sold via infomercials and retail outlets
to more than 2 million do-it-yourselfers
(DIYs) worldwide, Pro Tool is a quirky
combination of the bottom-line demands of DRTV and an orientation that
a relaxed “quality of life counts as much
For seven years, the niche market
Drill Doctor has sold via half-hour
DRTV and retail outlets beyond anyone’s initial expectations. Then, in 2007
Professional Tool Manufacturing introduced Work Sharp, an innovative bench-top grinding and sharpening tool with a
model for both the automotive and DIY
marketplace, and an advanced model for
the professional woodworker, continuing
its success in the DR marketplace.
Pro Tool, Atomic Make a
In 1997, Pro Tool introduced its Drill
Doctor. The sharpening technology was
a simpler, more economical version of its
In seven years, Pro Tool has sold
more than 2 million Drill Doctors
through DRTV and retail.
infomercial, you’re probably also influencing a thousand other buyers.”
“Besides, branding is ultimately about
profit, anyway,” continues Garnett. “The
question is how to get profit today as well
as in five to 10 years. We want to sell,
yes, but also to create a clear vision of the
product that connects more strongly with
people’s lives, and remains with them
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21 Year Track Record with
Hank O’Dougherty, president and CEO,
Kevin Blodgett, vice president of marketing
and Kyle Crawford, product manager, lead
Pro Tool’s DRTV efforts.
longer than the traditional yell-and-sell
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sister company Darex Corp.’s internationally best-selling, industrial drill sharpeners. Darex had already established itself as
the world leader in specialty grinding and
“The concept of drill bit sharpeners
wasn’t new,” says Kyle Crawford, product
manager. “But bringing the technology
to an ease-level and price point that the
home hobbyist, as opposed to trade professionals such as carpenters and contractors could use, was.”
Not only was the concept an unknown
among potential buyers, but also the mechanics of use weren’t particularly intuitive. No longer would a hobbyist with a
broken drill bit have to replace it with a
Hank O’Dougherty, company CEO
and president, suspected that a different
advertising medium, offering education
and demonstration, would be key to
marketing a product with advantages not
readily discerned by viewing a box on a
shelf or through a traditional branding
approach in magazines such as WOOD,
Workbench, Woodworker’s Journal or
Family Handyman. After calling several
DRTV agencies, with little callback success, O’Dougherty received a referral to
Atomic Direct, a DRTV agency based in
With clients such as AT&T, Sears,
Bissell and Hamilton Beach, Atomic
Direct was known for specializing in a
unique, mixed-channel blend of branding
combined with DRTV. “Brand DRTV is
a very different beast from the traditional,” says Doug Garnett, company CEO.
“Yes, we sell on TV, but generally the
biggest benefit comes from increased sales
at retail. For everyone buying direct on an
Latest Campaign Sharpened by Past
Much like when they initially took on
the Drill Doctor campaign, the Pro Tool
and Atomic Direct teams started with a
brand new drawing board for the Work