January 05, 2010

Rounding Out the Year, Part 1

A bunch of items were tested before the holidays that I haven't reviewed yet. Over the next few days, I will finish up the year.

A votive candle holder with a hidden surprise
Main Pitch: "The warmth of the flame instantly reveals a hidden, full-color image of our Lord right before your eyes"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Virgin Mary Divine Miracle Light
Marketer: Tristar
Website: www.DivineMiracleLight.com
S7 Score: 5 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed, Targeted (?)
Comments: IdeaVillage/Blue Moon's Prayer Cross is one of those odds-defying hits (like Allstar's Snuggie) that is bound to inspire imitators. The problem is you have to get the product and the marketing exactly right. In this case, they got the item wrong. The genius of the Prayer Cross is its broad appeal: It appeals to all Christians in a country that is 76% Christian. But this type of candle will only appeal to Catholics (23.9% of the population). Most Protestants (51.3% of the population) don't light candles when praying, and the Virgin Mary is just another Biblical figure to them. That means the market is going to be too narrow to support a mass-media campaign. Oh, and as Lynda points out, this product is also a fire hazard!

An easy to install button for pants
Main Pitch: "The quickest, easiest way to add or reduce inches on the waist band of your pants"
Main Offer: $10 for eight
Bonus: Shoes Under (just pay separate S&H)
Marketer: Telebrands
Website: www.PerfectFitButton.com
S7 Score: 4 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Needed, Different, Motivating (?)
Comments: One problem I have with this item is its low perceived value. Throwing in Shoes Under to solve the problem is trying too hard, and I wonder how that strategy will play with the retailers. I also think the product doesn't meet the "enough" threshold when it comes to the "needed" and "different" criteria.

An exercise device for the chest and arms
Main Pitch: "Can help restore your natural, sexy lift and reduce breast sag"
Main Offer: 2 payments of $14.95 with instructional DVD
Bonus: Upper arm firming gel (just pay separate P&H)
Starring: Gigi Emeta, personal trainer
Website: www.BuyBosomBuddy.com 
S7 Score: 4 out of 7
Missing Qualities: Different, Engaging, Motivating (?)
Comments: Love the name (remember Tom Hanks back then?) but not the campaign. First, this product idea isn't new. It goes back decades and was tried on DRTV recently without success. Second, the perceived value of the item isn't high enough to justify attempting to violate the $20 price barrier. Third, the spot and its spokesperson leave something to be desired. I'm sure Gigi is an excellent personal trainer, but being a spokesperson requires special skills she hasn't perfected yet.

Prepared by Lynda J. Moore.

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