October 17, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Slim pickings these last few weeks, so here are some quick reviews just to keep you up to date:

  1. Edge of Glory. Starring: Anthony Sullivan. Marketer: Telebrands. Producer: Sullivan Productions. Pitch: "Put the 'sharp' back into your old knives." Comments: There would be nothing wrong with this test if it wasn't attempt No. 5 at selling a knife sharpener on TV this year. In fact, this is the third attempt to sell this exact sharpener, following Tristar's Kleva Sharp and SAS Group's Samurai Pro. With the exception of the credit-card demo (new and very cool) and perhaps the Lady Gaga reference, there is nothing in this commercial to suggest this team has discovered something the others missed. [a]
  2. Heel Dock. Pitch: "The first and only solution to scuffed heels and worn floor mats." Comments: Another solution in search of a problem. [a]
  3. Leak-2-O. Pitch: "Stop that leak before it becomes a flood." Marketer: Allstar. Producer: Producers Direct. Comments: Cool item, but it's trying to sell prevention. [a]
  4. Pedi Spin. Pitch: "The ultimate foot-smoothing miracle you've been waiting for." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Producer: Concepts TV. Comments: Thera Spin re-imagined and re-launched. I'm still on the fence, but the timing is getting better. [a]
  5. Perfect Pot. Pitch: "Measures like a measuring cup, steams like a steamer, strains like a colander ... and it pours like a ladle." Starring: Darlene Cahill. Marketer: IdeaVillage. Producer: Hutton-Miller. Comments: This one violates my "Swiss Army knife" rule. Not surprised this site is down. [a]
  6. Rollee Pollee. Pitch: "The only self-containing napping system." Comments: This might be a good idea if Pillow Pets and Happy Nappers didn't exist. Since they do, it's little more than an 'also ran' with much weaker creative, especially that jingle! [a]
  7. Strutz. Pitch: "The human shock absorber that helps alleviate foot pain." Marketer: Ontel. Comments: Although the product tries to be different, it's really just an insole -- and insoles are on my "bad categories for DRTV" list. Simply put, they never work. As for the creative, it also tries to be different by using a jingle and a cartoon character. I don't think such things add value in a (non-kid) DRTV spot. [a]

October 05, 2011

Dueling Mini-Speakers

Review: Sonic Jammers

Description: Portable mini-speakers
Main Pitch: "Gigantic sound and kickin' bass"
Main Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay S&H)
Producer: Zoom TV Productions
Website: www.SonicJammers.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

Review: Music Bullet

Starring: Tim Goewey
Main Offer: Same as above
Bonus: Same as above
Producer: Same as above
Website: www.GetMusicBullet.com
Prediction: Unlikely to succeed

IdeaVillage is doing something most marketers don't: Competing against itself. The two spots above, which are for the same product, pit a non-traditional creative style (a music video embedded in a spot) against a more traditional DRTV approach.

Kudos to IdeaVillage for doing it right. Whereas some marketers test a radical new approach without bothering also to test a control, they are practicing good marketing science.

Asked to guess, I would pick the traditional approach to win this duel, but it doesn't much matter. The item is a non-starter. There are just too many competing products at retail for this one to have a real shot.

Review: Beauty View

Description: A lighted magnifier for mirrors
Main Pitch: "Illuminate and magnify your mirror up to 20x"
Main Offer: $10 for one with carrying case
Bonus: 2nd one with case, micro-trimmer (just pay processing)
Marketer: Telebrands
Website: www.BeautyViewMirror.com
Prediction: Likely to succeed

My impression is that women are always struggling to get enough light, and a good enough view of themselves, to perfect their look. Granted, that perception is likely skewed by the few women I know well enough to be aware of their bathroom habits. If the women I know are typical, this is a great problem solver that could find a market.

My only cause for doubt is that there are many solutions to this problem already on the market. None work with an existing mirror or cost this little, but if women already have a favorite vanity they are unlikely to buy this.

So there's the case for and against. Taking a guess, I came down on the "for" side. We'll see.

Weekly Round-Up

  1. Blah Blah Bracelets. Pitch: "The customizable bracelet that lets you express yourself and do it with style." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Producer: Hutton-Miller. Comments: From everything I know about marketing to minors (which admittedly isn't much), tweens are the hardest to reach using DRTV. [a]
  2. Comfy Mat. Pitch: "The miracle memory foam mat that cushions and supports you on any surface." Producer: Concepts TV. Comments: The site is already down for this one. [a]
  3. Cool Steam. Pitch: "Remove the toughest wrinkles from your clothes in seconds." Marketer: IdeaVillage. Comments: This seems like an odd product to try when $15 steam solutions such as Steam Buddy are already on the market. [a]
  4. Eva-Dry. Pitch: "Attracts moisture molecules without the use of electricity or chemicals." Starring: Brian Fasulo. Comments: This product has potential, but it is pitched in the most confusing way possible. It's very hard to figure out what the product does or how it works. [a]
  5. ID Blocker. Pitch: "Self-inking stamp that blocks out your personal information so that no one else can see it." Marketer: Telebrands. Comments: A lesser version of SAS Group's Black Out. The pitchman's accent is very odd. When he says the name of the product, it sounds like the audio is going in reverse! [a]
  6. Instabol. Pitch: "Instantly turns any disposable zip storage bag into a serving bowl." Marketer: Lenfest. Producer: Opfer Communications. Comments: A terrible idea for a product. The creative team made the best of a bad situation. [a]
  7. Landi Nails. Pitch: "Chip-resistant protection that lasts and lasts." Comments: I like this one, but if Nails AR New (see No. 4) didn't work ... This also has a bit of the "kitchen sink" problem. More to the point, the UV Lamp is a cool bonus, but it puts the price $10 above impulse. [a]
  8. Oral Armor. Pitch: "Oral spray that kills the common harmful germs found in your mouth before they cause infections that may make you sick." Comments: Another ill-fated attempt to market to germaphobes using DRTV. [a]
  9. Purse-It. Pitch: "The fun, new way to have a brand-new purse every day." Comments: This one strikes me as too young and too "crafty" for short-form DRTV. [a]
  10. Store-Away Ottoman. Pitch: "The ingenious ottoman that folds up and stores right under your couch or chair." Marketer: Allstar. Producer: Blue Moon. Comments: Neat concept, but the site is already down.[a]

October 03, 2011

Don Lapre Found Dead

The FOX news affiliate in Phoenix reports Don Lapre has been found dead in his jail cell.

Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Matt Hershey says at first glance, his death appears to be a suicide -- but the investigation is ongoing.

His trial was due to begin Tuesday ...

Lapre was being held in federal jail without bond, awaiting trial on charges of defrauding at least 220,000 people out of nearly $52 million ...

A grand jury indicted the 47-year-old on 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering in connection to his company 'The Greatest Vitamin in the World.'