September 08, 2008

New This Week: Sticky Swat, Gator Grip, Point 'N Paint and more

It's not unusual to see "new" TV products that are inspired by hits from the past. Many people subscribe to the "old is gold" school of thought and look for ways to bring back products that have worked before. But second-time success is by no means guaranteed. Indeed, of the five products I analyzed this week, four appear to have been inspired by previous DRTV items (every one but the first one). Yet only one (#2) has the potential to become a hit in my opinion.

1. STICKY SWAT ($19.95) is a device for trapping and disposing of bugs. It looks like a fly swatter, but the swatter part hinges open to reveal a sticky compartment that grabs the bug. It's also spring-loaded, so it shuts with the flick of a wrist. The offer includes six sticky traps (fly papers). The bonus is 18 more for a total of 24 traps. This is a MasterCore Technologies product. www.StickySwat.com
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good/Excellent**
Comments:
It's awfully late in the season for this item to be testing on TV, but in season I think it could be a winner. Part of the reason is the commercial, which is very well done. It has a high-quality, brand feel yet seamlessly integrates the T&T techniques. My only criticism is the offer, which seems weak.   

2. GATOR GRIP SUPER G ($19.95) is a universal socket with a ratcheting handle. The pitch: "Retractable steel rods" inside the socket "self-adjust to fit any size fastener, then hold on tight while the powerful ratchet action does the hard work for you." The bonus is an adapter that converts the tool to a ratcheting screwdriver, plus four screwdriver bits. This is a National Express product. No URL

Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This is an old item trying to make a comeback. It was a hit in the 1990s, and a bonus for a hit (IdeaVillage's Grip Wrench) in the early part of this decade. The original came with a traditional ratchet while the new "Super G" is permanently attached to an innovative and ergonomically designed ratcheting handle. I think the upgrade was necessary to increase the perceived value of the product. However, the offer is still fairly weak in my opinion. If the campaign doesn't work, a bigger offer with some better bonus items should be tested. As for the commercial, it hits almost all of the DRTV techniques. The only thing I didn't notice was a strong value comparison.

3. BACK BOOSTER ($19.95) is a back-support pillow. The main claim: It's "the ultimate in portable lumber support that can offer relief from backaches when sitting." The offer includes a nylon storage bag. The bonus is a second one free (just pay S&P). This is a Greenberg Chiropractic product invented/pitched by chiropractor Jonathan Greenberg. www.BackBooster.com
Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: OK**
Comments:
This product isn't unique, exciting or credible (despite the chiropractor endorsement). Similar solutions have been around for years, long enough for people to know they are limited in their effectiveness. Even if the item were new, it would struggle on DRTV because it isn't demonstrable. Ontel's Seat Solution is perhaps the closest a similar item has come to DRTV success. As for the commercial, it makes good use of testimonials, but feels slow and sleepy.

4. POINT 'N PAINT ($19.99) is a triangular painting tool. The pitch: You can "paint a room in under an hour" because it makes edging easier, "holds five times the paint of a roller and has eight times the painting surface of a brush." It also features a screw-in pole for reaching ceilings. The offer includes the pole and a special paint tray. The bonuses are a mini-version called the "Mini Edger" and replacement pads for life (just pay S&H). This is an Adcomm commercial featuring Anthony Sullivan. www.PointNPaint.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
This product's design resembles Ontel's Glass Wizard. And while that design may be good for cleaning glass, I have trouble believing it could be used for painting. I get that its triangular tip is probably useful for edging (although an edger is included as a bonus), but I don't get how smearing paint on a wall is better than rolling it on or brushing it on. Looking at the product on TV, I also think the claim that its pad can hold five times the paint of a roller, or cover eight times the surface of a brush, isn't very believable. As for the commercial, there's a lot of solid demos in it reminiscent of the early 1990s hit EdgeMaster. The difference is that the EdgeMaster was more believable and focused narrowly on the edging problem, which is where the true pain of painting lies.

5. RAYOVAC PULL LIGHT ($24.95) is an LED flashlight that can be charged manually using a cord that comes out of the handle. The pitch: "Just pull and you get instant light every time." It's also rechargeable the traditional way with a flip-down plug, and it can be set to go on automatically when the power goes out, or to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. The bonus is an LED keychain light. This is an ARM product. www.PullFlashlight.com
Product (D7) Score: 4 out of 7*
Commercial Rating: Good**
Comments:
The market has been inundated with self-charging flashlights since the success of the Everlife/Faraday Flashlight in 2005 (No. 7 on the Jordan Whitney annual chart for that year). Three years later, it's still too soon for a flashlight like this to be successful on TV again. That's because it doesn't feel new and exciting anymore, and that was a critical part of that product's success. (ARM, formerly DTR, was behind the Everlife Flashlight as well.) Without that quality, you have a preventative product that solves a minor and infrequent problem. Oh, and this product is $5 too expensive for DRTV.

Sources: “New Spots for Week Ending 8/29/08,” IMS (1); "Vol. XVII, No. 43-B for 8/29/08,” 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.

1 comment:

  1. I was going to rep Sticky Swat...Thought it a great idea however the effectivness was less than effective. Flys are simply too fast and frankly the re: misquito potential ...just use spray its easier. What I will say about it is its a fun conversation piece

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