April 14, 2013

Telebrands Round-Up

Telebrands continues to test more items than any other DRTV company, so this week's round-up is entirely made up of their items. As for why Telebrands is so prolific, I offer the following three reasons ...

The first is economies of scale. Telebrands is arguably the biggest and most successful company in the business, and there is no reason a company of its size shouldn't be leveraging its massive resources, which includes what I'm sure is a huge cash reserve.

Second, that size and a tremendous PR push over the last several years has made Telebrands a giant magnet for individuals and small companies with new item opportunities. That is to say, the company likely has more deal flow than other firms.

Finally, unlike several of its competitors, Telebrands did not participate in the recent shift toward Web-based testing (co-pioneered by yours truly). Many companies are now failing quietly online and, as a result, testing far fewer items on TV.

This is not to say I disagree with Telebrands' approach. Going back to my first point, there is a case to be made for skipping Web testing when you have lots of cash and economies of scale. After all, why settle for a Web-based system that tries to predict TV results when you can quickly and (relatively) inexpensively get actual TV results? What you sacrifice in cost and efficiency you make up for in reliability.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the latest from Telebrands:


Amber Vision (25th Anniversary)

Description: Amber-lens aviator sunglasses
Main Pitch: "Still the best UV sunglasses money can buy"
Main Offer: $10 for one pair
Bonus: 2nd pair (just pay a separate fee)
Website: www.BuyAmberVision.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Sometimes "retro" is just old, and that is the case here. Not only has HD Vision become the dominant amber-lens brand at retail, IdeaVillage has continued to bring innovation to the category with modern styles (e.g. Ultra) and features (e.g. Foldaways). I can't see old being gold in this case.

Flexy View

Description: Flexible reading glasses
Main Pitch: "Won't bend or break, and they're guaranteed to never lose their shape"
Main Offer: $12.99 for one pair with carrying case
Bonus: 2nd pair with case (just pay a separate fee)
Producer: Blue Moon
Website: www.FlexyView.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

It's too easy these days to swing by the corner drugstore and buy a pair of cheap reading glasses.

Sleep Tight

Description: A spray for bed bugs
Main Pitch: "The safe, non-toxic spray that helps eliminate bed bugs once and for all"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one bottle
Bonus: 2nd bottle (just pay a separate fee)
Website: www.BuySleepTight.com
Prediction: On the fence

Despite the appearance of Fabriclear on my True Top Spenders of 2012, I don't believe bed bug products can work on DRTV. Besides the obvious problem with trying to sell people a solution to an invisible problem (resulting in odd pleas like "you could be bringing bed bugs home without knowing it"!), the core idea is prevention, and prevention doesn't sell. That said, any time someone spends millions on TV, it creates a retail opportunity -- and Telebrands has been known to capitalize on such opportunities.

Stone Wave

Description: A microwave cooker
Main Pitch: "Make delicious gourmet food in your microwave"
Main Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Starring: Marc Gill
Producer: Concepts TV
Website: www.StoneWaveCooker.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

'Gourmet microwave food' is an interesting contradiction in terms. But my prediction is more based on my belief that the microwave has lost it cachet. See my Steam 10 review for further explanation.

Trusty Cane

Description: A walking cane
Main Pitch: "The one cane you can trust to work perfectly on all surfaces"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Producer: Blue Moon
Website: www.TrustyCane.com
Prediction: On the fence

This product would quickly fail a Fabulous Five analysis because it is clearly not a one-per-household item. In fact, its target market is a classic 'segment of a segment' that looks something like this: Adults >> who are old enough to need a cane >> who are also dissatisfied with their current cane. Sometimes you can succeed in DR by targeting a large niche with a real problem-solver, but I don't think this product hits either bar. And yet ... just like in the bed bug example above, significant ad dollars have been spent (see HurryCane), creating a potential opportunity at retail.

But wait! There's more!

Here are several additional Telebrands tests that no longer have live Websites:

  • Loafer Laces. Pitch: "No-tie laces turn any shoe into loafers." Comments: This is the second time Telebrands has tested this concept. The first attempt was kid-focused (see Ready Laces). [ss]
  • Pedi Soothe. Pitch: "Acupressure massage ball soothes and rejuvenates." Comments: I am not aware of any acupressure pitch that has ever worked. [ss]
  • Pure Logic. Pitch: "The amazing all-in-one laundry solution." Comments: Yet another failed attempt to compete with P&G. For my thoughts on why these items always fail, see my Dropps review. (You can see the commercial for this product here for the time being). [ss]
  • Shazam Pads. Pitch: "Reusable shammy sweeper pads save you money." Comments: Speaking of P&G, this was an interesting attempt at joining them if you can't beat them (as opposed to an item like Shinobi). [ss]

So there you have it: Nine recent items from Telebrands alone. Whew!

1 comment:

  1. Telebrands disappoints on a creative side that with all that deal flow, the featured products are mostly knockoffs.
    Hurry Cane, S2O, Fabriclear and a retread of Ambervision. It is a viable strategy though.
    As far as their new product side, they had that talking parrot, very cool, and those microwave crockpots which seems DOA, but each probably has a good story to why their choice in their committee.