June 30, 2010

Review: Tidy Table

Description: No-mess pet feeding bowls
Main Pitch: "Virtually eliminates the costly and damaging messes those old pet bowls leave behind"
Main Offer: $19.95 for a small/large set in cranberry or bronze
Bonus: Non-skid leg extensions
Marketer: Allstar
Website: www.BuyTidyTable.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

I'm immediately favorable toward most pet products because the category is so hot on DRTV. Even in the worst months of the recession, pet products continued to sell well. Of course, that doesn't mean any pet product is a guaranteed hit.

Of the SciMark Seven (S7) criteria, I think different is one of the most critical for pet products. If pet owners think they can just hop over to Petco or PetSmart and get a similar item, they are unlikely to "order now." When I did some quick Web research on this item, I found several solutions that purport to solve the same problems this commercial highlights. None are as good or have all of the features of this product, but they seemed to be "good enough."

Put another way, this is a product that relies on the 'sum of its parts' to convince people to buy. I see this often. In this case, the creator's logic probably went something like this: There are no-mess bowls. There are no-skid bowls. And there are raised bowls. But no one has ever sold a no-mess, no-skid set of raised bowls! I suppose this way of thinking makes sense, but it relies on people recognizing they have all three problems and wanting to do something about each of them.

There is another twist here, and it is the innovative way the product contains wet and dry messes. It may be that this aspect of the product is so cool, it will motivate pet owners off the couch. But the commercial didn't do a good job communicating how it works. It made the item seem complex, which will cause a leading sales killer: confusion.

Finally, I have to mention something I often find difficult to articulate. Most people call it "demonstrability." I've also heard it called "visual excitement." It's the idea that a product must move or do something interesting to sell on TV. I don't include that criteria in any of my lists because I've seen too many static items do well. Besides, whole categories in DR run on invisible effects (e.g. ingestibles). That said, it's true that some products are just too ordinary to generate the excitement necessary for a DRTV purchase, no matter how hard we work to make them seem sexy. Pet bowls may be one of them.

1 comment:

  1. The Tidy Table is in my opinion a direct copy of a product called the Neater Feeder which came out a short while back and can be seen at www.neaterfeeder.com. The main problem I feel is not with the product but with the creative. The creative does not hit home I feel in the right way to make a person want to take action. Pet owners in most cases will go out of their way for their pets. Those no skid bowls and other options still don't stop a pet from making a mess at the end of the day and the creative just doesn’t live up to its task. The creative doesn't mention them and should show examples of how they fail to do what's promised, hence why the Tidy Table is the right solution. The creative also fails to mention that a raised feeding area is also beneficial to how a pet eats, hence why they were created in the first place. The product is priced right as similar products cost up to 3X as much, but the creative doesn't take advantage of it. Could it be because Allstar licensed the product from Neater Feeder directly? I have doubts they would as they didn't license the Slanket to create the Snuggie. Again I think its a great product that would be a perfect candidate for DR however the creative falls flat on its face and hence the reason why I don't think it'll do well.

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