July 17, 2008

New This Week: Pedi-Paws, Garlic Pro, Total 2-in-1 Dryer Cloths and more

I picked up five new items this week, all from major industry players. It seems the media environment, which has opened up nicely, is encouraging the big guys to take their shots.

1. PEDI-PAWS ($19.99) is a tool for filing down a pet's nails. It features a buffing wheel with a protective guard. The pitch: It's the "fast, easy and painless way to give your pet a perfect pedicure in just minutes." The bonus is Ontel's Shed Ender, the de-shedding comb for dogs and cats. This is a Telebrands product and a Blue Moon Studios commercial. www.PediPaws.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good/Excellent**
Comments:
When it comes to the pet category, no one does it better than Blue Moon. This is another example of their excellent work. As for the product, even though it's second to market behind Peticure, I think it will do well. It might even eclipse the competition. The reason? It's marketed by a master of DRTV, and it corrects a major flaw with its predecessor: the price. At $10 cheaper, this product is correctly priced for the DRTV market.

2. GARLIC PRO ($14.95) is a kitchen gadget for dicing garlic. The main claim: It's "the first no-touch garlic dicer ever." That's because you drop garlic into the container and twist the lid, activating the stainless steel blades inside. It also dices hot peppers, nuts, candy, etc. The offer includes EZ-Peel, a tube that you roll to peel garlic. The bonus is a second set of both items free, just pay processing and handling. This is an Allstar Marketing product pitched by Cathy Mitchell. www.BuyGarlicPro.com

Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This product reminds me of a Smart Inventions item called the Twist Chopper. But unlike that earlier item, this product is limited in its usefulness. You have to be a heavy user of garlic to truly appreciate it. The other uses (nuts, candy) come too late in the commercial to broaden the appeal.

3. TOTAL 2-IN-1 DRYER CLOTHS ($19.99) are fragrant dryer sheets that eliminate static cling and soften fabrics. The pitch: "Combines the benefits of liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets into one convenient cloth." The offer includes two boxes of cloths for $19.98. Then, for a penny more, you get a giant bonus box of Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean detergent. Additional bonuses include a tub of original OxiClean and a small bottle of OxiClean Spray-A-Way instant stain remover. This is an Arm & Hammer product pitched by Anthony Sullivan, who also produced the commercial. www.WetDryerCloths.com

Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good/Excellent**
Comments:
This is a superbly executed hybrid commercial. It utilizes tried-and-true DRTV techniques while at the same time preserving the "brand feel" necessary for a household name like Arm & Hammer. Moreover, I applaud the strategy on display here. It's a brilliant move to give away large samples of related Arm & Hammer products (including products co-branded with OxiClean, a recent acquisition) because this encourages trial -- and as any marketer of consumable products will tell you, it's all about trial. All of that said, I don't think this product will do very well on DRTV. That's because it's lacking in two important areas. One, it's not unique in the marketplace. Among others, Snuggle has a similar product on retail shelves. Two, it doesn't solve a painful problem. In fact, it attempts to change user behavior by getting people to give up their favorite fabric softener. That's a tough challenge, no matter how much free stuff you're giving away.

4. TURBO 12 ($19.99) is a handheld slicer. You put a vegetable inside and squeeze the handle to force it through a row of blades. The pitch: "It's like 12 knives in one!" The offer includes two interchangeable blade sets. The bonus is the Turbo Wedge Slicer, which works the same way to cut apples and other items into wedges. Also included is a countertop organizer to hold everything. This is an SAS Group product pitched by Chef Tony. www.BuyTurbo12.com

Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
I think this is one of those products that creates a problem instead of solving one -- at least for the aging DRTV market. That's because it requires hand strength and dexterity to use. I also think it's too soon to do another slicer/dicer on TV. There have been a ton of them in recent years, too many to list. Such products will always have their place on DRTV, but I think the marketplace needs a longer rest before the next one takes off.

5. NO-RUST SHIELD ($14.99) is a device that protects tools and sporting goods from rust. The main claim: "It emits a protective rust-inhibiting barrier that coats metals against the moisture that causes rust and corrosion." The offer includes three of these devices. The bonus is a 3-in-1 oil that lubricates, cleans and protects. This is a WD-40 product.
www.NoRustShield.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This is an interesting and unique product ... that's hard to make work on DRTV. It's a classic dilemma: How do you take a product that just sits there and make it exciting enough and credible enough to sell on TV? The answer: In most cases, you don't. I learned this lesson the hard way after working on campaigns such as Fridge Balls. No matter how hard you try, no matter how cool your special effects, products that don't have visually exciting demonstrations are a tough sell on DRTV. This product is further handicapped by the fact that it doesn't solve an everyday problem for the mass market. The spot rightfully focuses on guns and fishing lures because few people are going to be worried about rust on their tools and silverware. Unfortunately, that focus also narrows the market for this product considerably.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 7/11/08,” IMS (1,
5); "Vol. XVII, No. 37-B for 7/11/08,” Jordan Whitney
(2-4)

* 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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