July 16, 2018

In the News: Goodbye ERA & DRMA, Hello PDMI

That was quick.

Just days after announcing the Direct Response Marketing Association (DRMA) would cease operations, the former leaders of that organization have joined forces with the former executive vice president of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) to form a new industry organization called the Performance-Driven Marketing Institute (PDMI).

According to the official email announcement:

[L]ed by John Yarrington, Thomas Haire, and Bill Sheehan [the PDMI] is a leadership organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and advancing its membership through education, networking and marketing, and advocacy ...

With plans for a September kickoff event in Las Vegas — the PDMI Summit — and a full array of publishing and event services for the industry in 2019, the PDMI is currently working to create a 501(c)(6) association that also will serve as a voice for the industry with federal and state regulators alike.

Yarrington was the publisher of Response Magazine, and Haire was its editor in chief. Sheehan was the executive vice president of the ERA and the executive who signed the June 1 statement revealing the ERA was closing down.

It seems the new PDI Summit is meant to take the place of the ERA Las Vegas show. It is scheduled for September 24-26, according to the email. The location is as yet undetermined. Registration will open July 30.

The plan is now coming into focus, and that plan was consolidation. More to the point, our industry won't be without a trade association for long.

July 15, 2018

In the News: DRMA Will Also 'Cease Operations'

The following statement hit inboxes Friday:

After serving the direct response and performance marketing community for more than 26 years, Response Magazine and its affiliated products and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) — will cease operations as of today, July 13, it was announced by the publication’s parent company, Questex LLC.

Response, headed by Publisher John Yarrington and Editor-in-Chief Thomas Haire for much of the past two decades, will publish and deliver the July magazine as its final issue ...

The Response team would like to express its most sincere gratitude to its readers, advertisers, members, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors for their support of our work to educate, network, and inspire this wide-ranging industry during the past 2.5 decades. The relationships we have built with each of you have been a powerful factor in our long-term success — and in many cases have transcended the business we’ve done together.

The full text of the announcement can be found here.

This is a unique moment in industry history, folks. The ERA is gone, and now the DRMA. As of today, we have no trade associations, no trade magazines and no trade shows.

We'll have to see what the future holds.

July 13, 2018

New & True: Flawless Brows

Description: An eyebrow trimmer
Pitch: "Hold it like a pencil, use it like an eraser"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping on multiples
Brand: Finishing Touch
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Blue Reef
DRMetrix Rank: No. 20*
Visit Website

This is the third Flawless product IdeaVillage has rolled out. The others are Flawless Legs, which is No. 2 on the recently released Mid-Year True Top 50, and the original Finishing Touch Flawless (No. 7).

In August of last year, IdeaVillage also tested Flawless Glo, a lighted facial cleansing brush. That project did not roll out.

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

July 09, 2018

The Mid-Year True Top 50


(Click to see the complete chart)

It's that time again, and I have big news: We have two new champions in both the True Top Marketers and True Top Producers categories. Congratulations to the new kings of DRTV!

TRUE TOP MARKETERS

E. MISHAN & SONS (aka Emson) has now surpassed both IdeaVillage and Telebrands to take the No. 1 slot. Here's the breakdown and ranking of the Big Five:

  1. Emson (13)
  2.  
  3. IdeaVillage (10)
  4.  
  5. Telebrands (10)
  6.  
  7. Allstar (5)
  8.  
  9. Ontel (2)
  10.  

Additional congratulations to ALLSTAR PRODUCTS GROUP for having the No. 1 campaign of the first half: MagicBax.

(See also: My review of MagicBax in the latest issue of Response.)

TRUE TOP PRODUCERS

PADDOCK PRODUCTIONS has edged reigning champion Blue Reef to become the production company with the most commercials in the Top 50. Here's the complete breakdown:

  1. Paddock (8)
  2.  
  3. Blue Reef (7)
  4.  
  5. Hutton-Miller (7)
  6.  
  7. Cole (4)
  8.  
  9. Sullivan (4)
  10.  
  11. Kerrmercials (3)
  12.  
  13. Infomercials Inc. (2)
  14.  
  15. Launch DRTV(2)
  16.  
  17. Schwartz (2)
  18.  
  19. Blue Moon (1)
  20.  
  21. Bluewater (1)
  22.  
  23. Concepts (1)
  24.  
  25. Monte-Brooks (1)
  26.  
  27. Morgan James (1)
  28.  
  29. Opfer (1)
  30.  

Special kudos to HUTTON-MILLER, which tied Blue Reef at one hit away from the top slot.

In case you're interested, the complete chart now has producers assigned to each campaign, so you can see who created that hit commercial you've been admiring.

TRUE TOP FEEDERS

There's no sense doing a ranking for this category because only two publicly known feeders had hits in the Top 50, and all but one of them came from a single company: PARAGON PRODUCTS.

We* upped our count to a whopping seven hits. They are: Bell+Howell TacGlasses (6), Bell+Howell TacLight Elite (18), RoboTwist (34), Bell+Howell TacVisor (35), Bell+Howell Night Vision TacGlasses (38), Atomic Charge Wallet (44) and Bell+Howell TacLight (50).

METHODOLOGY

Lastly, here's a quick explanation of my methodology once again. First, I only looked at campaigns labeled "Short Form Products" in the DRMetrix system. I did not consider lead generation or other types of campaigns. This time, I also excluded brand advertisers as I have figured out a sensible way to do so. However, astute observers will note the Spend Index is still keyed to a brand advertiser, Proactiv, which had the top Spend Index of 100 yet again.

Second, the date range for this analysis was January 1 to June 24, 2018. Again, that may have hurt campaigns that rolled out pre-holiday, this spring and so on. Sorry folks, but I still have no good way of correcting for that.

Third, I keep tweaking what formats I include in my analysis. I'm still excluding 30s and shorter formats, but this time I decided to include 60s. That did not seem to change the chart in any meaningful way.

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* For those who still don't know, Paragon Products is a partnership between me and Bill Quarless of Impact Products.

July 02, 2018

New Report: MagicBax, Fuller Full Crystal, Atomic Bullet Shield

My latest SciMark Report is now available on the Response Website.

In the report, I review two rollouts: Allstar's MagicBax and SAS Group's Fuller Full Crystal. I also review another "fast fail" — Telebrands' Atomic Bullet Shield (shown above).