May 11, 2009

Thoughts on "Pitchmen," Episode Four

I'm a little bit late with this post because I caught the episode in pieces, and I wanted to wait until I'd seen the whole thing. Once again, I found the show to be interesting and entertaining, but I'll focus on the marketing since that's my area of expertise.

I don't have much to say about What Odor that I didn't already say in my previous review. In that review, I talked about "the difficulty of proving odor elimination on TV," which Billy and Sully also identified right away when presented with the item. They ultimately went with that "green fog" animation I see often in spots (and don't like) and that entertaining skunk demo, which I thought was inspired but didn't play well in the actual spot.

What I found most interesting, however, was the idea Billy came up with for focus testing the product: deodorizing an entire hockey team's sweaty gear. What a great idea. That segment of the show also captured the natural reactions of the players -- amazement and praise for the product. Edited for the spot, it would have nailed two of the Tried & True DRTV Techniques at once: featuring a "magic" demo and establishing credibility with testimonials.

As for the other products featured on the show, I don't have much to add. I loved the Aussie Vertical Grill as much as the guys did, and it was sad to see it get back-burnered because of cost. Unfortunately, that's what happens sometimes. There's a price barrier for both short-form and long-form DRTV, and marketers violate it at their own peril. To paraphrase Al Ries again: You can live by the rules and miss an opportunity on occasion, or you can live a life of chaos (and poverty).

Not much to say about the Genius Frying Dome, either. I don't have experience with long-form cooking products.

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