April 28, 2009

Review: Perfect Brownie

Description: Special pan for baking and then serving brownies and other treats
Main Pitch: "Bake the perfect brownie batch every time"
Main Offer: $19.95 for pan with removable tray bottom, stand and dividers
Bonus: 10 decorating stencils, Gooey & Chewy recipe booklet
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: The Schwartz Group
Website: www.PerfectBrownie.com

Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7
Commercial Rating: Good/Excellent

I don't love baking items for DRTV, but I love this product and its commercial. That's because it's something truly unique and desirable, and the commercial does a great job of emphasizing these strengths.

The challenge with baking items is that they typically don't solve a pressing problem. A great example, which taught me this lesson, was the Pancake Puff. I gave it rave reviews and thought it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. It wasn't. In doing a post-mortem on the item, I had to accept that "the problem matters." The Pancake Puff was a great item, but not being able to make munchkins at home isn't a real problem, so the campaign couldn't generate that critical impulse to buy.

Allstar is taking a similar risk with this item, but this product is a little different. Within the task of baking, it does solve a problem: uneven cooking and gooey deserts that get hopelessly stuck to the pan. And what a cool solution! The rack separates the brownies, so they cook evenly and don't get stuck together. Then the bottom and sides drop away when serving, leaving the perfect rack of treats behind. Brilliant!

Returning to the commercial, I want to start giving special credit to producers who are creative enough to come up with those little signature lines we all remember. That recent CNBC special paid homage to some of the most famous ones; e.g., "set it and forget it," "but wait! there's more!" and so on. Derek over at The Schwartz Group has a special flare for "it's so easy" analogies, and this commercial includes one of his classic comparisons:

"If you can make ice cubes, you can use the Perfect Brownie pan!"

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