June 18, 2008

Checking in on Magic Jack

It’s only been about two months since I wrote a skeptical blog entry titled, “Magic Jack: The Year's Biggest Hit?” But I decided it isn’t too early for an update. Here’s what’s happening …

The long-form infomercial has continued to climb the charts, reaching No. 2 on the Jordan Whitney and No. 4 on the IMS this week. Back in April, I wrote that if Magic Jack is “as big as the inventor says, we should expect to see it take the top spots away from the likes of Guthy-Renker's Principal Secret or Euro Pro's Shark Steam Mop on the infomercial charts.” Well, Principal Secret is No. 14 on the Jordan Whitney this week, and Shark Steam Mop is No. 7. It seems the inventor wasn’t exaggerating when it comes to his infomercial -- although I still tend to doubt his claim that this will “go down as the best DRTV product ever." There’s a long way to go yet!

Moreover, the short-form DRTV results are a completely different story. The spot has never appeared on the Jordan Whitney and, after dropping down the IMS chart for the last few weeks, is now out of the Top 50 there as well. In other words, much of my skepticism was warranted. The spot hasn’t come anywhere near touching “BodyRev's Perfect Pushup (No. 6 this week) or Telebrands' Ped Egg (No. 14) on the short-form charts,” which is the bar I set for it.

And since my original review of the Magic Jack only covered the short-form DRTV spot, I don’t feel so bad about my skepticism. In fact, I’m close to saying my January prediction was right on the money. But let’s see what happens in third quarter, when media rates improve.

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