October 19, 2012

Weekly Round-Up

Ontel employs the 'pro strategy'

  1. Akira. Marketer: Allstar. Producer: Paddock Productions. Pitch: "Japanese precision blades give you the perfect shave." Comments: Great value proposition, but wet shaving is the ultimate crowded category, and I can't see most men choosing this razor over the latest 54-blade, lighted, ultrasonic razor. [ss]
  3. Blade Buddy. Pitch: "Maintains the sharpness of your razor blades for months, saving you money." Comments: This product was tried last year under the name Razor Rx. [ss]
  5. Can Cooker. Pitch: "An updated version of the old cream can, which was used by farmers/ranchers to cook a hot, hearty and homemade meal while everyone worked." Comments: Jeff Foxworthy called. He says, "If you buy this product ... you might be a redneck." [ss]
  7. Dr. Frank's Comfort Bites. Pitch: "An easy and tasty way to help your dog be comfortable and move easily." Comments: Dr. Frank returns to DRTV. His pain sprays were DRTV hits in 2007 and 2008. [ss]
  9. Curvassure. Pitch: "Tone, tighten and firm your butt without exercise." Comments: Although I appreciate the cleverness of the name (pause between syllables and you'll get it), this is a really bad idea. Why? Because of this and this. [ss]
  11. Foot Fridge. Pitch: "The only innersoles that massage with every step." Comments: Insoles are on my list of bad categories. I can't think of a single one that has ever been a DRTV success. This amateur hour project from "down under" is unlikely to be the exception. [ss]
  13. Iron Gym Max. Marketer: Ontel. Producer: LoudMouth TV. Pitch: "Get strong ... get ripped ... faster." Comments: Ontel is employing what I call a 'pro strategy' here. By introducing 'new and improved' versions of hit items every few years, some marketers are able to extend the life of hits at retail. The classic examples are IdeaVillage's Finishing Touch and MicroTouch hair trimmers, now in their fifth? sixth? reincarnation and still selling strong. Iron Gym was a solid hit in 2009. Let's see if the 'pro strategy' works in fitness. [ss]
  15. Moth Blocker. Pitch: "The clear, odorless moth protection that applies in seconds." Comments: A solution in search of a problem. [ss]
  17. My Twinn. Description: A doll created to resemble a child between three and 12. Comments: I'm going to order one of these, and I shall call him ... mini-me! Seriously, am I the only one who wouldn' buy this for fear it would come to life at night? [ss]
  19. No Blade Fan. Marketer: Allstar. Pitch: "A smooth, cool breeze without the danger of blades." Comments: Another 'fast fail.' [ss]
  21. Scoop Free. Pitch: "The world's first self-cleaning litter box you can leave alone for up to 30 days." Comments: This is an old idea (see Litter Maid), and the Allstar hit Sift & Toss (No. 38 on my True Top Spenders list) is $9.99 at retail with no strings attached. [ss]

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