August 06, 2015

Auto Cool: Old Gold?

Current Name: Cool Ride
Current Marketer: Telebrands
Original Hit Year: 2006 (No. 39 on the JW Annual)
Original Marketer: Allstar
Watch the spot

If this product is anything like the original, the "38 degrees" cooler claim is a stretch. I'm not sure an internal car temperature of 86 degrees qualifies as cool, either. Putting those issues aside, this one could be successful. For one thing, the timing is perfect. Auto Cool came out during a 2006 heatwave, and here in the Northeast we just experienced a week of 95-degree temps with high humidity. And speaking of being on fire, enough time also should have passed for this Phoenix to rise again. Unless ...

I have a hypothesis I call 'fool me once' -- as in "this is a fool-me-once type product." It's really more of a superstition because I have no data to support the idea. In any case, my belief is that certain products that made big promises and failed to deliver (e.g. a weak fan that was supposed to keep a car's interior 'cool' on a hot summer day) may never be able to make a comeback. Or if it is possible, such products will need longer than usual to become Old Gold. If the rule of thumb is 7-10 years, we're talking 10 years at minimum.

In other words, such projects require a lot of time for everyone to forget the poor customer satisfaction they experienced. That reverse halo effect (horn effect?) will be a barrier to purchase even if the new product works great.

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