March 08, 2022

New & True: Mighty Interesting

A DR classic! (and note the socks)

Before you get too excited about that headline, it's mostly a play on words. In point of fact, not much of interest happened last month. Just another episode of Brands Gone Wild. (It’s not nearly as stimulating as the 'girls' version, but there’s a much lower chance of being thrown in jail.)

Looking over the DRMetrix reports, only two campaigns really jumped out at me. Both come from a marketer who is not one of the Big 5. Both also feature items from categories on my 'don't even bother' list. So that’s what I found interesting. Here's the rundown...

Mighty Thirsty Mop (Top Dog/Hutton-Miller). DRMetrix says this campaign has been airing for months, but this is the first time I've seen it remain at the top of the charts. The commercial stars Jon Florell and features some classic DR mop demos, including the 'over the head' demo (shown above) to prove it doesn't leak. I also like the subtle touch of having Florell wear white socks (that never get dirty) as he does all the demos. There's a reason Hutton-Miller is the undisputed True Top Producer, folks. They think of everything, including the little things only a true aficionado would appreciate. (Like how that compliment somehow boomeranged back to me?)

Nuzzle (Top Dog/Hutton-Miller). There’s so much to like about this creative, but I’ll start with something that may seem minor: I love the voice-over artist. His read is modern and upbeat, hitting all the right notes for these social-media dominant times. Then there's the true brilliance of the problem opening. As someone who has scripted more than his fair share of commercials, I can tell you it was no easy task to come up with something original. Most wouldn't have bothered to try. I mean, this has to be the 349th opening to a sleep-product commercial in DR history, so there are plenty of ideas out there to "borrow." But that's not H-M's style. They put in the work and created something funny and fresh. Bravo!

That impressive creativity mostly makes up for the uninspired "NASA-inspired pillow" line, which is too close to that old groaner "Space Age" for my liking. (For years, I was on a mission to eradicate the phrase from all DRTV marketing. See here, here and here. Heck, H-M even once joined me in the crusade.) At least in this variation, there’s a clever tie-in to the promise: "nano-coil fibers" create a pillow that "pushes against gravity" for a "feeling of plush weightlessness." Nice save.

You'll notice I haven't said much about the products. Did I mention I'm not a fan of mops or pillows? Mops have been on my 'bad categories' list for years. All of floor-care looks like a vast wasteland from the perspective of a DR historian. There are occasional hits to be sure, but oh-so-many failures! At least Top Dog is working in an area where it has had some success before. (It was part of the second successful run of Smart Mop back in 2008-2009.) This mop is also reminiscent of Telebrands' One Sweep, which had two rollouts: once in 1999-2000 and once in 2004-2005. Old Gold for the win again.

As for pillows, I think of them like nonstick pans: There's a lot of potential if you can break through, but good luck trying to guess what pitch is going to do the trick. The only good news is that no one has built an insurmountable lead in pillows like Emson has built in pans. Contour was trying, but this Top Dog success proves that it's anyone's game. Or no one's.

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