IdeaWorks LLC launched its first product, the Amazing Tub Scrubber, with a combination of 60- and 120-second television spots during the week of July 24.
Company president and co-founder Julian Bostic had no background in direct response television. A 2001 graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Mr. Bostic worked in Wall Street until co-founding the company last year with former classmates.
“As you can imagine, we were on pins and needles during the entire week,” Mr. Bostic said from New York. “The response was very positive in some ways and not exactly what we were expecting in others… Being completely new to direct DRTV, we were pleased with the initial results.”
The average revenue per order was between $39 and $44 with about a 92 percent up sell rate from TV and online sources. Customers ordered the product in almost every day part that ran and 75 percent of those stations generated sales.
New York production company Meltzer Media Productions created the DRTV spots, which target women between 35 and 70. The next round of spots will be changed from a women’s voiceover to a man’s.
Mr. Bostic said that men typically sell cleaning products to women better than women do.
“In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have tested in the middle of the summer,” Mr. Bostic said. “The eyeballs just weren’t there and that softened the call volume. Also, we only spent $7,500 on media and we’re still not confident of what exactly ran. We’re planning to do another test in early fall, and we expect the results to be much better.”
The Amazing Tub Scrubber allows consumers to clean a bathtub while standing, thus protecting one’s back and knees from further injury and lungs from inhaling cleaning chemicals.
IdeaWorks aims to invent and market low-cost, high-margin products that provide solutions to everyday needs, are relevant to mass markets and make life a little easier.
So what’s the biggest surprise for someone entering the DR field after a career on Wall Street?
“I wasn’t prepared for how difficult and time consuming it would be to find the right service partners — fulfillment, telemarketing, media, etc. — and establish individual relationships with each of them,” Mr. Bostic said.
“Even though we were able to invent and launch our product in about eight months, I wish we had originally gone to a full-service DRTV firm so that we could save time and take advantage of having all the expertise we needed under one roof,” he said.