July 29, 2015

Car Cane

Description: A portable handle
Main Pitch: "Get in and out of your car with ease"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: Travel bag (free)
Brand: Bell + Howell
Marketer: Emson
Producer: Kerrmercials
Watch the spot

It’s a little late to make a DRTV prediction about this project – it has reached the top spot on the Jordan Whitney Greensheet – but it still might end up struggling at retail. I’ve seen it before with products for seniors. Whether it’s all-terrain canes, large-print keyboards or the like, strong CPOs don’t seem to translate into strong retail numbers.

Part of the problem is that seniors are a segment of a segment. That they happen to be a segment within the biggest buying group for TV products only exacerbates the problem. A sober analysis would show the customer profile doesn’t match up well enough to support placement in the high-turn, ‘As Seen on TV’ endcap at most mass-market retailers. The drug accounts are a likely exception, but they are only a portion of the normal distribution for DRTV items.

S7 Analysis: In S7 terms, the issue here is the target again. Some senior products have gotten around this limitation by credibly broadening their pitch. For instance, hearing-assistance devices are called “sound amplifiers,” disguised as music players or phone accessories, and pitched to eavesdropping neighbors. But this product is quite obviously an assistance device for elderly people. That makes me think seniors will be unlikely to buy it for themselves, which would mean the whole campaign hinges on people buying it for their senior loved ones – and I don’t love those odds.

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