Sauna Pants

If you can’t already tell, I’m starting to get really into the products with the cheesy infomercials just for the sake of watching and posting the cheesy infomercials. Buckle up. Here come the sauna pants.

 

 

Product. This product is an at-home inclusive sauna experience all wrapped up in a flattering shade of orange pants. You wrap the pants around you (one size fits all, I believe) and then control the level of heat from a dial located conveniently right on the crotch. The pants will then immerse you in a “deep, warm heat” that will take out any excess water from your mid section and pants. The pants are priced at $29.99. They are so confident in their magic heat pants that they even have a money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your sauna pants, you get all of your money back no questions asked. Sign me up.

Demographics. The main target market for this item would be 1) those who are looking for a quick, easy way to get in shape and 2) people who want to live a life of luxury but can’t afford luxurious amenities, like an actual sauna in their house. That would leave us with middle and low-income American families.

Channels. A product like this should be sold in stores that have sections devoted to self-care. I’m not talking about your hawty-taughty (did I spell that right? Don’t answer that.) fancy spa stores, I’m talking about Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Wal-Mart. Position it near the health and beauty products, and sell it as “taking care of yourself” or “treating yourself.”

Sauna pants could be amazing. They could be horrible. I don’t know and I don’t really intend to find out. Just please be advised that this product WILL give a whole new meaning to the phrase “pants on fire.”

The Better Marriage Blanket

Divorce rates are climbing every year, and finally there’s something we can do about it. No, not counseling. Not being open and honest either. Rather, it’s a blanket that can absorb your farts. Break out the checkbooks.

Product. The better marriage blanket is a blanket that looks and feels like a real comforter, but has a secret layer of activated carbon paper on the inside. It’s the same fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons, but instead of using it against chemical weapons you can use it against your spouse’s farts. Happy day. Their infomercial (below) even promotes it as a wedding or anniversary gift.

 

 

You owe it to your marriage.

Demographics. Ok so I couldn’t find any stats on “gullible newlyweds” so let’s just go with married people in general. In 2014 statistics show that there were 59.63 married couples in the US. This is a pretty sizable market. Let’s say that maybe 5% of them are stupid enough to buy a fart-dampening blanket. That’s still almost 3 million couples that would buy this thing! Creating an elaborate advertising campaign with high exposure and reach may turn this product from “are you f**king kidding me?” to “Hey I know someone who has that!”

I would look up statistics for “couples with problems in the bedroom” but then I said that sentence out loud and realized it was a horrible idea. So we’re just going to stick to ALL married people.

Channels. For something like this, I say go all out. Social media, print advertisements, commercials, infomercials, and digital advertisements—anything that can be done should be done. Increasing exposure means that there will be some people out there who see it and decide that it’s actually a good idea to get this for yourself, or your partner, or anyone who are in any kind of relationship ever.

It would be ideal for health professionals to recommend this to married patients who have flatulence problems. This way health issues would not cause problems to intimate couples. But, much like protein ketchup, no self-respecting doctor is going to endorse something like the Better Marriage Blanket. Maybe just get it for your frat bro from college who’s finally tying the knot as a bachelor party gag gift.

The WhyCry Baby Cry Analyzer

In honor of my brother and his wife finding out that they are expecting their first child, I decided to make this post about something baby related. The WhyCry Baby Cry Analyzer—find out exactly what is making your child cry so you can fix it as fast as possible.

Product. The WhyCry baby crying analyzer listens to your baby’s crying—much like Shazam would listen to that Wiz Khalifa song you’ve heard on the radio that’s actually pretty decent considering it’s Wiz Khalifa—and then analyzes the frequencies and pitches in the cry. Based on this information, the device can supposedly tell you why your baby’s diaper is in a knot: is it bored, sleepy, hungry, annoyed, or stressed?

Ok I understand the hungry and sleepy sections. But annoyed and stressed? What could an infant child possibly be stressed about? Is your milk too tepid? Has Dora and her monkey friend encountered a roadblock on their journey to Ice Cream Mountain? Let me light these lavender-scented incents and massage your tiny back.

The device is priced at $85.99.

Demographics. This one is probably the most obvious demographic: new mothers. Mothers who are obsessed with their children and cannot bear to see them in any kind of discomfort. Mothers who have heard nothing but screams and cries since they brought their little miracles home from the hospital. Mothers who need to sleep. 4.1 million women gave birth in the past 12 months, according to the US census. This is a huge market that the WhyCry can tap into. I’m sure these poor women, while thrilled to have brought beautiful children into the world, are tired. They will do anything to make their children sleep peacefully and contently so that they can…well…sleep peacefully and contently.

Channels. For the purposes of this blog, let’s say that the WhyCry cry analyzer totally works and is definitely not complete horse shit. When new mothers are in desperate need of help, they use a resource that is becoming more and more popular each year: mommy bloggers. There are currently over 3.9 million mommy bloggers on line. Mommy bloggers have become increasingly valuable to brands, in particular. Studies show that these bloggers mention brands an average of 73 times per week. Other moms will read these posts and take what their fellow moms say about these brands to heart when making all of their purchasing decisions.

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The WhyCry should send a free product to some of the top most influential mommy bloggers (of course, with a note that says that any mention of their product must include a disclaimer that says that the company sent them a free product). The mommies will then use the product and hopefully write positive reviews about how it works and makes their lives so much easier and what have you. With an endorsement from their fellow mommies, moms will purchase the WhyCry and drive sales up.

Hypothetically, this product is amazing and can potentially bring peace to a lot of struggling moms out there. But would I recommend that my sister-in-law and mommy-to-be buy it? No.

The Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar

Well world, we did it. The Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar is on the market—we have found a way to sell people air. End of introduction.

Product. The Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar is a large contraption that increases the concentration of oxygen in your airflow by up to 43%. The advertisements maintain the science that since 90% of our energy comes from oxygen, a higher concentration of oxygen when you sleep will cause you to relax more, which will increase your alertness and focus during the day. The product also includes “soothing music” to enhance your relaxation level. It is priced at $399.99.

Product benefits include: using a headset to take in oxygen. Because I guess our bodies can’t do that on their own anymore. It supposedly will decrease your stress level as well as cause you to get more rejuvenation in a less period of time.

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Demographics. A study done in 2011 reveals that roughly 63% of Americans are not getting the amount of sleep they need on a daily basis. This blows our target market wide open. However, this particular machine does not claim to help people who have problems with disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. So, to avoid any crazy lawsuits, I would suggest that we target people with more mild sleep disorders. Even better, we should target people who don’t get a lot of sleep to begin with, so when they do they need to cram a whole lot of rejuvenation into a short period of time.

TIME magazine came out with a list of the top 10 most sleep deprived jobs out there. These jobs include: home health aids, financial analysts, police officers, lawyers, social workers, and a few more. These are the kinds of people that the Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar should target. The product claims to increase restfulness during the same amount of sleep that you usually get, and people employed in these fields need to get double the rest in half the time. I would also add new mothers to this list, as they often only get to sleep when their babies sleep—which is rarely if ever.

Channels. A lot of the jobs on that list (financial analyst, lawyer, secretary) tend to be located mainly in metropolitan areas. Because of this, it may be smart to have a print ad campaign on places that people would see them during their commute to work. Billboards on the sides of major highways, or posters on trains that go between big cities and the surrounding suburbs. These print advertisements won’t be able to communicate all of the benefits of the product, so it’s important to also use a pull strategy to get people to inquire more about what exactly the Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar is and why they should bother buying it. We can direct these people to a website devoted to the product, and the “many benefits” it has. Of course, the website should have a clean, sleek design and should be easy to navigate. It should also be optimized for mobile use, since people may want to look it up immediately on their phones while on their way to their soul sucking jobs that deprive them of sleep so much they’re considering buying a $400 dollar sleep machine in order to cope.

I would have to have some serious sleep issues to consider buying this thing. Nothing about strapping a machine to my head while I’m asleep says relaxing. But who knows, maybe in the future the Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar will be in every bedroom in America.

The Face Blanket

Oh man. It has finally happened. All human advancement in any industry—science, technology, the arts—has lead up to this. We have reached the pinnacle of human innovation—introducing the Face Blanket.

Product. The Face Blanket is exactly what it sounds like—a blanket for your face. Honestly, there’s no marketing to do here in regard to it’s name. They have managed to communicate the function of the product without being too flashy. The Face Blanket it basically a piece of cloth with a hole cut in it for your nose. This way you can put it over your face to keep it warm, without having to breathe in stale air. It is made of “soft, luxurious” fleece and comes in 3 obnoxiously loud colors: bright blue, bright red, and bright yellow. It is priced at $9.99.

I could go off rattling all of the fun benefits that the face blanket has to offer other than keeping your face warm, but why don’t you just check out their infomercial yourself:

 

 

The satire writes itself.

Demographics. Ok the only way I feel like we could really sell this is by targeting people who live in cold climates. Just…all of them. Are you cold? Like, are you really really cold? To the point where you will take any form of a blanket because you are so desperately cold? Well, we have the product for you.

You know what that means? Canada and Alaska. Boom—target market acquired. Alaska has a population of 736,732 people, and Canada has a whopping 35.16 million people.

Other than that, I would recommend younger people—ages 16 to 28—that like to be ironic. Like they’ll spend money to be ironic. The people who would be willing to buy the Face Blanket are the same people who would be willing to buy the Wine Glass Holder Necklace.

Channels. The infomercial above has already generated a lot of talk among social media, seeing as it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. Just quickly searching twitter for the hashtag #faceblanket will reveal pages of tweets—people are all buzzin’ about the Face Blanket. YouTube sensations Rhett and Link have even created a video about the Face Blanket, causing social media to blow up about this even further. This short video has caused the Face Blanket to get more exposure than a lot of actually good and useful products out there, so we should probably capitalize on this. Even being fully aware of how ridiculous the product is, they’ll buy it because millennials like to spend money on things we don’t need just to be ironic.

The product should be offered in stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target, it should also be offered in stores that have a reputation of selling ironic items. For example, Urban Outfitters, while a popular clothing store, also sells a number of different trinkets and “gag gifts”. It’s a great place to go if you’re a millennial looking for a hilarious gift for your friend. And the Face Blanket is probably the most hilarious thing you can give anyone ever for the rest of your life.

Overall, Face Blanket 9/10. Would recommend.

Protein Ketchup

Stumbling across this product didn’t make me say “why” as much as it made me say “ewwww”. Protein Ketchup. I can’t imagine the smell, the consistency, or the taste of this and quite frankly I don’t want to. But I guess some people do.

***DISCLAIMER: In order to write this post I had to completely disregard my moral compass***

The Product. Protica’s Protein Ketchup comes in a 1-ounce “dippable” package—please note that this is the only form it comes in. Each 1-ounce package has more protein than one egg, two ounces of ground beef, or a Peanut Butter Luna cookie bar. The product is designed to be a diet aid that helps with weight loss and overall nutrition. Protica, the company that produces it, claims that it will speed your metabolism and make you feel full longer. Of course this is MUCH better than your average, ordinary, everyday ketchup with 0 grams of protein. I mean now when you’re chowing down on a giant meat patty you don’t have to wonder if you’re getting enough protein. Just smother it in some Protein Ketchup. Who knew? The key to a healthy lifestyle was just chemicalized condiments this entire time.

For the benefits of this product, I guess you can say that it helps with weight loss and nutrition. I guess. I really wouldn’t though. I mean maybe attending a liberal university for the past 3 years has turned me into a skeptic, but something about this screams complete and utter BS to me.

Demographics. Protica has positioned Protein Ketchup as a weight loss and nutrition supplement. Ok, sure. A study done in 2014 reports that about 50% of Americans are trying to lose weight. However, out of this 50% of Americans only 26% are actually taking steps to change their lifestyle and make weight loss a reality. This 26% wants a fast, easy way to lose weight without putting in any effort. We have a target market, God Bless America.

Channels. In order to really get this product off the ground I would recommend pairing with restaurants. Since it’s already packaged in 1-ounce containers it is already conducive to a restaurant setting. Places like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Shake Shack, and Five Guys can offer protein ketchup in addition to their regular normal-person ketchup as a “healthy option”.

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I would also recommend that Protica’s Protein Ketchup be introduced in stores, but positioned away from other ketchup brands. Instead it should be placed near healthier options, or perhaps at the very front of the condiment aisle in it’s own kiosk that explains exactly what the product is.

I understand that I would have to a complete ass to actually put my name on this campaign, so I would like to take a moment to remind you that this is a hypothetical blog with hypothetical marketing plans for very real products.

Best-case scenario is getting someone like Doctor Oz to endorse it. But even in this hypothetical scenario where literally anything can happen, I still don’t see Doctor Oz sacrificing his credibility for any sum of money that Protein Ketchup could pay him. Doctor Oz will never recommend using protein ketchup. I’m sorry, Protica.

The Goldfish Walker

It’s almost too sweet to make fun of. Almost. A man by the name of Mick Madden was one day looking at his two goldfish, and felt a sudden rush of empathy. All they ever got to see was the room their bowl was in. So he invented the goldfish walker, and then put it on the market.

No, like actually this is a thing you can buy.

The Product. The bowl sits on a trolley that you can wheel around your neighborhood on a nice day. Madden claims that his fish “love it.” I know what you’re thinking: but Chrissy, why can’t I just carry my fish bowl around outside? Because, anonymous reader, carrying the bowl outside isn’t stable enough. The water will be sloshing around, creating an unsafe environment for your fish. You would basically be simulating an earthquake for them, which makes you a bad parent (shame). BUT the Goldfish Walker stabilizes everything, making the walk a much more enjoyable experience for your fish.

As far as product benefits go, I guess you could spin this as a mental health for your goldfish sort of thing. I mean, if you were stuck in the same box your entire life and never got to see beyond it, you would probably go crazy too. Keep your fish happy and healthy by walking it once a day. Sure.

Demographics. The only people I see buying into this are those who so desperately wanted a pet when they were younger, like a kitty or a puppy, but couldn’t because their parents had some sort of allergy. These are the only people in the world who get invested enough in their pet fish to actually bring them for a walk. Too niche? Ok, fair enough. Let’s just go with animal lovers.

It’s estimated that there are 65,821,280 households in the US that own pets. Expenditures in the pet industry are estimated to get to $60.59 billion in the year 2015.  Of these pet households, 7,738,000 own fish. That’s a pretty sizable market—large enough to make trying to sell this thing a little less crazy.

Channels. Surprisingly, people actually get really into the well-being of their fish. There are even social media pages devoted to people’s love for their pet fish. Leveraging this already existing pages would be a good place to start. We could use targeted ads that appear on the feeds of people who have liked these pages. Since fish-loving is already kind of a thing on the internet (god bless America), using a social media campaign with a clever hashtag might also make a splash (pun intended). #NoFishLeftBehind, #DontForgetTheFish, #PleaseBuyThis.

The Goldfish Walker also might consider partnering with major pet franchises. PetCo and Petsmart have great digital content on their websites. Although both of them target dog and cat owners more, they both still devote entire tabs for fish owners.   A quick article or blog post about the goldfish walker on one of these sites could drive up sales, or at least create awareness about the product.

In a perfect world (and let’s face it, on this blog pretty much everything exists in a hypothetical perfect world), there might even be a veterinarian that advocates for the mental health and well being of domesticated fish. Get some scientific research statistics all up in there and we may be able to make a valid case for this product.

The Speedfit Treadmill Vehicle

Finally. I’ve spent years of my life wanting to run outside, but I never knew how to get my treadmill out of the house. My prayers have finally been answered by the Speedfit Treadmill Vehicle.

Product Benefits. When I first looked at this product all I could think of was “how am I supposed to market something that takes a free, easy, healthy habit and turns it into an embarrassing, expensive one?” But then I did a little more research on the product itself. The contraption is meant to bring you to higher speeds than you can get with just running (much like a bicycle), and it’s easier on the knees when encountering uneven terrain. So I guess there’s my market—people who are trying to get a good workout without putting a strain on their knees.

Demographics. Knee pain is a rising issue in the United States. It affects roughly 1/3 of the American population to some degree. Chronic knee pain affects about 20% of the population. One of the most recommended treatments to relieve chronic knee pain includes incorporating strength and mobility training into your everyday routine, without putting too much strain on your joints. Enter Speedfit.

Although chronic knee pain has a presence in almost every demographic, it mostly affects men and women over the age of 50. The 50+ market has incredible untapped potential, and would be a perfect fit for the Speedfit. The market is massive, with roughly 75 million people. Combined they have a total of $2.4 million annual income. The 50+ market accounts for half of consumer spending but are targeted by only 10% of the market. Speedfit needs to position itself as a personal care product for those people within the 50+ market that suffer from mild to chronic knee pain. If the budget allows, I would even recommend for them to do testing on those who have knee pain, and see if the pain begins to decrease after 1-2 months of using this product. If the research shows that it does (which it should), then perhaps a doctor’s recommendation or endorsement could catapult this product into the next level.

Or maybe the doctors will laugh and tell you to just take regular walks like a regular person. Time will tell.

Channels. As mentioned above, a doctor’s recommendation would be ideal. If the company could accomplish this, then they could go as far as to make pamphlets that could be given out at doctor’s offices around the country. I would also recommend creating television ads as well, and using a “pull” strategy to get consumers to inquire more about the product. “Ask your doctor about Speedfit.” If our consumers are able to keep a straight face while leafing through a Speedfit pamphlet, the product just may have a chance.

Marketing is fun for me, and generally speaking I enjoy getting challenges. This is an exception. My professional advice (disclaimer: I am not a professional nor should I be giving out advice) is that you should never spend money on something like this and you should just run outside on the ground like a regular goddamn person.

The Wine Glass Holder Necklace

“Oh my god that’s awesome.”

“You would seriously buy this?”

“Are you kidding? It’s hilarious. I would bring that everywhere.”

This was the conversation my roommate and I had when I opened my laptop up to write this blog post. The topic: the Wine Glass Holder Necklace. I mean, it was about time, right? Nothing says sophistication like beverage containers that you can wear.

Product Benefits. The wine glass holder is essentially a little rubber nozzle that holds a standard wine glass that you can hang around your neck. Main benefits include: not having to hold your wine glass. Also looking like a total idiot in front of your wine enthusiast friends who probably already think you’re a total idiot. It’s a real thing, that someone thought was a good enough idea to mass-produce. It’s priced at $24.95.

Demographics. Before that little conversation I had with my roommate, I wasn’t even going to write this post because I couldn’t think of a viable target market. But then I realized that we tend to underestimate how much Gen Y is willing to pay just for the “sake of the joke”. Twenty-somethings will put aside money from their already minuscule disposable incomes so they can buy inflatable penis costumes and fake dog poop. We are literally willing to buy crap.

Target Market: College Students trying to be ironic.

Millennials are willing to pay to get a laugh out of people. They like attention, and they like being called “funny”. I would know…I am one. In a recent poll, 88% of millennials said that a sense of humor is vital to personal style. So that’s how we market this product. The funny accessory that you bring out at dinner parties—a conversation starter that makes them all go “oh Chrissy you’re so quirky and fun I’m so happy I’m friends with you!” Wonderful.

Channels. Obviously, the entire campaign for the Wine Glass Holder Necklace would have to be humor based. But it can’t be throw-it-in-your-face humor. All that would do is get people to chuckle and move on. Also, no one will think it’s funny when you bring it out at your fancy dinner party if they’ve all already seen a commercial for it a hundred times. That rules out TV.

Instead, we would have to approach fun, time-wasting websites that millennials spend hours scrolling through. Think Buzzfeed, or Funny or Die. To market this product, we would have to rely heavily on SEO (search engine optimization) and enrich each article with key words to direct traffic towards the product. First we would post the product in articles with titles like “Products for Beginner Wine Enthusiasts,” “10 gifts for your Wine-O friends,” or “Desperate products you can buy to make people think you’re funny.” We’ll embed several keywords in the description such as “funny,” “wine,” “wine enthusiast,” “wine-o,” “gift,” etc. When people google any of these terms (and they will), we’ll get a hit.

Chances are, 9 out of 10 people will laugh quietly and then keep scrolling. But then you’ll get that one person who finds it funny enough to buy it for themselves or a friend. And with the proper SEO techniques, we’ll expose the product to enough people that we could actually make a profit off of that one-in-every-ten people.

I like a good gag as much as the next ironic college student. $25 might be a little steep of a price, but if they knocked 10 dollars off of it I could even see myself buying this for my Wine-O friend from freshman year. All in all, there are worse products out there.

The Passenger Seat Office

That’s right folks. Remember those laws that we passed back in 2007 that banned texting and driving? Well SkyMall took those laws to mean “we challenge you to find an even more distracting way to drive”. And SkyMall did it. Shocker.

The Passenger Seat Office is a light weight desk designed to strap into your car with your already existing seat belt. It includes a non-skid table top, file holder, and even an area to store a portable fax machine (provided you are still living in 1998). It’s priced at $130.00.

Product Benefits.   This product finally finds a way to make sure that you are always, 100% of the time around your work—whether you love it or not. You have your work office, you have your home office, and now you have your car office. Wave goodbye to the mindless commute where you were guaranteed peace and quiet, and say hello to increasing profit margins and higher mortality rates.

Demographics. The only possible target market for this product would be traveling businessmen who literally have absolutely nowhere to work in between their meetings. But even within this target market I don’t think we could create enough demand. So I thought a little bigger.

Instead of targeting a type of person, why don’t we target a type of company? Say…rental car companies–Like a Hertz, or an Avis? Car rental places often have business people who are coming in for a brief period of time just to meet with a couple of clients. They rent a car for a couple of days, and then return to wherever their office is really located.  Rental places could include an option for these business people to add the Passenger Seat Office for, let’s say, $20. Even though the product is priced much higher than that, these companies will want to buy them in bulk, which could lead to significant discounts.

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26% of traveling business people are ages 45—54. 20% are ages 55—64. That means that almost 50% of our market is in the 50+ category, or the “baby boomers”. So the advertisements should be targeted towards older business people who need an easy place to get some work done in between meetings when they’re on the go.

Channels. Since we are first talking to businesses, not people, I think the best plan of attack would be to partner with the car rental companies themselves. First let’s look at the kinds of places we would start in: New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angles, and Dallas. The types of cities where you’re sure to find traditional office settings. Then we would look at their airports, since 33% of domestic business trips include air travel. JFK, Logan International, O’Hare International, LAX, Dallas/Fortworth International. We would start with the more successful Car Rental places here, such as Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise. Provided we could come to an agreement about a contract, we could then work with these companies to advertise the Passenger Seat Office at their businesses and on their websites.

Since our target market consists of successful business people, we will market it as the kind of product that helps keep yourself organized and on track. We could play with taglines like: “Your client doesn’t stop moving, why should you?” or “Where efficient meets convenient” or “Dear God Please Make Sure you’re in Park”. Ideally, there will be a poster that showcases the product within the car rental places, as well as a section about it on their websites. This way people will see it as they’re renting a car, ask about it, and hopefully will be enticed to include it with their car rental.

Please note that we will have a disclaimer that begs our consumers to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD WE PROMISE THE EMAIL ISN’T THAT IMPORTANT.

I’m all for finding ways to improve yourself in your work place. And I’m sure having a desk in your passenger seat may be good for something more than holding your taco bell while you’re going 95 down the New Jersey Turnpike. But is it the best idea SkyMall has ever had? Who can say. (Please note that I can say and it is not the best idea). Maybe one day I’ll think that a Passenger Seat Office is a really great idea. But today is not that day.