New Infomercial Highlights Next-Generation Rotozip

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Rotozip Tool Corp., a tool manufacturer in Cross Plains, WI, plans to roll out the next generation of an infomercial by the end of the year that not only will demonstrate its new line of products, but will give Rotozip inventor and founder Bob Kopras a chance to thank those who helped him through a personal tragedy.

A tornado destroyed the home of Kopras in 1984. Because his family was helped out by the Red Cross, he decided to return the favor by sponsoring a home improvement fair in Madison, WI, that raised $35,000 for the charity group. Future Thunder Productions Inc., Sherman Oaks, CA, filmed the fair for a remake of the Rotozip infomercial.

Kopras made a flat donation of $25,000 then pledged $5 for each person who attended. Among those who came were Madison Mayor Susan. J.M. Bauman. A representitive of Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson read a proclamation honoring the Kopras family.

"This is not your typical cynical and glib company," said Jim Caldwell, president of Future Thunder. "This is a family business in every sense of the word. They almost lost their business in the tornado, but they were able to save a single floppy disk that was the key to their business. The worst part about it is that it was a house they built themselves, but they did not let that stop them and [they] rebuilt it again."

The new Rotozip show demonstrates additional product features, including a headlight. In addition to the location shots at the fair, the infomercial was shot in the studio and in Utah where a husband and wife team use the Rotozip to build unique sprinklers. There is also footage of a man in Florida who is using the saw to refurbish a World War II Wildcat fighter plane.

"This is a totally new show," Caldwell said. "We brought 25 tradesmen into the studio without an audience and showed them the saw, and it blew their minds what this thing could do."

As with the first infomercial, Hawthorne Direct, Fairfield, IA, is doing the media buy, West Teleservices, Omaha, NE, has been contracted to answer the phones, and National Fulfillment, Lebanon, TN, will handle the shipping duties.

The original Rotozip infomercial was nominated for seven ERA Awards, and generated high sales and MERs. Rotozip has been a regular feature on QVC. Future Thunder will sponsor the awards banquet at this year's ERA Meeting and Exposition in Las Vegas.

Another hit was the Rotozip for Women, which sold out in the summer of 1997 when presented on QVC.

"That Rotozip tool blew the doors off," Caldwell said. "They have been asked back several times since then, and it has sold out every time."

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