Home Brew System Maker Cooks Up Infomercial for Coffee, Tea Consumers

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Neiman Enterprises will launch a long-form infomercial in mid-January to promote its coffee and tea home brewing system to the consumer market.

The product, labeled the Shangri-La Home Beverage Center, is a stainless steel home brewing system that enables consumers to brew hot tea and coffee, iced tea and iced caffe latte, hot chocolate and soup. The system also includes a carafe that the company claims will keep beverages fresh and hot for 10 hours. The entire system retails for $389.

"The nearest thing you will find to our product are stainless steel coffee makers, which retail for $385 to $590 and do not perform all of the functions of the Shangri-La Home Beverage Center," said A.J. Neiman, president of Neiman Enterprises, Cerrito, CA. He said the system brews a 1.5-liter carafe of coffee in five minutes and a carafe of iced tea in seven minutes.

Before he launched Neiman Enterprises in 1998, for 18 years Neiman was a distributor of iced tea and coffee brewing equipment to restaurants at several companies. He said that the technology used in creating the Shangri-La Home Beverage Center is modeled after the industrial equipment he previously sold.

The long-form infomercial will include audience testimonials and a product demonstration given by Neiman, he said, adding that the spot is currently in production. The ad will direct viewers to a toll-free phone number. Neiman said the company is directing consumers to call centers because it is the most efficient way to track sales.

"We decided on long form because this type of product must be demonstrated. We also don't have the established brand name yet to run short-form ads," Neiman said.

About five months ago, Neiman ran a print ad for the system in Orange County Living, a free local California bimonthly newspaper mailed to houses valued at more than $200,000. He added that the campaign, which ran for a limited time, did not produce the sales that the company desired.

"There was no way a print ad would properly explain the product," Neiman said.

The system will include a free sampler box containing four types of coffee, six hot teas, four iced teas and a caffe latte package. Consumers will be able to receive a monthly sampler for $14.95 per month. They also can request specific beverages on a monthly basis for varying prices. The Shangri-La Home Beverage Center package will notify consumers to visit the company's Web site, at www.shangrilaicedtea.com/newbrewer.html, to place any beverage reorders and renewals.

The home brew system is targeted primarily at females ages 35 to 65 who earn at least $50,000 per year. While the infomercial is placing a strong focus on consumers, Neiman hopes to also market to small businesses.

"We will get great exposure to consumers, if we can get the systems in their offices," he said.

The infomercial is being produced by Concept Media, Boca Raton, FL.

"We chose Concept Media because they seemed most interested in the product," Neiman said.

Concept Media is responsible for producing and scripting the infomercial, assisting in locating telemarketing and fulfillment services and assisting in scripting the telemarketing sales pitches.

"We have been looking for some time for a good kitchen product to market," said Ron Perlstein, president of Concept Media. "Kitchen and houseware has traditionally been the strongest category in long form. This category targets the female demographic, which represents roughly 80 percent of the infomercial buying audience."

The infomercial will be initially tested primarily on small national cable networks and local broadcast stations, Perlstein said. Time slots for the ad have not yet been determined.

There are no plans yet for short form, but Perlstein hopes eventually to advertise the product in catalogs, in free-standing inserts and on radio.

"My ultimate goal is to take Neiman's system into retail," Perlstein said.

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