04 Aug 2010 Posted by Market and Main Media
Taco Bell broke into the direct response arena with an integrated campaign that featured both a long-form infomercial as well as two short-form (one 15-second, one 30-second) infomercials. In fact, Taco Bell is the first fast-food restaurant to use this media form.
The occasion was the franchise’s launch into the “better-for-you” fast-food space. After surveying consumers, Taco Bell found 69% (more than two-thirds) of consumers were specifically interested in healthier drive-thru menu options. These findings, along with the fact that 70% of the restaurant’s business is drive-thru, prompted Taco Bell to launch it’s “Drive-Thru Diet” (based on their Fresco menu, each of the 7 items have less than 9 grams of fat).
Given Taco Bell’s status as a fast-food purveyor, the marketing team (headed by Tom Wagner, Taco Bell Corp.’s VP of Consumer Insights/Makreting) needed to raise awareness of their newest offerings and inspire trial. Once people tasted the new items, Wagner was confident “they would return.”
In pursuit of a campaign that “was not what you’d normally see,” Wagner and team rolled out a long form commercial featuring a loyal Taco Bell consumer who had lost 54 pounds while eating from the drive-thru menu. It also featured the NBA’s dietitian, Ruth Carey, with healthy eating tips. Call-to-action was to try an item from the Fresco menu and incentive came in the form of coupons for a free Fresco taco, downloadable from DriveThruDiet.com. The campaign also includes TV commercials, interactive online marketing efforts “including Twitter contests, the Frescolution (an online pledge to start living a healthier lifestyle) and an opportunity for consumers to send a Fresco e-card,” explained Wagner. Taco Bell also ran two short-form infomercials, 15- and 30-second spots. Though the infomercial only ran a few times on national television, the online efforts are still running strong.
“It launched with TV and stays alive virally,” Wagner told Response Magazine. “Since the launch of the commercials, it’s driven the single largest increase of traffic to Tacobell.com of anything we’ve put on the web.”
08 Jun 2010 Posted by Market and Main Media
Response Magazine reports that the buyer’s market for short-form DRTV rates is disappearing. Prices are increasing for the first time in 2 years while the general economy rebounds and inventory shrinks. Depending on the network, pricing went up by 25 to 40 percent for late 3Q and 4Q 2009. 2010 is expected to bring more of the same, that is, prices will continue to increase. Brian Fays, executive vice president of advertising sales at MTV Networks, put it this way, “I know it’s going to continue because in the first quarter, Viacom had the best first quarter we’ve ever had, revenue-wise.”
According to Fays, one bright spot in DRTV is the educational category. Unemployed or under-educated consumers create a new demand for self-improvement (e.g., UTI and ITT Technical Institutes, Rosetta Stone).
The change in the DRTV market will require marketers to be more strategic. For example, Michael Lyons, vice president of advertising sales at A&E Television Networks, shares with Response Magazine that, “What we’ve seen is direct response advertisers get much more involved in the planning of their campaigns as opposed to waiting around for remnant inventory that really doesn’t exist these days.” Likewise, Fays points out, “Doing business like we did in 2008 and 2009 is not going to fly in 2010. You have to start thinking more creatively.”
08 Jun 2010 Posted by Market and Main Media
This year’s Response Expo again brought representatives of the corporate marketing world, direct response agencies, traditional advertising agencies and television industry together for a look at what’s been happening in the direct response (DR) segment.
What a difference a year makes. Last year, the cable network representatives and managers in attendance at the Response Expo had inventory to peddle. In stark contrast, this year’s conference, held in San Diego May 11th through 13th, centered on how to make the most of the dwindling short form inventory. Focusing direct response (DR) dollars on what produces best while finding new inventory outlets will be the charge for DR advertisers and agencies in 2010 and 2011. On the other hand, long form demand has not recovered as quickly as short form.
The conference also boasted numerous educational sessions with topics ranging from tracking leads against new media, innovative direct response, product placement and a case study review. As useful as these were, none came close to the appeal of the headliner’s presentation. Sir Bob Geldof stole the show.
Geldof is perhaps best remembered as the founder of Band Aid and an organizer of the original Live Aid in 1985.
But to be accurate, he could better be described as a true renaissance man. He’s not only been a rock star and philanthropist, but he’s also been a businessman, an actor and an inspirational speaker, to name just a few careers. Geldof’s talk drew references to Direct Response as he outlined the process by which he identified a problem (extreme African poverty), built support for that cause, communicated to the masses about it and eventually sold the idea to support this problem through a massive fund-raising effort. His parting message was this: Africa, with all of its rich natural resources, will soon emerge as the next major marketplace. Brands should position themselves now to enter Africa because by 2015 this marketplace will be developed and starting to grow much like the China of today.