May 21, 2007

Weekly Round-Up

From the Pre-Blog Archives

  1. ROLL-A-QUE ($29.95) is an aluminum cylinder for cooking hamburgers on the grill "rotisserie" style. You stack the burgers in the cylinder and separate them with aluminum spacers. Then you roll them on the barbecue until done. Comments: Prediction? Bomb. Where to begin? One, it's a seasonal item. Two, it's too expensive. Three, it doesn't solve a real problem. Four, it's only practical for one type of food (hamburgers) -- even though they try to claim a few more uses. And then there's the credibility problem. The commercial never shows an "after" scene of the food coming out of the device. Something tells me it wasn't pretty.
  3. ONE TOUCH JAR OPENER ($19.95) is an automatic jar opener that looks and works like the One Touch Can Opener. It's compact and battery powered. You place it on a jar of any size, and it clamps down on the lid and then twists it off. Comments: We have a winner at last! This product gets high marks in every category. The only weakness I can see, which was shared by the item's predecessor (and didn't seem to matter), is credibility. People may find it hard to believe something small and battery-powered can open tough jars.
  5. ODOR XIT MAGIC ($9.95) is an odor-eliminating spray that works on the toughest odors imaginable. The offer is a delayed billing: The customer pays the S&H and tries it for 30 days, then pays the $9.95. Comments: Putting aside the horrible name (sounds like a treatment for malodorous acne), it might just work. This is a crowded category, to be sure. But the positioning is interesting, and the demos in the spot are well done. Actually, the demos also double as testimonials.

    Here's how it works: A blind-folded person is asked to identify a bad smell, such as a dirty litter box. The camera captures their repulsion. Then the person is asked to identify a new smell. They sniff cautiously but can't smell anything but a fresh scent. When they take the blindfold off, they're shocked to discover it's the same litter box! The product has been used to kill the odor ... And that isn't even my favorite part. That comes later. Supers flash on screen: "Urine." "Feces." "Vomit." Then they cut to a scene of a messy kid's room. Huh? Who are these parents raising? The girl from The Exorcist?
  7. AB ROCKET ($14.95 Trial) is a spring-assisted ab rocker that provides resistance on the way down and assistance on the way up. The back also has massaging rollers. Comments: Every year, there's another ab product success story. This year, it's Hip Hop Abs. Can this item also break through? Unlikely if it's only a short form. Other than that, it fits the profile of its predecessors, so it should appeal to those crazy folks who keep buying ab products. (One funny gaffe: The guy in one of the before-and-after photos not only loses his flabby belly, he grows a few inches taller!)

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