July 11, 2013

Weekly Round-Up

Pure Food Porn

  1. Bacon Bowl. Pitch: "The easy way to make delicious, edible bowls out of bacon." Comments: This commercial is pure food porn. The only people it won't appeal to are vegetarians, people on statins and observant Jews or Muslims. Everyone else is going to want to try it immediately! [ss]
  3. Bagillow. Pitch: "It's a bag. It's a pillow." Comments: Unfortunately, it's also going to be a bomb due to seasonality issues and limited usage occasions. [ss]
  5. Forever Lighter. Pitch: "The battery-powered, USB rechargeable lighter." Comments: Smokers are a rapidly shrinking segment of a segment. Lighters of every imaginable variety, including lighters like this, are also a staple of any corner convenience store. [ss]
  7. Icential. Pitch: "The light, flexible cooling wraps with the cooling power of a whole mountain of ice." Comments: This is a neat idea that could definitely find a market. I just don't see people buying it off TV. [ss]
  9. Sit N Cycle. Starring: Dorothy Hamill. Pitch: "A new kind of fitness bike designed for busy Baby Boomers and active Seniors who want to stay fit." Comments: I'm on the fence about this one, but only because of the price. Otherwise, I think a standard stationary bike would be preferred by most. [ss]
  11. Slim Swim. Pitch: "The revolutionary swim wear that will transform your body." Comments: A cross between shapewear and swimwear is a good idea, but one that is already being exploited by established brands (e.g. Spanx). There is a decent value play here, but the price is still a bit high for the DRTV customer. [ss]
  13. Smooth Secret. Marketer: Ontel. Producer: Blue Moon. Pitch: "Removes chest wrinkles while you sleep." Comments: This is a second attempt under a new name. I reviewed the first attempt on Valentine's Day (although I didn't love it). [ss]
  15. StretchKins. Pitch: "The life-size super-stretchy, super-cuddly friends." Comments: More cutesy plush stuff. Hooray. [ss]
  17. Thumper Bumper. Producer: Infomercials Inc. Pitch: "The easy way to protect your car from dents, dings and scratches." Comments: This commercial is visually redundant. It is also repetitious. But I don't blame the creative team: The product only does one thing in one situation, which is pretty much the opposite of what you want when trying to create an engaging DRTV commercial. Perhaps that's why the site is already down. [ss]


  1. With Smooth Secret you said it was DOA as "all" wrinkle erasers have failed on short form spots. I know they sell a boat load on the home shopping channels. I think there has been an infomercial success at some time? What do you think is the difference Oh wise one?

    1. "Wise one"? Wise ass is more like it. :-)

      Beauty, in general, is one of the hardest short-form categories there is. I think the reason is our "brand" stands for the opposite of what women are looking for in a beauty product. They want something from a trusted, well-established company with a history of bringing quality products to market. Such companies have also created the perception that "you get what you pay for" -- that is, to get results you need to spend $50, $100 or more.

      A $19.99 'As Seen on TV' product won't meet any of those parameters. Frankly, our "brand" doesn't stand for quality, trust or reliable results. As a result, in short form, I believe there is only one way to break through: Present a product that is so unique, so amazing and desirable, women just have to throw caution to the wind and try it. Of course, very few products will ever hit that bar.

      In long form, brilliant marketers like Guthy-Renker have overcome the challenge by borrowing credibility from celebrities. They also have a lot more time to build trust in their format (witness their excellent use of "social proof" techniques) and are able to charge higher prices, which can imply quality as well.

      Thanks for reading and for your thought-provoking question.

  2. One of the very first products of Ronco, Ron Popeil, maybe 40 years ago was big inflatable car door dent bumper.