July 23, 2008

New This Week: Scoopeeze, Hang Glyders, Handi-Vac and more

This week, I reviewed mostly "me too" products that are unlikely to succeed on DRTV. However, there's one "me too" product (Scoopeeze) that just might be different enough to break through. Check it out below, and let me know what you think by posting a comment.

1. SCOOPEEZE ($19.95) is an innovative pooper scooper that can also act as a leash handle. The pitch: It's "the first totally integrated, no touch, pickup and disposal system." The offer includes the device and 30 disposable liners. The bonus is another 30 liners free. www.ScoopEeze.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
I've reviewed more than my fair share of doggie poop products and commercials. Most of them didn't have a prayer on DRTV. This one, however, might just work. It's the first truly convenient and practical solution to the "poop problem" I've seen, and I love the way it seals the mess in a hard plastic shell. That said, I can tell by reviewing the Web site and the commercial that the product is being handled by people new to the industry. If it fails, they should consider contacting more experienced players for help. Even if it does well, they should still seek help. The Peticure is the perfect example of what happens when a DRTV dilettante mishandles a hit: Someone savvier comes along and capitalizes on the opportunity (see Pedi-Paws).

2. HANG GLYDERS ($9.95) are clothes hangers with an adjustable side that you can make longer or shorter. The pitch: "Keep your shirts, sweaters and turtlenecks looking great" with no more "stretched necks" or "shoulder bumps." The offer includes five shirt hangers. The bonus is two pant hangers. This is a Hang 3 product. www.HangGlyders.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This is a mediocre solution for a minor problem that has already been solved by several other products. Moreover, I've only seen one DRTV product like this succeed in recent years, Huggable Hangers, and it offered an important additional benefit (saving closet space). It also had the advantage of Joy Mangano's support.

3. HANDI-VAC ($9.95) is a handheld device for removing the air from freezer bags. The pitch: "Pulls air out, so flavor and nutrients stay in." The main claim: "Virtually eliminates freezer burn," which they say costs the average American family $1,039 in wasted food per year. The bonus is a box of the special gallon bags required to use the device (just pay S&H). This is a Reynolds product (makers of Reynolds Wrap). www.HandiVacOffer.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
It has been interesting to watch the maturation of this infomercial category. It began several years ago with the introduction of high-end, expensive products such as the FoodSaver and has now reached the end of its lifecycle with inexpensive products put out by the major brands (who, as usual, have been late to capitalize on the trend). Since there are so many of these devices on the market, and since Pack Mate recently bombed with the exact same item, I think this particular product will make very little impression on the marketplace.

4. PRO-FLEX ($19.95) is a paint roller. The main claim: It's "the one-coat wonder that covers evenly in one coat every time." The reason why is something called a "flex forward coil shaft design" that's supposed to apply constant, even pressure. The offer includes a four-inch trim roller, covers for both rollers and "corner covers" you put on the side of the roller to paint in corners. The bonus is an accessory kit with five brushes, an extension handle, a paint tray, a paint can lid ring, an overnight paint can cover and a long-term storage lid. The second bonus is a handheld power screwdriver with a 30-piece bit set. Both are "free," just pay processing and handling. www.BuyProFlex.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This commercial is noteworthy for its offer. Certain DRTV players have been gradually pushing the boundaries when it comes to bonuses, offering ridiculously high-value premiums. I'm not sure who started the trend, but I credit Southern Tools, a company formed from the ashes of Think Tek. They made their Bit Shooter work on TV for a while by giving away a free power drill. Billy Mays (who pitched the Bit Shooter and may have come up with the idea) used the same bonus for the Awesome Auger, which is soon to be declared a SciMark "bona-fide hit." But this offer is a different story. I think it goes too far and, like the product, suffers from a major credibility problem. Consumers aren't stupid. They're wise to the "free, just pay (blank)" game and won't be duped into paying exorbitant "processing and handling" charges just to get a mediocre product and a bunch of common items.

5. EGG GENIE ($19.95) is a countertop egg cooker. The pitch: It "cooks perfect soft boiled, medium boiled or hard boiled eggs every time." The offer includes a measuring cup and insert tray for steaming vegetables. The bonus is a serving tray for deviled eggs. No URL
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This is an unoriginal product that doesn't solve a real problem. (Is it really that hard to boil eggs correctly?) It has been tried before, and it has failed. I see no reason why this time would be any different.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 7/18/08,” IMS (1-4); "Vol. XVII, No. 37-B for 7/11/08,” Jordan Whitney (5)

Special thanks to George Cassotis for his help this week.

* 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