November 07, 2012

Honeycomb Hangers

Description: A picture-hanging system
Main Pitch: "Hang pictures accurately and professionally in just seconds with no tools"
Main Offer: $14.95 for 6 large, 4 small and 10 hooks
Bonus: 2nd complete set (just pay P&H)
Producer: Infomercials Inc.
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

There are certain types of items I am pitched at least once per year. One (for some reason) is pooper scoopers, which always fail for a reason I recently blogged about. Another is picture-hanging gadgets. But no matter how cool the gadget, the project never rolls out. In fact, this type of item is officially on my 'don't bother' list.

I think the reason is simple: Hanging a picture must be an itch, not a heart attack. Most people have figured out how to do it correctly by now. Yes, it's a nuisance -- but not much more. There is also the matter of frequency. Much like painting, it's hard to catch people at the moment of need. You have to convince them to think ahead to the next time, and preparedness is the opposite of impulsiveness.

I should also note that part of this system is the Hercules Hook, an item that was successful the first time it was tried and unsuccessful the second time it was tried.

On a positive note, I really like the urgency device used about halfway into this spot. A person is shown dialing a phone while the VO says, "Get your phone and get ready to call the number on your screen. There are only about 65 seconds left until the end of the commercial." It's a safe, alternative way to employ the technique that made the line "call in the next 10 minutes" infamous.

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