How Long Should A Video Be?
October 17, 2012

An experienced direct marketer knows the length of a direct mail letter is dictated by how long it takes to close the sale, generate the lead or get the contribution. Not surprisingly, there are those who believe a video should never be longer than 30 seconds or a minute. For those who bark "keep it short," we suggest that you should replace those words with

Addressable TV Ads Might—Finally—Be Ready for Prime Time
September 5, 2012

If you watch TV, chances are you've come upon Mayhem, the devil-may-care character who is seemingly everywhere in commercials for Allstate. But in one new instance, the character will be decidedly less mass market, appearing to talk to only a select few—by Allstate's choice. The No. 2 insurer has launched a new effort for renter's insurance, which will reach TV viewers who rent, rather than own, their homes. The ads, beamed on a highly targeted basis by Dish Network and DirecTV, mark the first time Allstate has used TV to advertise renter's insurance but also signal that addressable TV

DRTV Marketers to Pay Record $478 Million Judgment Per U.S. Court, at FTC's Request
August 24, 2012

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court ordered the marketers of three get-rich-quick systems, including “John Beck's Free & Clear Real Estate System,” to pay a record $478 million for deceiving close to one million consumers with phony claims that they could make easy money using their programs. The order also imposes a lifetime ban that puts three of the defendants permanently out of the infomercial and telemarketing businesses. The order comes about four months after the court granted the FTC's request for summary judgment against the marketers, concluding that they misled consumers using the

The 10 Most Ripped-Off Viral Ads of All Time
July 17, 2012

Digital video analytics and advertising firm Visible Measures combed the Internet to find which ads were ripped, copied, mashed-up, remixed and parodied the most times in the history of the Internet. Visible Measures then ranked each of these ads according to the number of views the copied and derivative videos received. From a suggestive condom ad to a video showing off Apple's next big gadget, these are the most shared and talked about ads of all time.

6 Energizing Principles From Video Sales Letters
July 11, 2012

Video sales letters are being used more and more by traditional direct marketers. The videos are simple. No fancy graphics—just words on screen, flowing in sync with a voice-over. This format works well when you have a product or service that doesn't demand dynamic visuals as much as it demands a compelling message, well told, to an audience who rabidly follows you. Here are six videos sales letters principles that can energize

How Do You Accurately Measure the Effect of DRTV on a Website?
May 8, 2012

While this is an inherently difficult question to answer, it can make the difference between success and failure of a DRTV campaign. Our first question is: Why would we need to measure? For many clients we are already capturing phone data, so what purpose does it serve to include web data in our results? We know what stations are working and those that don't, so how would incorporating Web leads into the data stream that I feed into Core Direct (the leader in DRTV tracking and reporting) help my process? The answer is rather simple.

Xbox Live Execs in Talks With Election Campaigns for Targeted Marketing
April 27, 2012

Advertising executives for Xbox Live are currently in talks with unspecified political campaigns to get targeted election ads on the platform. Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Live Entertainment and Advertising, stressed that the console's online platform possesses the ability to custom-tailor its dashboard ad experience based on a number of factors—most importantly, location. "Addressibility is the big opportunity bringing digital to the television," Honey said in an interview with Beet TV. "What we provide advertisers is the opportunity to target very specific demographics and behavioral targeting. "So if you're an advertiser who wants to target women …

Landing Pages and SEO for DRTV Campaigns - Customer Acquisition Chain Link 5
April 20, 2012

To investigate the DRTV-to-online acquisition chain, we looked at eight infomercials and short-forms during January and February, 2012. Consumers who watch TV commercials respond in three ways: (a) calling the 800 number, (b) going to the URL on the screen, and (c) typing product names and search terms into search engines like Google and Bing. For this analysis, we looked at both the website link and what the advertisers were doing in search:

Why 'Advanced' TV Ads Haven't Spawned a Marketing Utopia
April 17, 2012

That I live in a city (New York) where 54 percent of residents are car-free means chances are good that I don't own a vehicle. The odds increase with my address in Manhattan, a borough where by some counts about 75 percent go without wheels ...  So it's a safe bet that all the auto ads dominating commercial pods I see nightly aren't safe bets at all. Despite being nowhere near a sales funnel that might eventually deposit me behind the wheel, I am besieged by car and car-related pitches.

Despite Interactive TV Shakeup at Canoe, Verklin's 'Crackle of Change' Is Still in the Air
February 24, 2012

After writing about 120 Canoe Ventures employees losing their jobs yesterday, I kept thinking last night about a pep talk former Canoe CEO David Verklin gave in November 2010, when he told a room filled with cable and advertising executives that interactive advertising on cable TV was finally poised to take off. "This stuff is going to happen. 2011 is the year for making it happen … the crackle of change is in the air," Verklin said in a passionate address at the close of The TV of Tomorrow Show in New York.