January 28, 2009

Review: Slap Chop

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
Producer: Unknown
Website: www.SlapChop.com

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.

7 comments:

  1. Chops great ,but not that easy to pull down black dome to clean.

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  2. This project is a rip-off- everything from sky high processing charges to limited warranties (customer satisfaction doesn't count) - in addition to unauthorized charges on our debit card.

    Buyer, Beware!!

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  3. I got mine from a store that sells most infomertial "TV only" products at half the price no S/H and I'm glad I didn't pay more, it's ok, but not fantastic, I think it should only cost in the $5 range in dollar stores, not $20+shipping.

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  4. I hate it, and the Graty is even worse. Its not easy to use, either one! The slap chop chops small ammounts of food at once so it takes forever and I don't know if the blade is dull or what but it does not go through tomato skins. I tried to chop already cut up slices of tomatos and it just exploded the tomato all over my kitchen making a huge mess. It doesn't come apart easily and I always feel like I am going to break it trying to open it up to clean it. All the food I try to chop gets stuck in the blades and it doesn't rotate the food like it shows, it just chops the food in the same way over and over again and I have to stop after every chop to clear the food out of the blades so I can keep chopping. The Graty I have to get my husband to do for me cuz you need mustle to push the cheese into the blades (dull blades) and its just a bad construction. The blades are held on by a little metal clip that bent the first time I used it. Its much faster to grate with a hand grater and chop with a knife and cutting board. Sorry guys, you missed big time!

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  5. The Slap Chop has has met its match in 2010 with the arrival of the Shake-N-Chop. While the disappointing Slap Chop was being sold to consumers, the incredibly innovative Shake-N-Chop was in the works being developed. The Shake-N-Chop is intended to release yourself from the suffering of Slap Chop. If you are looking for a superior and well-designed food chopper, the Shake-N-Chop is highly recommended. This is a must have for any cook.

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  6. Laney: I looked it up. Hilarious!
    http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/09/12/shake-n-chop-release-yourself-from-the-suffering-of-slapchop/

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  7. DO NOT ORDER ONLINE!!!!!! I ordered the Slap Chop online and ended up with $50 in charges on my credit card from other companies without my knowledge. When I phoned them to inquire about them I was told that I agreed to them by entering my email address in order to receive a free coupon! They refused to refund these fraudulent charges and were extremely rude on the phone. I never gave them my credit card information, they got that from SQUARE ONE ENT. WHO NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR POP UPS ON THEIR WEBSITE THIS IS EXTREMELY BAD BUSINESS SENSE! I will never order from this company again and I hope no one else does either.

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