Flex Seal — A Marketing Review
Don’t you just hate it when shingles start pulling off your roof, allowing the rain water to hit the exposed wood?
How about it when shoddy construction leaves holes in your house?
Is a leaking gutter allowing for water to drip outside of authorized areas, eroding away the soil, destroying your home’s foundation and ultimately bringing down the entire structure, leaving yourself to question why you didn’t take the five minutes to fix that damn gutter instead of just putting it off day after day after day?
Okay, maybe the gutter example was slightly exaggerated. But there’s probably something around your home that could a quick fix with a rubber-like sealant, right?
Here we have Flex Seal, a spray-on substance that behaves like rubber when hardened. The company’s website claims that Flex Seal “stops leaks fast,” and it’s “The easy way to coat, seal & protect.”
Let’s take a look at the TV commercial and see just what all the fuss is about.
Flex Seal — TV commercial
The TV commercial tries to sell us a product that is easy to use and apparently can stop many types of common leaks around the home. It’s also paintable once dry. I’m guessing it also looks better than just slapping some duct tape over the leak.
But this isn’t about the product. This article is about the marketing used to sell the product. Let’s take a look at the commercial and see how well it does selling us the concept of this particular product.
Flex Seal TV commercial — A ‘gushing’ gutter problem.
The Flex Seal TV commercial starts by showing us common house problems, from loose singles to shoddy construction to this “gushing” gutter. Gee, if this homeowner isn’t careful, that dripping water will probably land on the concrete run-off ramp with the rest of the water flowing down the downspout.
This would have been much more effective visual if the leak was in the middle of the gutter and not at the end with the downspout. As far as gutter problems, I would imagine most people (at least down here out of the snowbelt) would have a bigger problem with leaves and other crap filling the rain gutters, and not with them broken and leaking.
Flex Seal TV commercial — Starring Phil Swift.
Up next we’re introduced to salesman Phil Swift and his amazing Flex Seal. When he pours the glass of water into the colander with Flex Seal, notice how little water he actually poured into the container. If this product works so well, why doesn’t he empty the entire glass of water into the colander? Can’t the Flex Seal on the bottom of the container handle the pressure of a little bit extra water?
Flex Seal TV commercial — Stops a gutter from leaking!
The TV commercial takes us back to that leaky rain gutter, showing us how just a spray of Flex Seal can fill the gaps and stop the leaks. Of course, the example showed the opposite side of the rain gutter being treated and not the bottom or near side. I just wonder how well the sealant will stand up against the erosion from running water. I also wonder if any Flex Seal was sprayed on the bottom of the leaky gutter.
How many cans of Flex Seal and how long did it take to get that optimum coating of the stuff inside the rain gutter? I know that it’s ideal to coat the entire surface area (except for the downspout opening) inside the rain gutter to prevent ALL leaks, but can the average person really get up on a ladder and do that kind of work?
After the rain gutter example we learn that “Flex Seal is actually liquid rubber in a can.” It’s in a spray can to be specific. Does this matter? Yes. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully so that the tip of the nozzle does NOT get clogged with rubber after using the product.
Flex Seal TV commercial — Ability to fix cracks in clay pots.
Up next we see just how easy it is to repair a clay pot. That is, as long as the pot is empty and the crack isn’t too wide. I’d imagine a wide crack needing more than just one coat of Flex Seal to repair. In this example we also saw the person painting the Flex Seal after it dried.
Between the cost of the Flex Seal and cost of paint and paint brush, at what point do you make the decision to just purchase a new pot instead of buying the Flex Seal and supplies and then taking the time to make the repair?
Flex Seal TV commercial — It penetrates DEEP!
Next we see a simulated example of how Flex Seal penetrates into cracks and how it’s flexible and waterproof. Of course, this is coming out of a spray can and it may take several coats and very precise spraying to effectively seal the leak. But the visual is great and does a fantastic job showing how well the product can work in ideal conditions.
Flex Seal TV commercial — Claims to be perfect for roof repairs and basement leaks.
The roof is definitely one area of the house where it’s generally best not to take the quick and easy route with repairs. Water damage up there can rot wood inside of the attic and let untreated can cause structural damage. When it comes to sealing edges and repairing leaky spots, do you really want to use something in a spray can versus a regular can or a tube? How many coats from a spray can will it take until you’re satisfied that it’ll stand the test of the outdoor elements?
Flex Seal TV commercial — The fire test.
Can you believe that a thick piece of black rubber can withstand heat better than a thin piece of dry paper?
Gee, just about anything solid can do that, too. Remember that rubber still burns when enough of it reaches the right temperature. The thicker the piece of rubber and the better that it disperses heat and the long it will take before it ignites. That’s also why in the following example that the very cold thick piece of rubber does not snap when removed from the cooler. A thin piece of rubber would be brittle and break, but the THICK piece of rubber can better withstand the cold.
How many cans of Flex Seal did it take to create a solid piece of rubber that size and thickness in the example?
Flex Seal TV commercial — Sealing a window like a pro!
Ah, yes. Why use a tube of specialized caulk when you can just spray around the edges of the window?
I’m sure that both styles of sealant work just as well and can handle the outdoor elements and seasons for ten or twenty years, right?
And if you were to seal around all of the windows on the ground level of a home, let’s say six or even eight of them, just how many cans of Flex Seal would you need to complete that job? How many coats would it take to properly seal them? How much would that cost in the end?
Flex Seal TV commercial — Screen door on a boat test.
Here we have the famous screen door on a boat test.
In an effort to prove the strength, waterproof and sealing ability, they attached a screen door to the bottom of a boat and put an incredibly thick layer of the rubber-like substance on the screen. No idea how many cans of Flex Seal it took to pull off that stunt. Notice how Phil doesn’t dare put his feet on the screen and how the weight is in the back of the row boat and not directly over the middle of it.
As far as the boat being in the lake the previous day, that does not mean that anything was sitting in the boat or putting any unnecessary pressure on the screen. If anything this publicity stunt takes away product credibility since they used a TON (not literally) of Flex Seal and they’re still afraid to put any real weight on the product.
Flex Seal TV commercial — FIRE that repair man! Send him packing!
Calling a repair man to fix leaks from water damage will cost thousands of dollars?
HOLY @%#&!!! OMG!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
That shady repairman will probably want to repair all of the damaged wood up there, too. What a crock! Don’t let the bastard onto your property. He’ll probably charge you $900 just for gas money.
It’s just a leaky roof. Any idiot can go up onto a ladder and spray a rubber-like substance on it, fixing it perfectly, right?
Well, it IS a roof and it’s kinda important to make sure that all leaks are properly sealed. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to have a trusted person take more than five minutes to properly seal the leak and fix any water damage that may have and probably did occur. The same is true for a leaky basement. Just throwing a quick patch over the leak is not always the best solution.
Most people are not qualified to repair their own roof. Half of those people aren’t even trustworthy enough to hold the ladder while somebody else does the work. Perhaps letting a professional handle the job isn’t such a bad idea. I highly doubt that fixing the leaky roof will cost anywhere near a thousand dollars unless the roof requires helicopter access or if they have to do some serious repair work.
Flex Seal TV commercial — Product guarantee.
In the end we’re shown the product guarantee claiming to stop your toughest leaks.
Toughest leaks? Oh, really?
How about a leaking garden hose?
How about a cracked shower head that sprays some water sideways instead of out the nozzle?
How about a big plastic pitcher used to water house plants or refill the pets’ water bowls?
When looking at ALL of the leaking examples in the commercial, did any of them involve anything that would be used under any sort of pressure?
After the product guarantee we’re hit with the sales pitch. One can of Flex Seal costs $19.99 (plus $9.95 P/H), but the special offer is to get a second can of it for free as long as you pay for the extra postage and handling. That’s a grand total of $39.89 ($19.99 + $9.95 + $9.95).
Take note that the product instructions on the company’s website says to use “several coats” for best results. It also says to spray at a distance of 12 to 14 inches. We certainly did not see that “proper” technique in the TV commercial. Perhaps spraying at a greater distance applies a thinner layer and requires you to spray more coats and use more of the product.
It’s also noted on the company’s website that one large can of Flex Seal only covers about two to eight square feet of area depending on coating thickness.
What we have here is a sealant product that markets itself as being quick and easy to use.
But is it the best product to fix leaky repairs, especially at its high cost?
If a person has necessary home repairs such as a leak on the roof or needing to add sealant around a window, I have a really hard time seeing that person trying to use a sealant dispensed from a spray can of all things. If you’re going to make the effort of fixing the problem itself, then chances are likely that you’re going to go to the home improvement store and pick up a tube of caulk or a can of roof cement to do the sealing, both of which are significantly cheaper than Flex Seal.
This is also a matter of having enough faith that the product is going to work as advertised. Just remember that just because a product is versatile and can be used in a variety of situations does NOT mean that it is the best (or cheapest) method of fixing a particular problem.
These reviews and much more are available at my other website, Chamber of Reviews!
All of the images were screenshots of the TV promotion available on YouTube and the company’s website, www.GetFlexSeal.com.
Flex Seal is a registered trademark.