July 03, 2008

New This Week: Crazy Candles, Big City Slider Station, Sonic Mop and more

It's the last week of second quarter, and the flood of new DRTV products hasn't shown any sign of abating. I guess people are trying to figure out what they have, so they can decide whether to roll out in third quarter. Not a bad strategy. In fact, it makes more sense to me that waiting to test until the media environment is good. If you wait to test, you risk missing the first few weeks of the quarter, and that's the prime time for media.

1. CRAZY CANDLES ($10) are cake centerpieces that spin and open like a flower to reveal small, lit candles. They also play the birthday song. The pitch: “Makes every birthday spectacular.” The offer is buy one, get one free (just pay separate shipping). This is a Telebrands product and a Sullivan Productions commercial. www.BuyCrazyCandles.com
Product (D7) Score:
6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating:
Good**
Comments:
This is a unique product with a lot of “wow factor.” Its only shortcoming is that it doesn’t solve a problem. I also question whether older people will buy it, or if it will mainly appeal to parents and kids.

2. BIG CITY SLIDER STATION ($19.99) is a pan for making “sliders” – a.k.a. mini-hamburgers. The pan has indentations for five patties and comes with a lid that presses down on the meat for faster cooking. The pitch: “The fast and easy way to cook those … restaurant mini-burgers everyone loves.” The offer includes the “slider station,” measuring spoon and recipe guide. The bonus is a handheld slicer called the Quick Prep Slicer. This is a Merchant Media product pitched by Billy Mays, who also contributed a “Billy burger” recipe to the guide. www.BigCitySlider.com

Product (D7) Score:
6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating:
Good**

Comments:
These types of products certainly don’t solve a problem, but sometimes they tap into a trend and take off. The one that springs to mind: Telebrands’ “Great American Steakhouse Onion Machine,” a “blooming onion” maker that was No. 14 on the Jordan Whitney top 50 hits of 1998. Just like the commercial says, sliders are a popular restaurant item at several chains across the United States, so maybe this is the next Onion Machine. Having Billy Mays in the spot certainly helps!

3. SONIC MOP ($19.99) is a microfiber mop that vibrates. The pitch: It “blasts the dirt off your floors” because it “combines sonic power with microfiber technology.” It also has a built-in light for dark places. The offer includes the mop and three microfiber pads. The bonus is a bendable duster called the Flexi-Duster. This is an IdeaVillage product pitched by Anthony Sullivan. www.GetSonicMop.com

Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating:
Good/Excellent**

Comments:
I always thought this product was an interesting extension of the “sonic” idea. (Full disclosure: I worked on this campaign.) First there were sonic toothbrushes. Then there were sonic cleaning brushes. Now there’s a sonic cleaning mop. The question is whether consumers will believe a mop can function like a sonic toothbrush. The latter has a small brush and is for small areas; the former has a large pad and is for large areas. I’m not sure the believability carries through. I also think that most people are happy with their Swiffer products and will be reluctant to try something new.

4. LIGHT NOW ($19.99) is a cordless table lamp. It has 16 LED bulbs and a flexible neck. The pitch: “Goes anywhere and everywhere” to offer “light without the messy wires.” The offer includes two extension rods that turn it into a floor lamp. The bonus is the OWL, a wallet light and magnifier that looks like a credit card. This is a Telebrands product. www.LightNow.com
Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating:
OK**

Comments:
To use one of my favorite expressions: I think this item may be a ‘solution in search of a problem.’ Corded lamps are a good enough solution to the lighting problem, and they also come in enough different styles and shapes to satisfy anyone’s taste. Further, the LED light category is also crowded with products, further reducing the odds that this item will take off.

5. MICRO SMORES ($19.95) is a device for making S’mores (the chocolate and marshmallow treat) in the microwave. The pitch: “Enjoy S’mores any time without a campfire or open flame.” The offer includes the cooker and a recipe book. The bonus is a book of 12 holiday recipes and $20 worth of coupons to use on the Web site. www.MicroSmores.com

Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating:
Good**
Comments: This is another fun item that doesn’t solve a problem and probably won’t appeal to older people. It also won’t appeal to the health conscious, which further limits the market. So it’s a long shot, but it could do well in other channels.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 6/27/08,” IMS (4-5); "Vol. XVII, No. 35-B for 6/27/08,” Jordan Whitney (1,3)

* 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.

3 comments:

  1. the big city slider was an awful contraption filled with some sort of evil Hindu god seeking revenge.; i was burned several times. however, if you feel like eating sliders that are charcoal on one side, and almost done on the other,this is your product.

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  2. i happen to have some of the hangglyder hangers and they are the best thing I have ever seen. They work really good and they blow the huggable hanger out of the water because i have those also. Plus my turtle neck sweaters love them too, just wish I new where I could get more.

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  3. I already have s'mores machine - it's called a toaster oven.

    ReplyDelete