years. That said, epoxies were popular hardware store items for years before Media Enterprises made theirs into a smash hit, so it may not matter.

2. AKROWHEELS (2 pay, $19.95) is a set of handheld wheels that look like dumbbells. You can use them to do ab and core exercises, as well as push-ups. The pitch: “Get ripped, strong, lean and sexy.” The bonus is a workout DVD. www.BuyAkroWheels.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This product is a fancier, updated version of the Ab Wheel, a common product that’s been around for decades. And that’s the main problem I have with it, since DRTV works best when an item appears to be new and uncommon. Even the all-mighty ab category has its limits. Plus, there are much cooler ab solutions on the market these days. As for the push-up use, it’s a real stretch. I think most people would end up flat on their faces if they tried the exercise shown! This product is also too expensive for short-form and too hard to use for older people. Not exactly a recipe for success.

3. INCREDIHANG ($19.95) is a bracket system for hanging pictures. The pitch: “Hang your pictures perfectly straight every time, and you will never have to re-straighten them again!” The offer is for 20 kits. Each kit includes a wall bracket, frame bracket, two frame nails and two wall nails. The bonus is double the offer. www.IncrediHang.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Comments:
DRTV marketing starts with selecting the right product for the medium. This product has no chance on DRTV because it isn’t unique, isn’t exciting and doesn’t solve a real problem – among other things.

Sources: “Mighty Putty: How Does It Work?” ABC News (1); “New Spots for Week Ending 5/9/08,” IMS (2); "Vol. XVII, No. 29-B for 5/9/08,” Jordan Whitney (3)

* 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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