December 30, 2014

Rounding Out the Year

  1. Mighty Ratchet. Starring: Beau Rials. Marketer: TV Goods. Pitch: "Nothing’s ever too tight or too hard to tighten because you can use both hands." Comments: I like tools, and I especially like Beau Rials pitching tools. He does an excellent job here again. Unfortunately, though, the tool category hasn’t been a reliable source of winners for some time. Even the few hits have struggled to maximize their sales potential at retail. [ss]
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  3. dualBeats. Marketer: InvenTel. Pitch: "High fidelity headphones with a dual purpose." Comments: This is 'following' taken too far. It won't be the following of IdeaVillage's Flips Audio that will be the biggest problem. It will be the following of a mega-brand's trademark too closely. As I've written, predicting the future isn't always difficult. [ss]
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  5. Lil Lamps LED. Starring: Anthony Sullivan. Pitch: "The little lamp that lights up a big space." Comments: This is a mini version of an Old Gold item that was rolled out twice by Telebrands, the first time as Stick-Up Bulb (2006-2007) and the second time as InstaBulb (2012-2013). For those keeping score at home, that could be considered a five-year repeat. Even if that's confirmed, this product (while cool and different) is being tried too soon. [ss]
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  7. NanoGlide Pro. Marketer: Will It Launch. Pitch: "Increase your car or truck's fuel economy and oil life." Comments: Besides liability concerns, an "average 7% increase in MPG" just doesn't sound compelling to me. In general, that has been the challenge with these projects: The savings aren't exciting enough. [ss]
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  9. Frost Off. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "The easiest way to remove frost, ice -- even snow -- instantly." Comments: Telebrands' version of Tristar's Frost Gone. [ss]
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  11. Tasty Roaster. Marketer: Hampton Direct. Pitch: "Cooks delicious meals in a microwave minute." Comments: This appears to be the same product as Allstar's Rapid Roaster (No. 5 in this Weekly Round-Up), which was tested just last month and disappeared quickly. [ss]
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  13. Toilet Spear. Starring: Joe Fowler. Pitch: "New toilet tool ... makes cleaning better and easier." Comments: Toilet tools have a terrible track record on DRTV, most likely because of my "s**t solutions don't sell" hypothesis. Watching this commercial, you can see how the gross factor kills the sale. (Poor Joe!) [ss]
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  15. V Broom. Starring: Anthony Sullivan. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "V-shaped rubber bristles ... form an impenetrable wall." Comments: Floor care is not my favorite category. I can't think of a single success since 2004-2005 when Sully and Telebrands brought back One Sweep, no doubt the inspiration for this product and commercial. [ss]
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  17. Wonder Forts. Pitch: "Build amazing forts and play spaces." Comments: There's definite play value here, but my inner child doesn't find it to be very cool/exciting. Part of the fun of building a furniture fort was using everyday materials. This is too much like work. [ss]
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  19. Wonder Pot. Marketer: Tempo 3000. Producer: 3rd House. Pitch: "Never burn food or boil-over again." Comments: Neat product, but I have trouble envisioning the customer. If a guy buys it for his woman, he may as well buy a Magic Bloom bouquet, too, and get used to sleeping alone. If a woman buys it, she has put herself in the 'Bad Cook Club' (HT: J.S.) -- even thought the creative does its best to make excuses for her. [ss]

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