May 23, 2014

Spin Balls

Description: Light-up spinning toy
Main Pitch: "Combines LED lights with the ancient art of Poi"
Main Offer: $19.99 for a set with instructional DVD
Bonus: Spin Tails, carrying pack (free)
Marketer: Ontel
Prediction: On the fence

My first thought when watching this commercial was: What the heck is "Poi"? Turns out it's a type of performance art that originated in New Zealand, which raised another question for me: Why the heck would anyone care? This is a case of a DR marketer and/or producer over-thinking things a bit.

Go back and check out Fushigi. You'll notice they never once refer to the venerable art of "contact juggling" in the commercial even though that's what Fushigi was really all about. Instead, they simply talk about magic balls that defy gravity. That's how you do it -- and that's how this commercial does it after that minor, initial misstep. In fact, in some ways I think the demonstrations in this spot are better, cooler and look easier to do than the demonstrations in Fushigi. If that means anything, this one could be a hit.

On the other hand, Allstar's Myachi had some of the same things going for it (including a solid sales history at toy stores), and it went nowhere. My conclusion is that predicting success in this category is like predicting what the next Christmas toy craze will be.

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