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TriStar Shoots 'Steam Bullet' Long-Form for International Sales

TriStar Products Inc. hopes to build on the success of its Steam Buggy cleaners when it rolls out a smaller version, the Steam Bullet, in long-form infomercials this month.

The 30-minute spots will debut in Japan, France, South Korea, the Netherlands and Belgium. The advertisement features homeowners using the appliance to clean bathrooms, kitchens, windows, upholstery and automobiles.

“It's perfect for long-form. We needed time to show consumers all of the uses for the appliance. In the case of short-form, you need one strong demonstration, but through long-form we are able to build uses and value,” said John Bramm, vice president of marketing at Interglobal International, Marlow, England. Interglobal is responsible for international placement and distribution of the campaign.

The bigger-ticket Steam Buggy, which retails for $150, is marketed in Germany and the United States via a long-form infomercial. Bramm said the German DRTV campaign sells 45,000 Steam Buggy units per month.

“If a product like this is doing 5,000 a month, it is considered a successful run,” he said.

TriStar, Parsippany, NJ, eventually plans to introduce the Steam Bullet in the United States and Germany, though no date has been set. Bramm said TriStar likely will wait until Steam Buggy sales taper in these markets.

“When you have a campaign that is so profitable, you don't want to jeopardize sales by marketing a competing product,” he said.

The company will target the Steam Bullet at newlyweds and women planning for a family, Bramm said.

“The ad targets women by demonstrating the Steam Bullet's uses in the house, while it also shows its automobile-cleaning uses to target a male demographic,” he said.

The infomercial will direct consumers to a toll-free number to buy the $69 appliance. TriStar and Interglobal are determining upsells, Bramm said.

The handheld Steam Bullet includes a high-pressure steam jet nozzle, scrub brush, squeegee, fabric steaming attachment, measuring cups for water and terry cloth cover. The Steam Buggy, which can be transported with a shoulder carry strap, includes the jet nozzle, an extension cord, scrub brush, window cleaner, floor cleaner, fabric steamer attachment and measuring cups.

Interglobal is responsible for forging relationships with international networks to place the media. Distribution and fulfillment vary country by country. TriStar is responsible for manufacturing the appliance and all scripting and production of the infomercial.

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