November 13, 2009

Weekly Round-Up

A memory foam bed for dogs
Main Pitch: "The orthopedic bed designed to provide comfort, relief and happiness for your dog"
Main Offer: $39.99 for one (medium size) with suede cover
Bonus: Waterproof liner and lifetime warranty
Marketer: Tristar
S7 Score: 6 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed (?)
Comments: This a tough environment for marketing luxuries -- unless you are asking people to spoil their pets! The memory foam pitch worked well for people, so I see no reason why it won't work well for dogs. And with this exception of the "wah-wah" sound effect (a personal "pet" peeve), the commercial is very well done.

Stick-up ionic odor eliminator
Main Pitch: "The on-the-spot odor eliminator that lasts for life"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: Second one free (just pay separate S&H)
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Hutton-Miller
S7 Score: 5 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed, Uncrowded (?)
Comments: There's a lot to like about this product. The problem is the category: It's over-crowded to say the least. If you have an odor problem, every major brand has a solution for you, from plug-ins to candles. Plus, I think Consumer Reports did a lot of damage to the ionic pitch with its much-publicized attacks on the Ionic Breeze. If an ionic tower doesn't work, why would anyone believe a tiny stick-up would?

A super-absorbent powder that gets rid of stains
Main Pitch: "Work it in, then sweep it away and the stain is gone"
Main Offer: $19.95 for a 1-lb container
Bonus: A second 1-lb container free (just pay separate P&H)
Marketer: Lipenwald
Producer: (Let me know)
S7 Score: 3 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Targeted, Different, Engaging, Clear (?)
Comments: From what I can tell, this product isn't much different from what's already on the market. For example, Home Depot sells a 10-lb bag of similar stuff for $12.98. I also have doubts about using DRTV to reach this demographic. In general, men respond to short-form tools and fitness products. There is little or no track record for this type of thing. As for the commercial, it's light on compelling visuals and doesn't do a good job (via explanation or demos) of supporting the claim that this product can remove stains.

A pad that keeps a laptop from heating up your lap
Main Pitch: "The award winning accessory that takes the heat off"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: Keyboard cleaner, On-The-Go laptop kit (just pay separate P&H)
Marketer: (Let me know)
Producer: (Let me know)
S7 Score: 3 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed, Targeted, Engaging, Motivating (?)
Comments: Where to begin? The product doesn't solve a real problem (hot lap? really?), it targets a questionable market for DRTV (heavy laptop users) and the creative plays like a parody of the genre. This one almost became a "Dangers of DIY DR" posting.

Sparkly hair extensions
Main Pitch: "Takes your hair from drab to fab"
Main Offer: $9.95 for 150 feet each of silver, brown and gold
Bonus: Style guide plus an additional 150 feet each of red, purple and green
Marketer: Mosaic International
Producer: (Let me know)
S7 Score: 1 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed, Targeted, Uncrowded, Engaging, Motivating, Clear (?)
Comments: There are so many missing qualities here, I'm better off talking about the one quality this does have: It's different. I can see some women warming to the idea of putting a hidden sparkle in their hair. Too bad these women don't buy off DRTV. The commercial doesn't help, either. It's too fast-paced and confusing (cut it, loop it, knot it -- huh?), and the persistent use of animation undermines the product's credibility. Sorry, but this one gets the distinction of having the lowest S7 score so far.

Prepared by Lynda J. Moore.

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