April 21, 2015

Shamboo

Description: A super-absorbent cloth
Main Pitch: "The only soft and reusable bamboo towel"
Main Offer: $14.99 for two large
Bonus: Two more (just pay a separate fee)
Starring: Bobby Mills
Marketer: Telebrands
Producer: 221 Direct
Watch the spot

This is an interesting way -- the correct way, in my view -- to try to resurrect this item. A super-absorbent shammy would have had zero shot. A super-absorbent cloth made of a trendy new material (bamboo) at least has a chance. That said, if you look at Zorbeez and ShamWow! as one long campaign, a super-absorbent cloth ran for five years on DRTV and was still on the charts as recently as 2011. I think that's too long of a run and too short of a recess to get this kind of thing going again.

As for the commercial, it obviously borrows the demos that made its predecessors successful, demos that come from the pitch market where this product was sold for years before TV. That's not a criticism: There's no sense messing with something so tried and true. Even still, there are a few original techniques in this commercial worth highlighting. For example, it has what must be the longest, uncut demo sequence in DRTV history (at approximately 25 seconds). There are no jump cuts or other camera tricks used ... which is a trick in itself. Immediately after that, Mr. Mills is allowed to break the fourth wall in a way that goes beyond talking to the "camera guy." I don't love the idea, but again I applaud the originality.

S7 Analysis: When it comes to Old Gold, an S7 analysis is usually superfluous. The core product obviously meets all the criteria for DRTV success. What's interesting about the history in this case is how it will affect the different criterion. Indeed, it may be decades before a super-absorbent cloth is perceived to be unique enough to become a hit again.

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