January 16, 2019

Lester Wunderman, RIP

Ad Age reports that the "father of direct marketing," Lester Wunderman, died last Wednesday at the ripe old age of 98. He is in the DMA Hall of Fame and the Advertising Hall of Fame.

"Wunderman, who was chairman emeritus and founder of his namesake agency, is credited with innovations like the 1-800 toll-free number and the magazine-subscription card," writes Megan Graham. "[He] was so widely admired and beloved in the direct marketing world that Howard Draft, a famed name in the discipline, says Wunderman was 'the only guy I'd go to work for. One of the great teachers of all time. There was nobody better.'"

Graham's full article features other interesting information and amusing anecdotes about Wunderman. He also wrote a book, updated in 2010, called Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay.

December 17, 2018

New & True: Fast Ball

Description: A magnetic dash mount
Pitch: "Easily adjust your phone 360-degrees to any angle"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (free)
Marketer: BulbHead (Telebrands)
Producer: Kerrmercials
DRMetrix Rank: No. 10*
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This first tested in April with a slightly different design, and then re-tested in September with the current design.

Phone mounts have a good track record on DRTV. The last success was Emson's Clever Grip, a 2015 True Top Spender. Two years before that, Allstar had a hit with GripGo, a 2013 True Top Spender.


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* Based on weekly monitoring by AdSphere.™ To learn more or to try it for free, click here.

New & True: Ice Genie

Description: An ice cube maker
Pitch: "Replace as many as seven traditional ice cube trays""
Offer: $19.99 for one with anti-slip tongs
Bonus: 2nd one with tongs (just pay a separate fee), free shipping
Marketer: Allstar
DRMetrix Rank: No. 25*
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This first tested in March and represents Allstar's second attempt at launching a new kind of ice maker. The first attempt was No Spill Chill in 2014.


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* Based on weekly monitoring by AdSphere.™ To learn more or to try it for free, click here.

November 12, 2018

New & True: Calming Comfort

Description: A weighted blanket
Pitch: "Helps you relax so you can fall asleep and stay asleep naturally"
Offer: As low as 3 payments of $33
Bonus: None
Brand: Sharper Image
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Hutton-Miller
DRMetrix Rank: No. 9*
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Rollouts like these are more evidence that DRTV is evolving. Looking back at my Divine Seven (D7) checklist from 2007, this one defies at least two of those classic criteria. It's not mass market (at least not in the 'one per household' sense), and it's priced five times higher than what used to be considered an impulse price.

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* Based on weekly monitoring by AdSphere.™ To learn more or to try it for free, click here.

October 29, 2018

New & True: My Fit Jeans

Description: Stretchable jeans
Pitch: "The perfect fit for every woman of every shape, every height"
Offer: $39.99 for one pair (2 sizes, 3 colors)
Bonus: 2nd pair for half off ($19.99)
Marketer: Allstar
DRMetrix Rank: No. 28*
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Jeans-like comfortwear has a solid history of success on DRTV. Hampton's Pajama Jeans (2010-2012) was the original hit. A few years later, a five-way competition in the category resulted in two rollouts (Jeaneez, Slim Jeggings). Ironically, this product is closest to Hollywood Jeanz, one of the three that didn't get traction.


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* Based on weekly monitoring by AdSphere.™ To learn more or to try it for free, click here.