- Crank Chop. Starring: Vince Offer. Producer: The Schwartz Group. Pitch: "Chop all your food in a matter of seconds." Comments: An apparent 'fast fail.' In DR, the third time (see Roto Chop vs. Zip Chopper) is seldom the charm ... even if you're Vince Offer ... and especially if your price is twice as high as the two previous attempts. This was definitely the best creative of the three, though. Vince has a way with demos, and his jokes are still funny. [ss]
- CeraPan Perfect Grip. Pitch: "The pan reinvented." Comments: This is the Dyson advertising method applied to cookware. However, that ''better engineering' pitch doesn't work nearly as well for something so simple. Although very well produced, the commercial ends up seeming like much ado about nothing new. [ss]
- Clever Cutter. Marketer: Lenfest/Allstar. Producer: Concepts TV. Pitch: "Quickly chops your favorite foods in seconds." Comments: This is a second attempt with a new commercial. The first attempt was in September of 2011. My comments are much the same. Great category, but slicers and choppers are always hit or miss -- and it was a miss last time. [ss]
- Hot Doglicious. Pitch: "Cooks the hot dog and steams the bun all in one." Comments: I wouldn't say hot dogs have been given a fair shot on DRTV -- the only two products I could find were Curl-A-Dog and the bizarre Happy Hot Dog Man -- but I don't like the odds. Hot dogs are one of the easiest foods to make, leaving little room for improvement. [ss]
- Mac Magic Pasta Pot. Pitch: "The only pasta pot with built-in strainer and handy mixer lid." Comments: Like hot dogs, mac & cheese is another food that is easy to make, leaving little room for improvement. I said the same thing about ramen noodles, though, and then Rapid Ramen happened. (No word on whether Rapid Mac was also successful.) Anyway, this pot makes other pasta dishes besides mac and cheese, and it also has an Old Gold element (pasta pots were the original multi-way duel back in 2002-2003), so maybe this one will break through. [ss]
- Handee Bra. Pitch: "The bra with security features to put your mind at ease." Comments: Believe it or not, something like this has been tried before (see Secret Keeper). Other than that, I got nuthin'! [ss]
- ShinJu Blade. Pitch: "The ceramic knife that's guaranteed to stay sharp." Comments: It's probably too soon to bring back Yoshi Blade, which was on the charts in 2011 -- especially without a new twist. [ss]
- Star Shower Motion. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Now America's best-selling home laser lights have all new shooting-star action." Comments: Based on the timing, I'm guessing this is an attempt to gauge demand for next year. With Star Shower blowing out everywhere (they're so in demand people are stealing them), it's going to be hard to get a clean read. [ss]
December 17, 2015
Posted by Jordan Pine at 6:00 PM
My SciMark Report in print for December is now available on the Response Website.
This year ends like I did last year -- at a new height of competitive craziness! Five products, four marketers and two duels in one category.
The first is a triple duel of Telebrands' Bare Nails vs. Emson's Personal Mani vs. IdeaVillage's Naked Nails. The second is a dual duel pitting Allstar/Lenfest's Roto Clipper against Emson's Personal Mani Pedi .
Posted by Jordan Pine at 11:31 AM
December 03, 2015
Description: A toilet attachment
Main Pitch: "Turn your ordinary toilet into a luxury bidet in just minutes"
Main Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Watch the spot
My hypothesis that "s**t solutions don't sell" started as a joke, but it ends up being pretty accurate. Whether it's pooper scoopers, plungers or toilet-bowl cleaners, products from this "category" never seem to work on DRTV. For that reason, I strongly doubt a poor man's bidet is going to work. There's also a cultural issue here. If the bidet concept was going to catch on in America, it would have happened a long time ago. Contrary to an argument central to this pitch, you don't have to be affluent to own a bidet.
As for the creative, it poses an interesting dilemma. You really can't show much when pitching a butt washer. At least, my creativity fails when trying to think of a tasteful demo or (worse yet) magic demo. This creative team chose to use a blue substance as a stand-in for the brown substance in question. The end result is still gross, and I think that's the main reason why my hypothesis has held: It's hard to turn a gross-out into a sale.
S7 Analysis: Going to back to the failure of the bidet concept to catch on in this country, it seems clear this type of product is incorrectly targeted. The needed question is also a relevant one. The use of the word "luxury" in the main pitch is telling. Luxuries are never needs -- or they wouldn't be called luxuries. Besides, has the 'As Seen on TV' brand ever stood for luxury?
Posted by Jordan Pine at 6:58 PM
Description: A battery backup
Main Pitch: "For all your mobile and electronic devices" and "it's even powerful enough to jump start a car"
Main Offer: 2 pay of $14.99
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Watch the spot
This is a combination of two product ideas, each with its own issue. The idea of a portable device charger has been tried several times without success (see Telebrands' Finger Charger and Ontel's Power Up), so that is unlikely to carry the project. Meanwhile, the idea of a portable jump-starter for the car is prevention, and prevention doesn't sell. This raises an interesting question: Can two ideas that don't make sense for DRTV independently make sense for DRTV together?
S7 Analysis: The problem with the first idea (device charger) is the category is crowded. The problem with the second idea (jump-starter) is it isn't needed ... until it is. Remember: Preparedness is the opposite of impulsiveness. So, ultimately, both of these fail a key S7 criterion.
Posted by Jordan Pine at 6:43 PM
- Bacon Blast. Starring: Marc Gill. Pitch: "The fast, easy way to flavor, cook and crisp delicious candied bacon." Comments: First Bacon Bake, then Bacon Boss and now Bacon Blast. Suddenly everyone is all about bacon! Of the three, this one is the most different, but that's also a potential liability. For reasons I can't fathom, not everyone loves candied bacon. [ss]
- Dial Vision. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Adjustable glasses for crystal clear vision." Comments: This is the third time this concept is being tried. The first attempt was IdeaVillage's Instant 20/20 in April of 2013. The second was Telebrands' Clear Control five months later. And now, more than a year after that, Telebrands is trying again. [ss]
- Posture Slim. Marketer: Telebrands. Pitch: "Align your spine to relieve pain and look slimmer." Comments: Speaking of third attempts, here's another. The first attempt was Telebrands' Royal Posture in July of 2014. Then came Tristar's Posture Fix a year later, which featured a different design, And now, six months after that, comes the Royal Posture concept and creative again under a new name. Sorry, but I have no inside knowledge or even a hypothesis about why this is happening. If I find out, I'll be sure to post about it. [ss]
- Silver Naturally. Starring: Marc Gill. Pitch: "The only household cleaner, disinfectant and deodorizer that harnesses the power of silver." Comments: Good to see Marc working his way back toward ubiquity, but I don't see this one getting him a lot of airtime. Household cleaners is the ultimate crowded category, and it has a horrible track record. Besides, unless you have an irrational fear of werewolves, this pitch will likely come across as odd instead of compelling. [ss]
- Smart Angel. Pitch: "The wearable case for your smart phone and tablets." Comments: Phone/tablet accessories is the No. 1 worst category for DRTV, yet people keep trying them. Most Siren categories make sense because there's a hit in the history (see LED lanterns). The song of the Siren has to have its allure, after all. But this category has zero allure. Maybe I should start calling it a 'Lemming category': One goes over the edge and the others mindlessly follow. [ss]
Posted by Jordan Pine at 5:29 PM