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BY JORDAN PINE
This month’s theme is products that have appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. In case you live under a rock, Shark Tank is a reality show where a panel of investors listens to pitches and decides whether to buy an ownership stake in a company. QVC queen Lori Greiner, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and FUBU founder Daymond John are among the sharks who appear on the show.
Two items that recently rolled out on DRTV were also pitched on Shark Tank. Of course, there is an undeniable link between our industry and the people and products of the hit show. DRTV veteran Kevin Harrington was an early shark, and Greiner pitched her products
on DRTV both before and after she became a shark.
As mentioned, the Simply Fit Board is not Lori Greiner’s
first Shark Tank product to appear on DRTV. Here are a
few others that did not roll out:
; Fiber Fix. Tested: January 2014. Greiner invested
$120,000 for a 12-percent stake in this company in
October 2013. This was her first attempt at accomplishing what she has at left: to QVC and then to
DRTV with a cameo by her.
; Screen Mend. Tested: July 2014. Greiner also
bought a stake in this company in October 2013 —
50 percent for $30,000. Once again, the path was
QVC to DRTV. On TV, the name changed to Magic
Mend. (The commercial was written by yours truly.)
; Bambooee. Tested: April 2013. Nome Krasiansky
tried this product on DRTV before going on Shark
Tank. He had pitched on TV before, in a commercial
for TELEBrands’ ID Blocker in 2011. After striking
out twice, he sold 10 percent of his company to
Griener for $200,000 in February 2014.
; Squatty Potty. Tested: June 2013. This is also tested
on DRTV before going to Shark Tank. Two other marketers also made attempts with similar products.
Step ‘N Go tested in 2013 and Poo Pal tested in
2014, one month after Greiner bought a 10-percent
stake in the original company for $350,000.
Greiner isn’t the only Shark to get in on the DRTV action.
Here are other products that appeared in both places:
; Last Lid. Tested: April 2012. Daymond John bought
60 percent of this company for $40,000 in 2012.
; The Mission Belt. John also invested in this
company, buying 20 percent for $50,000 in 2013.
Both IdeaVillage and TELEBrands recently tested
their own versions (Comfort Click; Size Glider). In
November 2010, Allstar also tested a women’s ver-
sion of the concept under the name IncrediBelt.
; Rapid Ramen. Tested: August 2014. Mark Cuban
bought 15 percent of this company for $150,000
in October 2013. Word is the product did well at
retail, but the commercial did not make my True
Top Spenders list that year. An attempt at a line
extension called Rapid Mac, which tested on DRTV
in April 2015, also failed to roll out.
Description: A toilet bowl light
Main Pitch: “Transforms your toilet
into a soft and gentle night light”
Main Offer: $12.99 for one
Bonus: Second one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Ontel Products
Rating: 3 out of 5
I first wrote about this in February 2016 when it had been tried only once before (as
Bowl Brite in July 2014). Since then, it has been tried again (as GlowBowl in April
2016), but this is still the only one to roll out. All versions are based on a similar item
called IllumiBowl, which began on Kickstarter and appeared on Shark Tank in March.
Shark Kevin O’Leary ended up buying 25 percent of the company for $100,000. Although
I think this commercial hit the pitch correctly, I am still skeptical about the market
demand for a color-changing toilet light. That’s why my rating is “on the fence.”
SIMPLY FIT BOARD
Description: A fitness board
Main Pitch: “A fun, effective, and easy way to get fit and toned in just minutes a day”
Main Offer: $39.99 for one (choice of four colors)
Bonus: Workout DVD and eating
Starring: Lori Greiner
Marketer: Allstar Products
Rating: 5 out of 5
Mother and daughter team Linda
Clark and Gloria Hoffman pitched
this balance board with a twist on Shark Tank in November 2015. Greiner closed the
deal, buying 18 percent of the company for $125,000. She took the product to QVC the
following day and sold it out. Fast-forward nine months, and it’s a hit on DRTV as well.
Kudos to Greiner for finally getting a DRTV hit after many years of trying. Fitness is one
of the most difficult categories for short-form DRTV, so this is no small feat.
Rating: 3 out of 5 ; ; ; ; ;
Rating: 5 out of 5 ; ; ; ; ;