May 31, 2012

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Chair Gym. Pitch: "The easiest and most convenient way to get a total body workout in the comfort of your own home." Comments: Years ago, a similar item called the Resistance Chair gained a little traction, but the price point was high. Perhaps this version of the idea, which is given broader appeal and a front-end friendly $14.95 trial offer, will do better. [ss]  
  3. Classy Glass. Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Pitch: "The stylish new window cover that lets the light in and keeps the world out." Comments: I'm too close to this one to make a prediction, which is why it appears here. [ss]  
  5. Grime Boss. Pitch: "Tough on grime but gentle on hands." Comments: This appears to be some sort of retail support campaign, so I am posting it here for information purposes only. [ss]  
  7. Mighty Mouth. Pitch: "The furry dog toy stuffed with tennis balls." Marketer: Telebrands. Comments: Another attempt to determine whether Crazy Critters was an outlier or a category. The last attempt by this marketer, Sling Duck, was a fast fail. I can't see this one doing any better. [ss]  
  9. Renew It All. Pitch: "Repair holes, rips, tears, gouges, scratches and cigarette burns." Comments: A staple catalog item that's old but hasn't been gold on DRTV in recent years. [ss]  
  11. Ring So Brite. Pitch: "Now your diamonds can go from dull to dazzling." Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Comments: This is a second attempt at an Allstar item originally called 7 Second Sparkle. [ss]  
  13. Sofa Sox. Pitch: "The blanket designed with your feet in mind." Comments: This is another second attempt at an Allstar product. Is someone going through their garbage? Anyway, the original was called Toasty Tootsies. [ss]  

Review: Fashion Clips

Description: Clip-on shoe accents
Main Pitch: "Turn one pair of shoes into an entire shoe wardrobe"
Main Offer: $10 for the Classic Ribbon Bow
Bonus: Cream Floral & Elegant Crystal (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Concepts TV
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This seems like another shot in the dark for Telebrands given that fashion and DR don't usually mix well. It's another 1 in 50 category. For some reason, I'm seeing a lot of attempts in such categories these days.

Review: Super Clean

Description: A foaming cleaner
Main Pitch: "Biodegradable foaming formulas literally eat the grease"
Main Offer: $19.95 for the Kitchen Cleaner, Household Cleaner, Grill Cleaner, Cleaner/Degreaser
Bonus: SuperCloth, free shipping
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This has become a very challenging category for DRTV with close to zero success since the late, great Billy Mays pitched OxiClean. If something as creative as Whip-It isn't rolling out, I don't see how a run-of-the-mill spot like this will go anywhere. The attempt to sell four different products at once won't help matters, either -- although the offer is strong to the point where I can't see them making money on the first sale. Maybe this is just an expensive attempt to gain trial?

May 24, 2012

Review: Drain Doctor

Description: A drain cleaner
Main Pitch: "Eliminate and prevent clogged drains forever"
Main Offer: $10 for one bottle plus a small bottle of Calc Away
Bonus: Double the offer
Starring: Marc Gill
Marketer: Infusion Brands
Producer: Bluewater Media
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This commercial has great demos and, as always, Marc does an excellent job pitching the product. However, I think the category is the killer here. There are just too many similar products on the market, many that have a reputation for tackling tough clogs. Although the marketing team tries to position this product as different (love the seashell demo!), I just don't see people jumping off the couch to buy this.

Also, with the exception of Ontel's Turbo Snake, drain de-clogging products don't have a good track record. Many seem to do well on live shopping, but not on DRTV. Examples of recent failures include: Fast Attack (December 2010), Instant Plumber (June 2011) and Pushover Plunge (November 2011).

Review: Shimmer

Description: Temporary glitter tattoos
Main Pitch: "The professional body art that shines bright day and night"
Main Offer: $14.99 for the starter kit
Bonus: 2 additional colors (free)
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Concepts TV
Prediction: On the fence

This one is out of my area because the target demographic is kids, and I don't have a good sense of what makes that sub-genre of DRTV tick. That leaves category history. Of the two tattoo items I've seen tested recently -- Kickin' Ink (No. 8) and Hena Tatz -- neither has rolled out. That said, this is much closer to what fairs and carnivals offer, and what kids love, than a fake sleeve or henna. I can see kids pestering their parents for it, and that is always a good thing.

Review: Flip Pillow

Description: A universal pillow
Main Pitch: "Every pillow you'll ever need"
Main Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Contour Products
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

There's only room for one, and the marketplace already has a pillow that claims to be "every pillow you'll ever need." It's Hampton Direct's Total Pillow, which also happens to be $10 cheaper than this product.

Actually, in this category there is apparently room for three or four. Sobakawa, Side Sleeper Pro and My Pillow (a long form) are all sharing the marketplace. That makes this pillow fifth to market, further reducing its odds of success.

Review: Cupcake Secret

Description: A cupcake pan
Main Pitch: "Lets you bake a secret inside every cupcake you make"
Main Offer: $14.95 for a complete set with idea guide
Bonus: 2nd complete set (just pay P&H)
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Perfect Cupcake doesn't seem to have gone anywhere, and that was put out by a power team (Allstar and The Schwartz Group) that has had multiple successes in this category. This version is $5 cheaper, but I don't think that will be enough to turn this one into a winner.

Review: Grab-A-Bite

Description: An eating utensil
Main Pitch: "The greatest innovation in eating since the fork"
Main Offer: $9.95 for a set of four
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay P&H)
Prediction: Bomb

This spot opens with a classic contrived problem: "Tired of food falling off your fork?" Nope. Next!

May 23, 2012

Review: EdgeMaster Pro

Description: A paint roller for edging
Main Pitch: "Paint perfect edges with no tape and no trouble"
Main Offer: $14.99 for one
Bonus: Three extra rollers (just pay S&H)
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: NexTV
Prediction: Likely to succeed

This is a cross between a major IdeaVillage hit from years ago (Edgemaster) and an IdeaVillage near-miss from a few years later (Ready Roller). The latter item was tested three times but never quite got there.

So which product will this item follow? I say it's the former. Unlike Ready Roller, a paint roller that you filled with paint, this item nails the all-important "self-edging" pitch that made its namesake and another IdeaVillage winner, Point 'N Paint, resonate with consumers.

Review: Perfect Petzzz

Description: Lifelike plush pets
Main Pitch: "The new precious pets that are so cute and extraordinarily lifelike ... they breathe!"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: N/A
Marketer: Tristar
Producer: The Schwartz Group
Prediction: On the fence

This is another attempt at an item that was tried in July of 2007. The original commercial was done by Blue Moon. Not sure who the marketer was. In any case, I stand by my original comments (see No. 5). This remains one of those items that's a gamble on appealing to people's emotions without the comfort and support of a logical justification. What gives this attempt a better shot than last time is the under $20 price point.

May 22, 2012

SciMark Report from May Response

My SciMark Report for May is now available on the Response Website.

Reviews include: Piggyback Aliens [ss], Dirty Jobs Complete [ss] and Perfect Tortilla [ss].

May 18, 2012

Weekly Round-Up

Kyoto Kleen
  1. WACC 21. Pitch: The "blackjack card-counting system card counting system that makes it simple to know what the casinos don't want you to know." Comments: Now, you too can know what it's like to have your thumbs smashed by the mafia in the back room of a casino! Gotta love any spot that opens with, "winner, winner, chicken dinner." [ss]
  3. Groove Tube. Pitch: "The portable puzzle game with a hidden maze." Comments: Cool puzzle, great spot, but not right for DRTV. [ss]
  5. HD Vision Zoom-Ins. Marketer: IdeaVillage. Pitch: "The world's first high definition binoculars." Comments: This is an attempted re-boot of Optica 1050, a successful DRTV campaign from a few years back. But putting a popular sunglasses brand on a pair of binoculars doesn't make much sense to me. This is the second such cross-branding attempt by this marketing team in recent history. The first was putting the Finishing Touch brand on a tooth whitener. [ss]
  7. Joint Mud. Pitch: "Topical relief in 18 minutes." Comments: Proven category (e.g. Super Blue Stuff), and an interesting name. I kind of like the blunt approach. However, this is another one of those 'don't spend the money' type items because the claims always attract scrutiny. [ss]
  9. Kyoto Kleen. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "The natural way to deodorize your home." Comments: Written by yours truly. [ss]
  11. Love My Face Pillow. Marketer: Spark Innovators. Pitch: "The original, patented anti-aging pillow." Comments: The pillow category has been hot (Sobakawa, Side Sleeper Pro, Total Pillow), but two pillowcases with this pitch were tried without success. [ss]
  13. Luggage Jacket. Pitch: "Covered, protected, easy to locate." Comments: I really like this item, but it's not for DRTV. Travel items typically don't work on DRTV because most Americans don't travel enough to need these kinds of solutions. [ss]
  15. Mental Math. Pitch: "Improve your grades. Astound your friends. Keep your mind sharp." Comments: This one is a bit outside of the model for short form, but I like the concept and pitch a lot. [ss]
  17. MSA 30X. Pitch: "Lightweight, comfortable and rechargeable sound amplifier." Comments: Terrible brand name. Unattractive product. At least third to market with a me-too solution that's higher-priced than its predecessors (e.g. Emson's Micro Plus). [ss]
  19. SnoreRx. Pitch: "Sleep more. Snore less." Comments: I've stopped using 'credibility' as a criterion in my product evaluations, but this item's lack thereof is certainly going to be a factor. An adhesive pad that prevents snoring? Give me a break. [ss]
  21. Thigh Shaper. Pitch: "Smooth your hips, tone your thighs, strengthen your calves and firm your butt." Comments: I've stopped doing full reviews of most fitness products because it's a 1-in-50 category with a lot of activity but little success. That said, I do like the clear comparison this commercial offers to a piece of gym equipment women seem to like. [ss]
  23. Yoshi Pro. Marketer: IdeaVillage. Pitch: "The new diamond-ceramic coated knives." Comments: IdeaVillage pioneered this strategy, which I call the 'pro strategy,' and has had the most success using it to extend the life of its products. The strategy entails periodically launching 'new and improved' versions of a product, so the retailers have cause to feature it once again. Finishing Touch, now in its 10th year and fifth incarnation, was the first success story. Then came Micro Touch and, later, HD Vision. However, this site is already down, and I think I know why. Yoshi Blade was mostly a value play -- a $60+ ceramic knife for under $20 -- and the novelty of that value has worn off as competitors have entered the category. [ss]

May 14, 2012

Review: Up Dog

Description: Pet stairs
Main Pitch: "Lets him go up and down with ease"
Main Offer: $39.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Blue Moon Studios
Prediction: On the fence

This one should be an easy call since Telebrands and Blue Moon partnered once before to bring a successful set of pet steps to market. It was called Doggy Steps, and it was No. 40 on the JW Annual for 2006. The only questions should be whether waiting six years is waiting long enough to discover "old gold." But then there's the price: It's twice the maximum limit for an impulse purchase. I guess we'll see how much people love their pets.

Speaking of "old gold," the reason this one didn't become an official feature by that name is because the product is notably different than its predecessor. The original product was fabric and stuffing while this one is made of solid material and also converts to a ramp. I guess that accounts for the difference in price.

Review: Samurai Slicer

Description: A five-blade slicer
Main Pitch: "Puts the incredible power of five super-sharp slicing blades in the palm of your hand"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: Samurai Speed Peeler (just pay S&P), base adapter for peeler (free)
Starring: Marc Gill
Marketer: SAS Group
Producer: Bluewater Media
Prediction: On the fence

Before IdeaVillage's Yoshi Blade came along (No. 6 on my True Top 50 for 2010), there hadn't been a successful knife sold on short-form DRTV since the Ginsu. Since Yoshi Blade, several more knives have failed. The Eskimo-designed Uloo Knife and Allstar's Banjo Blade are just two examples. So it is wise that SAS positioned this item, which puts five knives in the palm of your hand, as a slicer instead of a knife.

Will it work? I have my doubts. Telebrands has a successful slicer (Slice-O-Matic) on the charts (No. 29 on my True Top 50 for the winter), but that item is the real deal, a full-fledged slicing machine. This is more like the Uloo Knife than Slice-O-Matic because it is much simpler than the latter and has the same rolling motion as the former, which I think people will find unnatural. On the other hand, the spot is well done, stars the eminently likable Marc Gill (who also pitches Slice-O-Matic) and features a few clever demos (e.g. turning stone into dust). That makes me a definite "maybe."

Review: Loudmouth Leo

Description: An animatronic plush speaker
Main Pitch: "Just plug your music player into him and watch the fun begin"
Main Offer: $39.99 for one
Bonus: 25% discount with promo code
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Prediction: N/A

As I recently wrote in my Kid Item Round-Up: "I don't purport to have any expertise in this area." Hence, no prediction. I also have inside info on this one, so this post is for posterity only.

I will comment on the product in its larger context, however. As I've mentioned before, the monster success of Ontel's Pillow Pets all but guarantees that every new type of plush toy will get a DRTV test, so it was inevitable this animatronic plush would have its day. However, contrary to my feelings about most other Pillow Pet wannabes, I gave this test better-than-average odds when I first evaluated it. Why? Because it has a meaningful point of difference, really fun demos and (oh yeah) the industry's No. 1 DRTV toy producer behind it. As Happy Nappers and CuddleUppets both demonstrate, these guys know how to make plush work.

Review: Callous Clear

Description: A callous remover
Main Pitch: "Easily removes callouses for spa perfect feet"
Main Offer: $10 for 8 patches, scraper/file and soothing balm
Bonus: Double the order (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: Blue Moon Studios
Prediction: Likely to succeed

Foot care has always been a hot DRTV category, especially for the Khubani brothers. Ontel's Miracle Foot Repair was a strong seller for years at retail in the early part of the century. IdeaVillage had a solid hit with Easy Feet in 2010. And of course, Telebrands itself had the largest hit in the category in 2007 with Ped Egg, which is rumored to have outsold Snickers bars at checkout at the height of the retail campaign. As a result, it's a safe bet to predict success for this item.

This item is also a bit reminiscent of Kinoki Foot Pads, an IdeaVillage hit from 2008. But while Kinoki made promises that weren't close to credible, this adhesive pad proves it works with compelling, right-before-your-eyes demos.

Review: Body Gospel

Description: A faith-based fitness program
Main Pitch: "Inspire your soul ... transform your body"
Main Offer: 2 pay of $39.95
Bonus: Two bonus DVDs, quick-start program
Starring: Donna Richardson Joyner
Marketer: Beach Body
Prediction: Likely to succeed

In recent DRTV history, we've had a successful fitness program with a Hip Hop soundtrack (Hip Hop Abs) and a successful fitness program with a Latin soundtrack (Zumba), so why not try a fitness program with a Gospel soundtrack? That's the simple way of looking at this, but there is so much more to it.

Weight issues are deeply personal and emotional (as evidenced by the testimonials in this commercial), so adding a faith element to the process is long overdue and fairly brilliant. This idea has the potential to become the next big trend in fitness because it taps into two tried-and-true DR categories at the same time: weight loss/fitness and self help. If this takes off, look for a new DVD series featuring Joel and Victoria in sweatsuits.

May 09, 2012

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Baseboard Buddy. Marketer: IdeaVillage. Pitch: "The fast and easy way to clean your baseboards." Comments: Tough category and too narrow of a focus. [ss]
  3. Bounce Back Abs. Pitch: "Get 6-pack abs in just 5 minutes a day." Comments: Yawn. This item had potential to stand out, but they went with the safe and boring pitch we've all heard a gazillion times before. [ss]
  5. C Spray. Pitch: "Vitamin C spray immune system support." Comments: Years ago, I was part of an effort to launch four spray products under the brand NutraMist. One of them was a vitamin C spray. It, like the other three prodcts, flopped. I don't think enough people care about vitamins to embrace a new delivery method. [ss]
  7. Coffee Corral. Marketer: Allstar/Merchant Media. Producer: Blue Moon Studios. Pitch: "Easily find your coffee and make room in your cabinets." Comments: Another attempt to discover if the 'K-cup' trend is big enough to support a DRTV rollout. No indication whether the first attempt was successful, but the site for this re-imagining of Swivel Store is already down. [ss]
  9. EZ Armor. Pitch: "The easiest and most effective way to stop intruders before they get in." Comments: Preparedness is the opposite of impulsiveness. [ss]
  11. Rock Stop Bar. Pitch: "Greatly reduce noise and vibration from your washing machine." Comments: A second attempt to solve the problem Telebrands' Shake Stop went after, apparently with similar results (site is down). [a]

May 08, 2012

Winter True Top 50

The results are in for December 2011 through the end of February 2012. Here are the True Top 50 hits for the winter:

Not much has changed since my last announcement. The True Top Marketer of the winter is Allstar with nine hits in the Top 50 (Forever Lazy, Perfect Meatloaf, Sift & Toss, Hot Booties, Trendy Top, EZ Eyes, Swivel Store, Eggies and EZ Moves), two of them new hits (Trendy Top and EZ Eyes). Close behind with eight hits is Telebrands once again (Orgreenic, Lint Lizard, MyZone Headphones, Slim Away, Shed Pal, Slice-O-Matic, Sticky Buddy and Aluma Wallet). Like I said, not much has changed. The real news is which marketer came in third. For the first time, Ontel jumps ahead of IdeaVillage by having the same number of hits with one hit in the Top 10 (Salon Express). Congratulations to the guys at Ontel.

A similar third-place surprise puts Concepts TV in serious contention with Blue Moon Studios. Concepts had four hits in the Top 50 (Furniture Fix, Sift & Toss, Miracle Socks and Smart Cover). Blue Moon also had four hits but squeaks out second place because of the same Top 10 hit that boosted Ontel, Salon Express. Congratulations to the creative teams at Blue Moon and Concepts. And super-kudos to the guys at Spark Innovators, who brought Salon Express to market. Two companies owe you big!

Incidentally, first place and the title of True Top Producer of the winter stays with Hutton-Miller. They had five hits in the Top 50 (Fast Brite, Slushy Magic, Eggies, Dream Look, EZ Moves). Another season of dominance!

Finally, I'd like to give an honorable mention to the great folks at Paddock Productions. They had a solid showing with three hits, including the No. 1 campaign of the winter ($50 Gold Buffalo Coin) and one of the few new hits on the charts, EZ Eyes.

Speaking of new hits, I count seven from the major players. Two I didn't review (10 Minute Trainer and EZ Eyes). Three I reviewed and called correctly (Insta Hang, Hot Booties and Trendy Top). And two I reviewed but my predictions don't really count because I was "on the fence" (Sticky Buddy and Schticky). That makes me 3-0-2 this time around. Yay me!

Review: iScope

Description: A flashlight and reaching tool
Main Pitch: "The amazing, extendable all-purpose tool that's more than just a flashlight"
Main Offer: $14.95 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (free)
Marketer: Emson (Bell + Howell)
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

I've been down this road three times before, and it's a dead end.

[Self-criticism: I said the same thing about Grout Bully. Turns out it wasn't a dead end at all. But then I'd only been down that particular road twice, and not for a while. Not a great excuse, but there it is.]

Back to this test, I can't figure out the new online offer. It's $10 with no bonus, so no extra S&H. They do spend a lot of time teasing the deluxe upgrade, but if people don't go for it, I can't see how they will get the average sale into a viable range? One to watch perhaps.

Review: Style Wrap

Description: A wrap for women
Main Pitch: "The fashionable cover-up that carries all your stuff"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H), Style Snaps (free)
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Prediction: On the fence

I have no feel for this category. DRTV history says garments are tough, but garments that 'hide the cracks' have been very successful (Cami Secret, Trendy Top). This garment has some of the same benefits and functionality to boot, so maybe?

Review: Foamazing

Description: A foaming cleaner
Main Pitch: "Power blast cuts grime fast"
Main Offer: $19.95 for a can
Bonus: 2nd can and 50 wipes (just pay processing)
Starring: Phil Swift
Prediction: On the fence

Mr. Swift's business model has come into focus: He likes continuity items that come in a can. The problem is that few items that come in a can are viable for DRTV (for the myriad, mostly back-end reasons I've blogged about before).

More to the point, few continuity items lend themselves to buying in bulk the way Flex Seal does. If you are sealing your roof, then you are going to need to a lot of product. But de-icing your windshield? That's not a 'bulk buy' project. Still, this product is positioned in a way that could lend itself to a bulk buy, and I thought the demos were really cool. There may just be enough 'wow factor' here to deliver some workable numbers.

A larger issue is the category problem. Mr. Swift was first in the mind (HT: Ries & Trout) in a mass-market category with Flex Seal . With Blast Off, he was (at least) second in the mind in a seasonal category. And with this product? Tenth in the mind would be generous. It's a very crowded category. It will be hard to break through with so much clutter.

$10.99 vs. $9.99

Below is another finding from my first-ever DRTV Experiences survey. This question may be tainted, though, but more on that later ...

Question: "You're about to buy a TV product when you notice the price is $10.99 instead of $9.99. What do you do?"

(Click to enlarge)

The blue bar, representing 85 people (or 68.5%), is for the answer: "I buy it anyway."

The most common reason given echoes what we learned about $9.95 vs. $9.99 vs. $10: People don't sweat the small stuff if they want something. Some typical comments:

  • "If it was something I needed, the $1 difference in price would not prevent me from purchasing"
  • "If it is something I really like, a dollar will not make or break the deal."
  • "$1 isn't much to worry about."

For the purists out there, the margin of error on this one was about 8%, so the actual percentage that don't care could be as low as 60.5%. Or did I bias the question? Some people understood my phrasing to mean the marketer was trying to play a trick on them. A handful of responses went like this: "If I was expecting to pay $9.99 due to advertising, I wouldn't accept the higher price. Either change it to the price listed or lose the sale."

That makes me think if the question were more straightforward, the 'buy it anyway' percentage would be even higher. But I guess we won't know for sure until my next survey.

May 07, 2012

Kid Item Round-Up

In the last few weeks, there has been a bunch of tests for items targeting kids. Since I am pretty far behind on my blogging, and because I don't purport to have any expertise in this area, I decided to round them all up in one post.

Review: Bright Light Pillow

Description: A pillow that lights up
Main Pitch: "24 LED lights provide soothing, perfect light for 15 minutes and then automatically shuts itself off"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one in white or pink
Bonus: N/A
Producer: Zoom TV Productions

With Glow Buddy and Dream Lites already on the market, I don't see much room for a product like this.


Review: Bye Bye Tears

Description: A bath accessory
Main Pitch: "Keeps shampoo out of their eyes ... just slip it on and all the tears are gone"
Main Offer: $10 for two
Bonus: 5 bath sponge toys (free)

My gut says this is a solution in search of a problem. I have small kids and somehow we manage. Plus, all kids' shampoo is positioned as 'tear free.' But I could be wrong. Some other parents I've spoken to seem to think this is a problem. Side note: That's a pretty lame bonus. If the campaign shows any life, they may want to consider something with more appeal.


Review: Glue Dots

Description: Double-sided adhesives
Main Pitch: "The new way to tape, tack and glue"
Main Offer: $14.95 for four
Bonus: Four packs of dots (just pay separate processing)

This is sort of like a kids' version of U-Glu. However, I don't see kids pestering their parents for this one, and the offer is confusing.


Review: Mushabellies

Description: An augmented reality plush toy
Main Pitch: "With the free Mushabelly app ... [they] jump into your world"
Main Offer: $19.99 for two with Element Clips and AR game cards
Bonus: Trampoline and drum, AR Bounce Cards
Producer: Hutton-Miller

In a word: Awesome! I just wonder if it's all a bit too complicated for younger kids?


Review: Pawggles

Description: Plush slippers
Main Pitch: "Fun furry friends that, like magic, can fit on your feet"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one pair
Bonus: N/A

This one won't have a chance against Infomercial Inc.'s Stompeez, especially with Silly Slippeez trying to split the market. I also found the jingle to be annoying. They were trying way too hard.


Description: A folding cane
Main Pitch: "If your cane can't keep itself upright, how will it keep you upright?"
Main Offer: $34.95 for one
Bonus: Wrist strap and travel bag (free)
Prediction: Hit!

This is a non-traditional campaign that will likely roll out with less concern for the typical DR metrics, so a prediction isn't really fair. However, I think it's going to be a best seller for some time to come because it taps into a hot market (mobility) with a value-priced product.

Review: Flip N Easy

Description: A wet/dry mop
Main Pitch: "Removes scuff marks, soaks spills as well as cleans, dusts and dries your floors and more"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: Extender Bender (free)
Marketer: Infusion Brands
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

This appears to be a second attempt at a Saul Judah item that flippin' flopped two years ago. I see no reason why the concept would do well now -- although response has improved since then. Maybe this is hopeful thinking?

On a side note, this creative features a pet peeve of mine: Over-use of split screens. Producers usually make this mistake with quads, and I always push back. My argument is the viewer can't possibly process four (new) visuals at once, especially not in the seconds allowed. (Using a quad to reprise visuals viewers have already seen is another matter.) This particular creative compounds the problem by presenting the viewer with as many as NINE different visuals at once!

May 03, 2012

George Carlin on Advertising

This one's for all the DR writers out there. Searching for a proven phrase that sells? George Carlin covers them all in the routine above (HT: Steve Z.). E-mail readers can click here.

Warning: Explicit material. Not suitable for children, corporate settings, etc.

May 01, 2012

$9.95, $9.99 or $10?

Without further delay, below is a key finding from my first-ever DRTV Experiences survey ...

Question: "If you saw a product on TV that you wanted, which price would most motivate you to buy?"

(Click to enlarge)

The big red bar, representing 93 of 123 responses (or 75.6%), is for the answer: "For me, there is no real difference between the three." Apply the margin of error, and that means between 69% and 84% of DRTV buyers don't care if a product is $9.95, $9.99 or $10 -- at least not consciously.

Bottom line: If there really is no difference between the three price points, I'd go with $10. Besides liking the argument that $10 is easy for people to understand (it's a $10 bill), I know that extra four or five cents isn't trivial when multiplied by millions of units sold.

P.S. We also asked people why they chose their answer. Here are the representative answers for the 93 that didn't see a difference:

  • "You're talking about a nickel and a penny here!"
  • "This type of pricing is a gimmick. I prefer the straight $10 price."
  • "If I feel the product is worth it, the price is not as important."
  • "If I see a price such as $9.95, I usually round it to $10 anyway, so I see no real difference in these three prices."

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Nailista. Pitch: "Real polish designs that wrap on with no drying time." Comments: Another failed attempt to copy the success of Salon Express.  
  3. Palm Saddles. Pitch: "The only gloves that protect your palms and give you unrestricted use of your hands and fingers." Comments: Amateur hour. Zero shot of working on DRTV. [ss]  
  5. Popabrella. Pitch: "Say goodbye to those missed photo and video opportunities." Comments: This product is an umbrella for a camera. Enough said! [ss]  
  7. Prep 'N Pop. Starring: Marc Gill. Marketer: Lori Greiner. Pitch: "The safe, simple and sanitary way to peel and slice all your favorite foods -- and when you're ready to stop, you just pop." Comments: This product strikes me as a solution in search of a problem -- although I did like the creative. The "out-takes" at the end are especially fun! [ss]  
  9. Simple Strainer. Marketer: Allstar. Producer: Concepts TV. Pitch: "The first no-mess colander." Comments: I liked this one. It had some great demos. Oh well! [ss]  
  11. Total Posture. Pitch: "Get proper back support and instant comfort." Comments: Telebrands tested this item under the name Sit Right back in December of 2010. [ss]  
  13. Youthful Gold. Pitch: "Experience the beauty of real 24K gold." Comments: Noteworthy because of recent industry interest in the category. [ss]