May 21, 2015

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Curl-A-Dog. Pitch: "Make the most incredible-tasting hot dogs you ever had." Comments: My guess is that this one will go the way of Boardwalk Tater Tornado and Happy Hot Dog Man. As I've theorized before, novelty food items don’t work unless someone else has already done the hard work of popularizing the idea. I've never heard of curled hot dogs, but maybe I'm out of touch? [ss]
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  3. Attach-a-Vac. Marketer: Lenfest. Pitch: "Cordless, compact power vac that fits on any broom handle." Comments: This is a unique product but also an odd one. My guess is the broom and Dustbuster in most homes are 'good enough' solutions, and that the line dustpans leave behind is much closer to an itch than a heart attack. [ss]
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  5. Cobra Max. Marketer: National Express. Pitch: "Trim your lawn quicker and easier than you've ever done before." Comments: It seems that one of these is attempted every year about this time. Several have been successful, so I guess it's not a bad idea if you can handle a seasonal seller. This one doesn't strike me as particularly exciting, but there must be a chronic frustration with edgers that is fueling all of these attempts. [ss]
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  7. Diamond White. Pitch: "Get dazzling white teeth with polished natural diamonds." Comments: This one enters the epitome of a crowded category with a low-credibility pitch. Looking at recent history, Telebrands' White Light (2005-2006) was totally unique, and IdeaVillage's Finishing Touch Smile (2012) was mostly a retail play. Otherwise, there is nothing to suggest a whitening toothpaste would make a good DR product. [ss]
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  9. Dr. Milano's Washable Potty Pads. Producer: Dynamic TV. Pitch: "Keep your pet from having untimely accidents." Comments: This is too soon after Telebrands' Bullseye Pee Pads, a 2014 True Top Spender, to have a shot. In fact, it appears that not even Telebrands can launch a similar product for this reason. [ss]
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  11. Finally Me. Pitch: The "fast, discreet and modern way to deal with an old-fashioned problem (incontinence)." Comments: Reusable adult diapers? Gross! And what an odd choice for DRTV. [ss]
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  13. Hot Straws. Pitch: "The only straw for hot drinks." Comments: I tried to think of one criterion this product meets besides "unique" and came up empty. Speaking of white teeth, the "keep teeth white" pitch is interesting. But seriously: How vain do you have to be to use a straw with your coffee to prevent tooth discoloration? [ss]
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  15. Pinion Pins. Pitch: "Hold comforters and duvets in place." Comments: A solution in search of a problem -- with a perceived-value problem to boot. $19.99 for 8 pins? [ss]
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  17. Twist-A-Plug. Marketer: Allstar. Pitch: "Easily accommodates a variety of plugs and adapters." Comments: An apparent 'fast fail.' NB: This marketer has one of the only successes in this category -- Side Socket, a 2013 True Top Spender. [ss]

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