September 30, 2011

Good Luck with S&P

Courtesy of AdWeek:

By law, strengthening-product demonstrations in infomercials must look like sex acts. There's the Shake Weight, obviously. And now, there's the Free Flexor ... It's not quite as indecent seeming as the Shake Weight, perhaps, but it's still not something you should do around your mother.


September 28, 2011

Stompeez Spot

(Producer: Infomercials Inc.)

Here's another new commercial targeting kids by the folks who brought you Pillow Pets and Wuggle Pets.

As I write in the upcoming issue of Response magazine, a renewed focus on kids' DRTV -- inspired by the success of Infomercials Inc. -- is the latest industry trend.

Weekly Round-Up

Very little going on this week, and nothing that warrants a detailed review, so here's a (very) short update:

  1. Lappers. Pitch: "Specifically designed to hold all your food firmly in place even when tilted or turned." Starring: Anthony Sullivan. Marketer: Masterbuilt. Producer: Sullivan Productions. Comments: This is not really a DRTV product, especially with a $29.99 price tag. But I like the creative and the demos, and I think this could be an OK seller if it were offered for a lower price in another channel of sale. [a]
  2. Reef Case. Pitch: "The waterproof smart phone case that protects your phone and still lets you use it." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Producer: Sullivan Productions. Comments: The site is already down, so I'm just posting this one for posterity. In general, given the older skew of our prospect base, I think smart phone products are highly unlikely to succeed on DRTV. [a]
  3. Ruby Crystal. Pitch: "The only file with thousands of synthetic ruby crystals that embed themselves into the nail." Comments: I doubt this product is different enough or credible enough to get women to switch from their trusty emery board, which is a 'good enough' solution. This creative also features what I call a 'kitchen sink offer.' That's where so much stuff is jammed into one offer (everything but the kitchen sink), the viewer has no idea what she's supposed to be getting. [a]
  4. Shadazzle. Pitch: "Cleans, polishes and protects in one step." Starring: Harry Wilder. Comments: This product flopped in early 2009 under the name Earth Brite. I see no reason why the results would be any different this time around. [a]

September 23, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Name choices matter. As the above illustrates, "Head Wedgie" (No. 2) doesn't exactly communicate comfort.

Not much going on the last few weeks, so only five quick reviews are needed to bring you up to speed:

  1. Eco EZ Wash. Pitch: "The revolutionary waterless cash wash that does it all." Comments: Attempt No. 96 in a very crowded category. [a]
  2. Head Wedgie. Pitch: "The ultimate head rest solution." Comments: This is a comfort product, but I can't think of a less comfortable-sounding name than "head wedgie." This product is also incorrectly targeted for DRTV. [a]
  3. Quillow. Pitch: "It's a pillow. It's a blanket. It's a Quillow." Comments: I like the Blue Moon version better. [a]
  4. Tie Boss. Pitch: "Better than a bungee. Easier than a ratchet." Comments: This product seems too utilitarian to be successful on DRTV. There's no magic. It's something a guy might pick up at the hardware store for a specific purpose, but not something he'd get off the couch to buy on impulse. [a]
  5. Top Chips. Pitch: "The fat-free, low-calorie, healthy way to snack." Comments: This looks like a lot of work to make one bag of chips, and all for what? Healthier chips are widely available at retail these days. They come in low fat, no fat, baked, air cooked and more, and you can get chips in every type of fruit or vegetable imaginable. [a

White Light: Old Gold?

Current/Original Marketer Telebrands
Original Hit Year: 2005 (No. 20 on the JW Annual)
Prediction: On The Fence

I took the lazy way out on this one. It would require some real research to determine the answer to a key question governing the success or failure of this attempted revival: What was customer satifaction like with the original item? If it was high, then I see no reason why this one couldn't become a Phoenix. That is, unless the jig is up on the light gimmick. Whitening with light was much newer when this oringinally launched.

SciMark Report from August Response

A bit of housekeeping: My SciMark Report for August was never posted on the Response Website, so I went ahead and archived it here. It includes a "dueling products" feature pitting Bake Pops against Tasty Top Cake Pops as well as a review of Yoshi Blue.

September 12, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Blue Moon's Pillow Puff commercial (No. 2)

Just in time for ERA, here's the latest batch of attempts:

  1. Hug of Love. Pitch: "The all natural way to make your dog feel safe and secure." Marketer: Telebrands. Comments: I like the Allstar/Blue Moon version of this project better (see No. 5). That said, I did like the name and the comparison to "the way a parent tightly swaddles an infant." Both are great analogies. [a]
  2. Pillow Puff. Pitch: "Pillow when you want it, blanket when you need it." Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: Blue Moon Studios (watch the commercial above). Comments: I like this product, and I think it has a decent shot of catching on like Snuggie did. That said, it's one of those items that if you think about too long, you probably won't buy. [a]
  3. Shake Stop. Pitch: "Stop your washer from shaking up the house." Marketer: Telebrands. Comments: Scratching my head again ... How many people can possibly have this problem? [a]
  4. Show Stoppers. Pitch: "Fashion tape that keeps you looking confident and classy in everything you wear." Marketer: Smart Inventions. Producer: Sullivan Productions. Comments: It's still unclear whether Style Snaps is an outlier or a category (based on my "one is an outlier; three is a category" rule), but this would be the next logical test. My only concern is whether fashion tape is widely known and widely available. If it is, then this one will struggle. Otherwise, it has a strong rationale, the same one that drove Cami Secret's success. [a]
  5. Snap Light. Pitch: "Snaps instantly to just about any surface." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Comments: Attempt No. 183. This has a cool visual demo and sound effect, but I'm not predicting success for any lighting product these days given the recent history of the category. DRTV marketers seem to have an endless fascination, but there have been too many failures. This may be another Siren, so sailors beware! [a]
  6. Stand Up Styler. Pitch: "Curved design lets you stand it up" and it "has an ingenious wall mount that holds your dryer for super easy, two-handed styling." Marketer: Allstar. Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Comments: Cool product, but $29.95 is a little steep for an impulse purchase these days, and the blowdryer category is pretty crowded.
  7. Tech Talk Sunglasses. Marketer: IdeaVillage. Pitch: "Lets you have hands-free conversations directly through your sunglasses." Comments: This is just a bad product idea, mainly for social risk reasons (the price doesn't help either). While it's true that, once upon a time, talking on the phone using a wireless earpiece looked and felt strange, that isn't a good rationale for this item. After all, it took years for earpieces to catch on and become mainstream -- not exactly the right timeline for a DRTV product. [a]
  8. Whoa Buddy Blanket. Pitch: "Mimics aluminum foil, a well-known pet deterrent." Marketer: Jarden Consumer Solutions. Comments: As I mentioned in my review of Shed Monster, I really like the visual technique the Jarden team is using for testimonials. In this spot, I also liked the steak-in-the-center demo they came up with as proof the product works. The problem is this item has already been tried (by SAS Group and Blue Moon under the name Skedaddle) without success. I see no reason why the outcome this time would be any different. [a]

SciMark Report from September Response

My SciMark Report for September is now available on the Response Website. Reviews include: Strike 'N Set, Clever Cutter and Salon Express. [a]

Review: Sharon's Solution

Description: A stain remover
Main Pitch: "The same secret that museum curators trust to restore vintage clothing and priceless treasures"
Main Offer: $10 for one tub
Bonus: 2nd tub (just pay S&H)
Starring: Lori Leland, Sharon Nitzberg
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Prediction: On the Fence

Even the most well-conceived campaigns for stain removers (see Whip It) seem to struggle these days, so my outlook on the category is generally negative. But I do like the pitch for this one, the credibility of the key demonstrations and the presenters. If this one doesn't work, I'm going to have to officially add stain removers to my "don't bother" list, right after lighting (see No. 10).

On a side note, I noticed and really liked a fresh idea from Hutton-Miller on how to justify the need for the second unit in a BOGO offer. They show a mom handing the product to her daughter on top of a folded stack of bright clothing. Check it out at about 1:49. It's a really nice touch.

September 11, 2011

Tiny Tyrants


Description: Squeaky dog toys
Main Offer: $14.99 for an Osama
Bonus: A Saddam FREE (just pay S&H)
Marketer: Media Enterprises

Word is a significant portion of the proceeds from this campaign will go to the families of our fallen servicemen, so here's hoping this one's a big hit!

September 01, 2011

Dangers of DIY DR (5)

All I can say is: Watch the spot.

Yes, the pitchman is named "E-L" and his co-host is a robot named "i-Lolly-P." Yes, that is a testimonial featuring a blurred-out "special needs" child. And yes, the bonus is a vibrator.