September 14, 2010

Review: My BFF

Description: Fish eggs that hatch from a tea bag
Main Pitch: "Grow up to eight full-size fish in just weeks"
Main Offer: $19.99 for the Miracle Fish Pouch and fish food (brine shrimp)
Bonus: Magnifying glass, breeding manual, etc.
Marketer: EWO Corp. (i.e. Nancy Duitch)
Prediction: ?

If there is one card that trumps well-reasoned criteria like my Divine Seven, it's what many in the industry call "wow factor." When this card is played, rational considerations such as "it has to solve a problem" go out the window. When people gotta have it, they gotta have it.

I've turned to this "trump card theory" to explain the success of a few recent outliers, Snuggie being the foremost. Now I've heard all the logical arguments for Snuggie, including the one that goes, "No, really! Blankets slipping off your shoulder is a big problem in America today." Sorry, but I'm not buying it. The only explanation that makes sense is people think the Druid look is super cool (perhaps in a self-deprecating way) and that is driving this (almost literal) cult phenomenon.

Anyway, this attempt to bring back a new variation of the 1960s Sea-Monkeys craze may just be another playing of the trump card. (I note with proper irony that these things eat sea monkeys for breakfast.) This campaign certainly has a lot of "wow" going for it. But since predicting what's going to be considered "super cool" is impossible, all I'm comfortable saying is this: It has potential.


  1. One of those dim dark memories I have is of an ad from Popular Science or Mechanics Illustrated from the 70s featuring very similar little fish but they were going by the common name of Panchax then.
    It will be interesting to see if the internet age can make dried fish popular this time around!

  2. Home World magazine says that Telebrands has its copy "Wonder Fish" as a competitor, let's see their spot?

  3. The sea monkeys ad ran forever in the Johnson Smith catalog of novelty items.