August 30, 2009

Keeping Score: February 2009

Six months later, here are the outcomes of the items I reviewed in February 2009:

1. HD VISION READERS
Description:
HD Vision sunglasses with built-in bifocals
Date Reviewed:
February 23 (full review)
Product (D7) Score: 6 out of 7
Commercial Rating: Good
Outcome:
No. 20 on the Jordan Whitney and No. 30 on the IMS Top 50

I worked on this campaign and all other campaigns for the HD Vision line, so it wasn't too hard to predict its success. What has surprised and amazed me is just how successful each new product in this line has become. It is a rare exception to the curse of the brand extension.

2. WIZZIT
Description:
A pair of electric tweezers
Date Reviewed:
February 23 (full review)
Product (D7) Score:
6 out of 7
Commercial Rating:
Poor
Outcome:
Not on the charts

The commercial for this product got a rare "poor" rating from me because it did "a terrible job of demonstrating the product." I concluded that: "If this campaign does well at all, it will be on the strength of the product and the category. But the bottom line is that this product is two years too late and has no shot against Tweeze at retail, which raises an important question: Why bother?"

3. SLIM BELT
Description:
An "invisible" belt with a flat buckle
Date Reviewed:
February 27 (full review)
Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7
Commercial Rating:
Good
Outcome:
Not on the charts

Back in February, I wrote that "the problem this solves is too small and the item is too much of a commodity to excite the impulse to 'call now.' Women also view a belt as an accessory, which means personal taste and the rules of fashion come into play. Any time this is the case, the odds of DRTV success decrease significantly."

4. EASY BAKE SHEET
Description:
Silicon baking pan
Date Reviewed:
February 27 (full review)
Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7
Commercial Rating:
Good
Outcome:
Not on the charts

It seems my concerns that silicone bakeware was "too widely available at retail" and that "most people get by fine with their regular bakeware and some tinfoil" were well-founded.

5. MIGHTY SHINE
Description:
System for instantly removing tarnish and other "gunk" from precious metals and jewelry
Date Reviewed:
February 6 (full review)
Product (D7) Score:
5 out of 7
Commercial Rating:
Good
Outcome:
Not on the charts

Like Telebrands reintroduction of Silver Lightning, this product didn't make it. I suggested several reasons why it might not, only one of which had to do with the creative (I thought it lacked clarity).

6. EARTH BRITE
Description:
All-purpose "green" cleaner
Date Reviewed:
February 2 (full review)
Product (D7) Score:
4 out of 7
Commercial Rating:
OK
Outcome:
Not on the charts

"Most people don't care enough about the environment to buy a 'lesser than' or 'equal to' solution," I reminded my readers when I wrote about this item. "Rather, the product must be 'better than' its non-green alternative in some key way. This commercial failed to convince me that the product has this essential quality. There are no comparisons in the commercial, and while the spot is full of visually compelling demos, they've all been done before."

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