June 25, 2008

New This Week: Debbie Meyer Bread Bags, Monkey Hook, Ab Ray, Magic Sliders and more

Suddenly, there are items everywhere! Better yet, one of those items got a perfect score this week. So much for the summer doldrums …

Before I get into all the items for this week, though, I have to mention an item that I didn’t bother to blog about but that deserves mention. It’s Liqui-Sew, the popular HSN item, which is now taking a shot on DRTV. I mention it because a stronger competitor, Media Enterprises’ Mighty Mendit, hasn’t hit the charts yet. I’ll be keeping an eye on both.

1. DEBBIE MEYER BREAD BAGS ($9.99) are bags for keeping bread and pastries fresher longer. The main claim: The bags are infused with an “all-natural freshness agent” that “actively inhibits the development of mold and bacteria.” The offer includes 10 bags that are reusable up to 10 times each. The bonus is double the offer free. This is an Allstar Marketing product. www.BuyBreadBags.com

Product (D7) Score: 7 out of 7!*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
Debbie Meyer Green Bags are a bona-fide hit, so it makes perfect sense to capitalize on that success by interesting a logical line extension like this one. The key word here is “logical.” Most marketers (in DRTV and in general) force the issue, slapping their successful brand name on items that aren’t a good fit. Perhaps more important is this simple truth: A bomb is a bomb, regardless of what name you put on it. People have to want the product! In this case, I think they will and Allstar will overcome the “second item slump” that has often plagued other DRTV players.

2. VACU DOME (3 pay, $19.95) is an electric kitchen gadget for keeping fruits, vegetables and bakery items fresh. You fill it with these items, snap on the clear dome and press a button to create a vacuum. The pitch: “The vacuum-tight seal keeps all your foods fresher longer.” The bonus is 50 food-saver bags in small, medium and large. Runs on an AC adapter or four D batteries. No URL
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I’ve seen an item similar to this one in catalogs, but the problem for DRTV was always the price. Over $20, the odds of success decrease dramatically. The makers of this product are hoping that putting $19.95 on the screen and using a “flex-pay” approach will overcome that barrier. I think DRTV buyers are smart enough to do the math and decide this item is too expensive to buy on impulse. Plus, when they stop to think about it, they’ll realize they can solve their problem with $10 Debbie Meyer Green Bags and Bread Bags (see above).

3. MONKEY HOOK (various) is a spring steel hook for hanging things on drywall. The pitch: “Hang a picture, mirror or wall accessory of up to 50 lbs securely and in just seconds, with no tools needed.” The offers vary from a “Trial Twin Pak” for $2.99 and a 10-hook “Room Pak” for $9.99 to a “Large Home Pak” of 100 hooks for $79.99. This bonus on the larger packs is free priority mail shipping. www.MonkeyHook.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Comments:
I didn’t see the commercial for this product, but I did watch an amusing video on their Web site of an actual monkey installing the product (click here to watch it now). Clever, but will it sell on DRTV? I don’t think so. For one, they are very late to market. In case you didn’t pick it up from the description, this is the Hercules Hook under a different brand name. I don’t know who came first, but AdSouth Marketing/Vertical Branding has definitely exhausted the market for this product idea. And even a cute monkey can’t beat Billy Mays!

4. AB RAY ($29.95) is a wedge-shaped exercise device. The pitch: “It's unique ‘StingRay’ design supports you throughout your workout and allows you to go beyond 180 degrees maximizing your results.” Features “10 body-sculpting moves,” including “Ab Rocker” crunches, “Rocker Pushups” and “Balance Board” exercises. The offer includes a wall chart. This bonus is a Power Pack with elastic bands. This is a Fitness Quest product. www.BuyAbRay.com

Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
I never underestimate the power of a product with “ab” in the name. Still, the price point on this item is about $10 too high for short-form DRTV, and the market being targeted is the minority of DRTV buyers. That’s why most fitness products are done as infomercials. Long-form buyers tend to skew younger and because there’s more time to sell, they aren’t as price sensitive.

5. MAGIC SLIDERS ($19.95) are furniture sliders. The pitch: “Slides everything as if it had wheels.” The offer includes four super-sized sliders and 20 smaller sliders for tables and chairs. The bonus is a 102-piece felt pad kit. This is a Worx Goup campaign. www.MagicSliders.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
When Telebrands introduced Moving Men years ago, furniture sliders were a unique idea. Not today. These days, they’re everywhere at retail. For instance, you can get a 16-piece EZ Sliders kit from Bed Bath & Beyond for $19.99.

6. GARD DOG ($19.99) is a safety alarm for children. Kids wear it on their wrist as a watch (it tells time) or on their belt. If they feel threatened, they press the alarm button. The main claim: “Emits an emergency alarm that can be heard from over 100 feet away.” There’s also a keychain remote for parents, so they can find their child if he/she wanders away. Main unit features a low-battery indicator. No bonus. This is a Harvest Group campaign. www.BuyGardDog.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
The first thing that popped into my mind when watching this commercial was the old adage, “prevention doesn’t sell.” True, this is an emotional, high stakes type of prevention, so maybe the adage doesn’t hold up here. But if that’s the case, the credibility of the product won’t hold up, either. Parents aren’t going to trust a $20 TV product with something as important as their children’s safety. Two other problems (at the risk of sounding like a broken record): Parents with young children are a niche within the mass market, and the majority of DRTV buyers are well beyond the age where they would have young children in the house. These factors further reduce the odds of success.

7. PEANUT JACK ($20/$2 per month) is a device for turning your regular phone into a VOIP phone. The pitch: “It’s shaped like a peanut because your calls just cost peanuts.” The offer is $20 for the unit plus $2 per month as long as you use it. It comes with call waiting, call forwarding and 411 service. The bonus is free voicemail. This is a Telebrands product and a Sullivan Productions commercial. www.PeanutJack.com (inactive URL)
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This is a competitor to Magic Jack, a successful long-form item that seems to have failed in short form. So following it probably isn’t a great idea. As I wrote in my original review of the Magic Jack: “As a lead-gen campaign, it could work … As a pure-play DRTV campaign, it will likely fail. That’s because the DRTV buyer is older, less tech savvy and less trusting of new technologies in general.” Moreover, Magic Jack appears to be driven and supported by a massive PR effort that will be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 6/20/08,” IMS (2-7); "Vol. XVII, No. 34-B for 6/20/08,” Jordan Whitney (1)

* 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment