April 22, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Here are some new, quick reviews to get you caught up:

  1. Ball Bike. Pitch: "A cardio spinning bike and core ball combined." Comments: A weird, expensive contraption. Not sure what the strategy is here, but it seems unlikely to succeed. [a]
  2. Bedside Valet. Pitch: "Allows you to keep everything you need organized and right by your side." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Comments: I don't think this product is needed enough to create the impulse to buy. Overall, organization is a tough category. Most items fail because of the Oscar Madison problem. Only a few marketers seem to have a knack for picking winners (e.g. Merchant Media). [a]
  3. Cool Off. Pitch: "Beat the heat! Easy! Fast! Cool!" Comments: Bomb! [a]
  4. Heeldini. Pitch: "Magically smooths dry heels." Comments: I think a pumice stone with a long handle has even worse odds than "a shoehorn on a stick!" [a]
  5. Hang Rite. Pitch: "Hang pictures perfectly even with only one nail hole." Starring: Joe Fowler. Marketer: SAS Group. Comments: I've never liked picture-hanging solutions and shoot them down every time I see them. Sure, hanging pictures straight is a challenge, but I don't think the problem is painful enough to motivate people off the couch. This product is neater than most I've seen, and Joe Fowler does a good job pitching it, but I still don't see this one catching on. [a]
  6. Insta Slim. Pitch: "Look up to 5 inches slimmer instantly." Comments: I was wrong about Slim Ts but I won't be wrong about this one. Second to market with a "me-too solution" -- especially when up against IdeaVillage -- is a losing strategy. [a]
  7. Plaque Blast. Pitch: "The perfect solution for controlling your pet's bad breath." Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Comments: Plaque Attack seems to have had a successful run, but it seems a little late in the game to come out with a competitive product. [a]
  8. ReadyBox. Pitch: "Get everything you need to take charge into the event of natural or man-made disaster." Comments: As I've mentioned before, I view "preparedness" as the opposite of "impulsiveness" (see my Black Out review). And this is four payments of $19.99? Prediction: Bomb. [a]
  9. Running Twister. Pitch: "Bounce, twist and resist for a lean, toned and sexy body." Comments: Another weird contraption. I think fitness product developers are going a bit too far these days to be different. [a]
  10. Snap Curls. Pitch: "The fun, easy way to curl your hair." Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: Concepts TV. Comments: It seems like 50 hair products are tried each year. Almost all of them fail. Telebrands and Concepts are among the few to have had success in the category, but I don't see this one breaking through. [a]

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