June 19, 2008

New This Week: Motion Bulb, Bloom Perfect, Money Honey Jar & Bugville Butterfly

The tough Q2 media environment is being made even tougher by the warmer weather. Despite this, there were four new items worth writing about this week.

1. MOTION BULB ($24.95) is a motion-sensing light bulb. It turns itself on when you enter a room, and off after you leave. It also senses brightness, so it won’t go on during the day. The pitch: “Lasts as long as 10 regular light bulbs, so you won’t have to change your light for up to 5 years.” The offer is for one bulb and includes a one-year replacement guarantee. This bonus is two magnet lights for cabinets and drawers. This is an eLights.com product. www.MotionBulb.com

Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I like the idea behind this product because I always thought bringing the technology of an outdoor floodlight indoors was a great idea. The problem I discovered was the cost of doing that, a problem this company hasn’t solved. For that reason, their price point is too high for DRTV and their value proposition is way off (one bulb for $25?). It’s true that innovative lighting solutions have done well on DRTV in recent years, including Telebrands’ Stick-Up Bulb, Ontel’s Stick ‘N Click and Allstar’s Quik Brite (a version of which is the bonus for this item). However, I’ve also seen numerous lighting solutions fail, including a handful of sensor lights. Ultimately, I think this item will meet the same fate because of its price and because it’s probably too soon to get DRTV buyers excited about yet another lighting gadget. Oh, and then there’s the problem of this disclaimer from the Web site: “The Motionbulb is not meant to be used in a standing lamp or fixture with a glass or fabric shade.”

2. BLOOM PERFECT ($19.95) is a fast-growing flower seed that’s “specially formulated to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.” The pitch: “It’s like flower seeds on steroids.” The offer is for a bag of seeds. The bonus is an upgrade to a double-sized bag of more than 10,000 seeds. This product is from the creators of Patch Perfect, a 2007 DRTV hit. www.BloomPerfect.com

Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
The most successful DRTV products are mass-market problem solvers. This is a niche-market product that doesn’t solve a pressing problem. Yes, gardening is a BIG niche with a proven track record for DRTV. But I’m just talking about odds of success here, and I don’t think the odds are particularly high for this item. I make that prediction despite the huge success of Patch Perfect because I think lawn damage IS a pressing, mass-market problem.

3. MONEY HONEY JAR ($10) is a digital coin-counting jar that looks like a honey jar. As you insert change, the digital counter in the lid tells you how much you’ve saved. The pitch: “You’ll be shocked at how much extra money you really have!” The offer is for one jar. The bonus is a second jar, just pay separate S&H. This is a Telebrands product. www.MoneyHoneyJar.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
The major flaw I see with this product is that it’s everywhere in catalog at cheap price points. Insofar as catalog and DRTV customers cross over, then, this won’t be a unique item. Otherwise, I have always liked the item, and I think it could do well. That’s despite the fact that it solves a minor problem that is already being solved by various coin counters and sorters. I just happen to think it’s a fun and simple solution to a common problem.

4. BUGVILLE BUTTERFLY ($29.95) is pop-up treehouse for raising butterflies. The pitch: “Watch caterpillars become butterflies in their very own home.” The offer includes five caterpillars and the pop-up treehouse with an activity guide. The bonuses are a DVD instruction guide, a movie about butterflies in the wild and a poster. This is a Spin Direct product and a Telltale/Miller Direct commercial. www.SpinDirect.com
Product (D7) Score: 3 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
Like most items for children, this product is really cool but doesn’t solve a problem or appeal to the main demographic that buys DRTV products. Not knowing the business model for these types of products, I can’t really comment beyond that. However, I do know a lot of kids that would love to have this!

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 6/13/08,” IMS (1-2, 4); "Vol. XVII, No. 33-B for 6/13/08,” 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.

2 comments:

  1. and by "I do know a lot of kids that would love to have this," you mean, "I, Jordan, would love to have this!" :)

    ReplyDelete