Description: A manual chopper that cuts when you "slap" the plunger at the top
Main Pitch: "Dice, chop and mince in seconds," plus it "pops open like a butterfly" for easy cleaning
Main Offer: $19.95 for chopper with plastic cover
Bonus: Graty cheese grater (just pay separate S&H)
Starring: Vince Offer (of ShamWow! fame)
Marketer: Square One Entertainment
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7
Commercial Rating: Excellent!
Everyone in the DRTV industry should pay careful attention to what Vince Offer is doing. Whether it's his quirky delivery or his retro style (or both), the press is obsessed with him -- and so is the public. How else to explain the dozens of YouTube parodies (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) or the fact that his ShamWow! product recently beat out every other DRTV hit in history in a massive CNBC opinion poll?
As for this product and this commercial, I have lots of praise and just a few criticisms. First, the product. It's different, but it's not unique. It first came to DRTV in the form of Smart Inventions' Quick Chop. Oxo also sells a version. (The commercial lets on to this fact when Vince produces the original item, and then tosses it over his shoulder into the trash.) Will Vince's design and the fact that his unit cracks open for easy cleaning be different enough? We'll see.
Another product weakness is the size of the chopper. Oxo rightly calls it a "mini chopper." This product can only do small jobs, so it isn't a replacement for, say, a Vidalia Chop Wizard. There may be room in the market for both, but some percentage of people are going to view this product as inferior and unnecessary.
As for the commercial, I can't say enough about the brilliance of the format and style. Sure, it's what many would consider "lower quality." But another way of saying that is "real." Vince's commercials make you feel like you're at a home show watching his presentation live. Everything happens right before your eyes with no cutaways, animations or camera tricks. The credibility factor is huge, which is why I suspect he will continue to succeed. Plus, he already has a huge cult following.
Few people know this, but the DRTV industry began with pitchmen doing live pitches they had perfected on the circuit. (See Al Eicoff's "Or Your Money Back" for an excellent history.) Indeed, the 10 techniques I so often write about are rooted in selling methods perfected back then, and by former pitchmen-turned-spokesmen such as Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan. Vince is a throwback to this earlier time, and living proof that the fundamentals of DR remain unchanged.