February 14, 2013

Maximum Traction

Description: An anti-slip spray
Main Pitch: "The powerful, non-skid coating that's got the grip to stop the slip"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one can
Bonus: 2nd can (just pay processing)
Starring: Phil Swift
Marketer: Swift Response
Website: www.MaximumTraction.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

I have a tip for anyone who wants their next DRTV project to be a guaranteed success: Make sure the product is plain white. Why? Because Wax Vac, the hottest item on the short-form charts right now, is plain white.

Ridiculous, you say? Well, I get around the industry quite a bit, and I can tell you that this is a common way of thinking. People don't go so far as to cite a product's color as the reason for its success (at least not since the iPod came out), but I'm not exaggerating by much. When a company has a big hit, more often than not, they will chase at least 10 more items strictly based on the fact they have something in common with that hit. And that's of the 50 items they will be presented.

I bring this up because I fear Mr. Swift is mired in this sort of fallacy. It's a type of syllogism that goes like this: Flex Seal was a huge hit. Flex Seal came in a can. Therefore, my next huge hit will come in a can.

Another possibility is that Mr. Swift is so in love with the kind of revenue that a replenishment item generates, he can't bring himself to try one-time purchase items (aka hard goods). That's understandable. Certain big companies won't even consider launching a new product, no matter how innovative, if it doesn't have some component that needs to be replenished. If possible, they'll even make it more replenishable than it needs to be. Why do you think Swiffer pads are disposable? But that sort of thinking is best left for companies with billion-dollar brands to sustain them.

In our business, it's hard enough to find a hit. Limiting yourself to one type of item is a good way to give back all of the profit you made on your last success. Unfortunately for Mr. Swift, I think he's well on his way to proving that point with what is likely to be his fourth failure in a row.

Besides, does he really think he can out-pitch Marc Gill?

1 comment:

  1. Speaking the truth once again about product selection. All the losers were not equal to a Flex Seal though a wild demonstration, product need or pitch. Mr. Swift is no Marc or Billy. On the other hand, many never have a Flex Seal in their entire careers, natural to want to give back some of that Flex Seal money to the DRTV casino.