SciMark Report


An exclusive monthly snapshot of product and campaign reviews from the SciMark Report, only for readers of Response.

Demand for Tactical Products Goes Beyond Lighting, Igniting a New Brand-Extension Triple Duel

Bell+Howell TacGlasses

Main Offer: $19.99 for a pair

Bonus: Free shipping

Starring: Nick Bolton

Marketer: Emson Inc.



Atomic Beam Battle Vision

Atomic Beam Battle Vision

Main Offer: $19.99 w/case, free shipping

Bonus: Double the offer (just pay a separate fee)

Starring: Hunter Ellis

Marketer: TELEBrands



Atomic Beam Battle Vision

HD Vision Special Ops

Main Offer: $19.99 for a pair

Bonus: Night Ops (free)

Starring: Kris “Tanto” Paronto

Marketer: Ideavillage Products


About a decade ago, détente defined the DRTV industry. There was an unspoken policy that if a player discovered a hit, none of its major rivals would stoop to the behavior that had once produced the deplorable “knockoff.” During this honorable age, I often witnessed rivals helping each other achieve maximum retail distribution. 

Then, the industry changed. If I recall correctly, it began with a sibling rivalry and spun out from there. Around 2012, two-way competitions (a.k.a., “duels”) began to spring up again. This quickly accelerated past three-way battles to the four-way melee and beyond. In 2017, the year that “DRTV brand” stopped being an oxymoron (Response, December), we witnessed brand-extension duels by up to three players that produced as many as 10 competing products at the same time. 

Such is the case with tactical products — now with a twist. What started out as a line of lighting gadgets has grown well beyond that category. The latest spinoff is tactical sunglasses. It was Emson that first identified the opportunity, launching TacGlasses* last May. TELEBrands followed three months later with Sniper Vision. An apparent false start, the project recently relaunched under the name Battle Vision, featuring a commercial even more like the TacGlasses spot than before. In the interim, Ideavillage also made its move, launching HD Vision Special Ops in the hopes that a category it once had all to itself won’t now slip from its grasp.

The result: at press time, all three brands were in the top 20 on the DRMetrix chart – with Emson and Ideavillage in the top five. Many are wondering how this sort of monster competition can possibly be sustainable. From what I understand, it can’t. That’s why I’m optimistic that at some point sanity will reassert itself and we’ll cycle back to “gentleman’s rules” once again.

* Editor’s note: the author is part of the team that brought TacGlasses to market and also wrote/developed the TacGlasses commercial.
What Makes up the SciMark Seven? The PRODUCT should be: (1) needed; (2) targeted; and (3) different. The CATEGORY should be: (4) un-crowded. The COMMERCIAL should be: (5) engaging; (6) motivating; and (7) clear.
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