February 06, 2009

Review: Mighty Shine

Description: System for instantly removing tarnish and other "gunk" from precious metals and jewelry
Main Pitch: "The easiest way to bring back the shine to your gold, silver, gemstones and valuables in no time"
Main Offer: $19.99 for two round shine plates, two half-pound bags of activator and two microfiber finishing cloths
Bonus: Large silver shine plate
Marketer: Media Enterprises
Producer: Miller Direct
Website: www.BuyMightyShine.com

Product (D7) Score: 5 out of 7
Commercial Rating: Good

Media Enterprises has developed a knack for taking old product ideas, reinventing them and turning them into blockbuster hits. I'm referring specifically to the "Mighty" line of products. Mighty Putty is a reinvention of epoxy, that previously boring staple of hardware stores. Mighty Mendit (one of seven products recently named a bona-fide hit) is a reinvention of the liquid bonding agents that have been popular on shopping channels and in catalogs for years. Now the company has introduced this new "Mighty" product, which is another reinvention of an old shopping channel/catalog item that was also successful on DRTV two decades ago (as Telebrands' Silver Lightning, which was recently re-tested).

Lots of DRTV companies have tried this "old is gold" strategy, but many fail because they don't do what ME is so good at doing -- namely, improving the form and function of the product and thinking of new and exciting ways to demonstrate it. Part of this genius should be credited to Billy Mays and John Miller, who together come up with the best "magic demos" and biggest TV offers in the industry. The "knight's sword" demo in this commercial is a prime example of the former, while the double offer plus a truly free bonus (no extra S&H) is an excellent example of the latter.

Despite all of this, I do see a few weaknesses in this particular campaign. The biggest one is clarity (one of three major factors that can impact a CPO). It is hard to discern from watching this commercial how the product works. Specifically, it's unclear why you need the silver plates that are featured so prominently throughout the spot.

Another weakness is the credibility of the demos. Because they are so magical, they may create the perception of "too good to be true." I've been wrong on this score before (e.g. the tractor trailer demo on Mighty Putty didn't seem to hurt the campaign at all), but it's worth thinking about if the results aren't what they should be.

Lastly, I'm not confident the market for tarnish products is big enough to sustain a DRTV campaign in this day and age. Years ago, tarnished silverware was a much bigger problem, one that was on every housewife's mind. These days, it's much less of a concern. I don't know if that's because tarnish-free silverware has displaced real silverware, because formal events are less frequent, or both. The jewelry application helps, but most jewelry doesn't tarnish like real silverware either, and tarnish removal is the strongest reason to buy this product.

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