Everyone has chuckled over those As Seen on TV commercials at one time or another. But when you look at the earnings for some of these products, you might start to think maybe their inventors and investors are having the last laugh.
The Ped-Egg ad, which shows picture after picture of before/after feet in all their callused glory, convinced enough people that it can roll away dead skin to bring in at least $450 million, while at least 9 million pet owners purchased PediPaws (a motorized nail file), CNBC said. And as a whole, the As Seen on TV industry brings in $400 billion per year selling “stuff you never thought you needed,” according to the industry’s website.
It’s Flippin’ Fantastic
People joke that sleep deprivation accounts for the success of these products, since some of the advertisements run in the middle of the night. But there’s quite a lot to be learned about the products’ popularity, beginning with the fact that most of them offer simple solutions to widely experienced problems and are competitively priced. The Flippin Fantastic pancake maker? Enough said. Who doesn’t get irritated when the batter runs together in the pan? Problem solved for $14.95.
In fact, there’s an entire video montage, shown here on BGR Media, that showcases some of the most fabulous recent releases. There’s Glideware, which says it will revolutionize your cabinets; Whisk Wiper, which does precisely what its name implies; and the Gator Grip Universal Socket by Endeavor, which handles a variety of nuts, bolts, and so on.
It’s clear that the problems the inventions seek to fix may not be huge ones, but consumers will generally take a chance on a $9.95 solution, Louis Foreman, CEO, Edison Nation, told ABC. Take Eggies. These plastic pods hard-boil eggs without the shell. The inventor wanted to make deviled eggs without the hassle, and apparently at least six million people agreed with him (which is how many sold when the product was released in 2012).
Television offers an ideal advertising medium for these products, because it’s still a giant megaphone, offering more reach than alternatives like digital, Ad Week says. When presented to the right audience, these mass-appeal inventions get swept up like perfectly formed pancakes, as the seller is able to visually demonstrate the problem in question, how their product can solve it, and the product’s ease of use. Entrepreneur specifically notes that sales are highest when the ad is placed in a time slot where there’s a “high probability” that the “majority” of people watching will find value in the item being shown.
The advent of automated buying will make it easier to determine which stations and spots are ideal for As Seen on TV commercials. Its technology offers the ability to make buying decisions based on data analysis, which allows advertisers to determine where their commercials will bring the most bang for the buck. Automated workflow processes make it easier to buy across all the local stations in a market. And brands—including the companies that specialize in As Seen on TV products—can readily benefit from this kind of cost-effective purchasing and audience targeting.
Other reasons these commercials (and their products) are flourishing? They tend to be 60 seconds long, with a visible call-to-action on the screen for at least 40 seconds, giving the viewer time to see how the product works. And they have an attractive price point. Entrepreneur explains the product must sell for no more than the impulse-buy limit of $29.95 (although $19.95 is even better).