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WHAT MAKES UP THE SCIMARK SEVEN?
The PRODUCT should be: ( 1) needed; ( 2) targeted; and ( 3) different.
The CATEGORY should be: ( 4) un-crowded.
The COMMERCIAL should be: ( 5) engaging; ( 6) motivating; and ( 7) clear.
Mark it on your calendar: 2017 is the year “DRTV brand” became a legitimate phrase. That’s right, you can now say it straight- faced and without a derisive snort immediately following its
For years, DRTV marketers have been dreaming of this day. Their
sad stories were always the same: after a period of initial success, and
often despite staffing up and spending millions on low-return advertising,
the brand would fizzle and eventually fail. It seemed the core conflict
between branding (long-term strategy) and DRTV selling (short-term execution) was irreconcilable — until this year.
It’s not so much that our industry resolved the conflict. It’s that we
finally found categories deep enough to generate the steady stream of
hits we need to sustain brand awareness. Below are the four categories
that got us here.
As I wrote last month, TELEBrands
must have thought nonstick cookware was
over after its historic run with Orgreenic.
Then, only two years later, Emson launched
Gotham Steel. It turns out the category
was just getting started. In fact, it has such
strong legs, it’s able to support three growing brands at the same time.
So far, I have archived 33 TV tests —
exactly 11 per brand. At press time, Gotham
Steel Bacon Bonanza was No. 16 on the
DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Tristar’s Copper
Chef Cookware was No. 22, Gotham Steel
Pot was No. 23, and TELEBrands’ Red Copper Flipwich was No. 34.
Meanwhile, the Jordan Whitney Greensheet is promoting three Gotham
Steel items and three Red Copper items. Who knows how many of
these campaigns will do well at retail, but I hear the shelves are just as
cluttered as the charts.
After some initial hot competition,
Ideavillage now stands alone with
its Copper Fit brand. It is taking full
advantage of the monopoly. At last
count, the marketer had logged TV
tests for 16 different products, six this
year alone, and rolled out with more
than half of them. That’s a string of
success stretching back to 2014 —
and still going strong.
This trend snuck up on the
industry like a commando on
an unwitting sentry. (See
what I did there?) Few
suspected that a
become a hit,
let alone launch
two robust product
lines. This includes me, and I share credit for the hit that started it all
Yet here we are with 26 TV tests, nine rollouts — and counting. This
vein may actually end up being the richest of them all, as there appears
to be more than one category that’s
compatible with a tactical brand. For
instance, Bell+Howell TacGlasses just
established a beachhead in eyewear.
(OK, I’ll stop now.)
Last but not least, I must also
mention Ideavillage’s Finishing Touch
and Micro Touch brands. Long ago, they
became the first original (i.e., non-li-
censed) DRTV names to deliver the lon-
gevity required to be called “brands” —
The first, a gold-plated rotary trimmer called Finishing Touch
Flawless, was still in the top 10 at press time. The second, an electric/
wet razor hybrid called Micro Touch Solo, remains in the top 20. That
since, prior to
2017, the only
THE YEAR ‘DRTV BRAND’ STOPPED BEING AN OXYMORON
BY JORDAN PINE
Finishing Touch Flawless