October 30, 2007

Five Bona-Fide Hits: Perfect Pushup, Listen Up, Samurai Shark, Green Bags and the OneTouch Jar Opener

Using my new methodology, I took a look at the IMS and Jordan Whitney charts for the past several months and came up with a surprisingly short list of bona-fide DRTV hits.

The items below are new (launched this year) and have appeared on the Jordan Whitney for at least 12 consecutive weeks. They have also appeared on the IMS chart enough times to validate their success. (Each item is linked to its Web site in case you need a refresher.)

1. Perfect Pushup (31 weeks)
2. Listen Up (28 weeks)
3. Samurai Shark (18 weeks)
4. Green Bags (16 weeks)

Click play above to watch the Listen Up DRTV commercial.

Several additional items are nearing the 90-day (12 weeks) mark, but haven’t quite made it yet. I also found several items that inexplicably appear on the Jordan Whitney week after week but have never once appeared on the IMS chart in the last 90 days. They include: Zorbeez (34 weeks), Tater Mitts (30 weeks) and Huggable Hangers (17 weeks). These may be true hits, but lacking second-source verification I have to exclude them.

I also searched for items that have consistently appeared on the IMS chart over the last 90 days and appeared on the Jordan Whitney enough times to validate their success. The result of that analysis is only one additional item:

5. OneTouch Jar Opener

That’s it! Just five new hits in the last 90 days.

Now for the really interesting part: How they stack up against my Divine Seven product criteria and/or predictions.

1. Perfect Pushup – I never reviewed this item, but I did assign it a D7 score of 4 out of 7. It failed my test when it came to: a) solving a problem, b) having the right price for DRTV (it’s $40), and 3) being appropriate for the older DRTV consumer. Despite these weaknesses, it is THE big hit of the year so far. Apparently, a lot of young guys are buying this, and they are willing to pay to “get ripped.” Is this an outlier, or should the D7 be reconsidered? Only time will tell.

2. Listen Up – This IdeaVillage item launched in 2006, but it didn’t roll out until 2007. I did not publish a review, but I did evaluate it using the D7 criteria. My score: 6 out of 7. The one area I questioned was credibility. Would people believe the product worked as advertised? The answer turned out to be yes.

3. Samurai Shark – When I reviewed this SAS Group item in April, I wrote it was “unlikely to succeed” because it was entering “a crowded category with lots of similar solutions” and there was “nothing unique” about the product. As it turns out, I underestimated the Billy Mays factor. As for the D7, I gave this item 6 out 0f 7.

4. Green Bags – For some reason, I never saw or reviewed this Allstar item: at least not in its current incarnation. But back in 2005, I reviewed its predecessor, EverFresh Green Bags. Back then I wrote, “This is the item that keeps doing well on shopping channels, and I can see why. I think it will be a winner in this format as well.” Since this pre-dated the D7, I never gave it a score.

5. OneTouch Jar Opener – This is the only item on the list that received 7 out of 7 on the D7. When ARM launched it in May I wrote, “We have a winner at last! This product gets high marks in every category.”

So with the exception of the Perfect Pushup, which seems to have snuck up on everyone, the D7 methodology for evaluating new items is holding up fairly well. It seems items are succeeding if they are weak in one area, but items weak in more than one area are not making it. That said, if more Perfect Pushups pop up, I will have to rethink the criteria and test a new system of evaluation! Stay tuned ...

Oh, and if you think I missed any items, feel free to post a comment.

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