September 02, 2010

Review: Sticky Wicky

Description: A reusable lint roller
Main Pitch: "Will pick up anything: dog hair, cat hair, lint, dust"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: Small (travel) and large (handled) version
Starring: An unnamed pitchwoman
Marketer: Ontel
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Believe it or not, I do not object to the creative approach here. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a soft spot for old-school pitches. Sure, this pitchwoman's is quirky and her humor is a little odd. But it is also genuine and endearing (instead of tasteless or forced) and the focus is on selling the product. To give credit where credit is due, it's the "Vince Offer Method" done correctly.

However, the product and the commercial both have key weaknesses that make this campaign unlikely to succeed. First, the product is a resurrection of an old item (the "Magic Lint Remover") that was a hit in the 1990s. That's usually a good thing, but sometimes these products just don't have the same impact they had years ago. With so many cheap lint rollers on the market (like this one from Scotch/3M), the need just may not be there. Also, the "reusable" pitch has a credibility issue, but I think the commercial does a good job addressing it. Sticking it to a mirror after it was rinsed was a great demo.

Second, and speaking of demos, the commercial over-uses quads and quick cuts. Inexplicably, the demos the pitchwoman does before your eyes compete with -- or are even covered over (!) with -- "pop up" windows featuring other demos. The effect creates confusion because you don't know where to look. By the time you figure it out, the scene is over. In other words, you never really get a chance to see this thing in action, and that's critical for buying it (figuratively and literally).

If fixed, this campaign could have a shot, assuming consumers disagree with my assessment of the category.

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