November 01, 2019

New & True: Pac N Stack

Description: Vacuum storage bags
Pitch: "Pack all your clothes in half the space"
Offer: $19.99 for a pump and 4 bags
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay a separate fee), free shipping
Rank: No. 17*
Visit Website

Space Bag storage packs were on the Jordan Whitney annual from 2000 all the way until 2013. The campaign was in the Top 10 in 2002, 2011 and 2012, peaking at No. 4 (in 2012). That makes the concept one of the most gold of old, so it's no wonder this campaign for a similar product has found its way into the DRMetrix Top 40.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 43 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: Derma RPX

Description: A wrinkle cream
Pitch: "Instantly get rid of bags and dark circles under your eyes"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping
Starring: Amy Simon
Marketer: Emson
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Rank: No. 18*
Visit Website

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 43 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: ThermaComfort

Description: A hot/cold weighted neck wrap
Pitch: "Instantly calms and relaxes you with deep pressure therapy while it soothes away the pain"
Offer: $29.99 for one with free shipping
Bonus: Storage bag (free)
Brand: Calming Comfort
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Rank: No. 34*
Visit Website

This is similar in design to a 2013 Allstar project called Soothing Shawl. The new twist is the addition of weight and the Calming Comfort brand.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 43 (Source: AdSphere)

October 30, 2019

Short Form Set to Decline 33% in 2019


After two years of growth in 2016 and 2017, short-form DRTV spending declined 9.56 percent in 2018 and is expected to decline a whopping 33.22 percent this year.

This is just one of the many surprising findings in DRMetrix's newly released AdSphere 5 x 5 Industry Study. The study covers five years (2015-2019) and five industry segments, including short-form, five-minute and long-form/infomercial advertising.

While the news isn't great for short form, there are some bright spots in the report. Odd formats other than 30s, 60s and 120s are "growing by leaps and bounds," according to a press release out today:

"Specifically, airings of 45-second spots grew a staggering 583 percent in 2018 while 180-second spots grew a whopping 487 percent and 75- second spots grew 185 percent ..."

You can download a free copy of the complete report here or by clicking the image below.

.

October 14, 2019

AdSphere Passes 50 Million Airings

On Sunday, AdSphere passed a new milestone: 50 million airings detected.

To celebrate, DRMetrix will be releasing its first "5x5" industry study, which stands for five years (2015-2019), five industry classifications. The study will debut at the PDMI West show in San Diego next week.

I previewed some of the study's findings in a post last week, including the finding that in 2018 "more than $12.3 billion of national ad spending went to TV commercials that ask consumers to take action."


October 04, 2019

'Act Now' Style Ads Hit $12.3 Billion in 2018

Our industry has come a long way since the bad old days of 800 numbers and mail-in addresses for checks and money orders. Today, companies of all sizes and brand strengths are utilizing our selling methods, and response mechanisms have evolved beyond Web addresses to SMS short codes and app store logos.

So just how popular has "act now" advertising become? Quite popular, according to a new study by DRMetrix:

[M]ore than $12.3 billion of national ad spending last year went to TV commercials that ask consumers to take action, such as by visiting a website or going to an app store. Moreover, that amount represents an increase of nearly 17 percent over the previous year.

The information comes from a recent press release teasing the results of a study DRMetrix will distribute at the upcoming PDMI West show in San Diego.

"Of the $45.5 billion spent on national television advertising in 2018, about $28 billion is attributed to national cable," DRMetrix CEO Joseph Gray told me. "That means, at $12.3 billion, consumer-response advertisements represent nearly 44 percent of total market dollars to the national cable industry.

Gray added that if you look at ad units instead of spending, our style of advertising represents "more than 50 percent" of total 2018 of airings.

What about pure-play DR? How big is that segment? According to the release:

[T]he study finds that 4,751 distinct brands used consumer-response TV advertising formats in 2018. Fully 40 percent of those used traditional direct-response techniques of the kind that allow advertisers to track consumer response back to specific networks, dayparts and programs.

For additional details, check out the full announcement here.

September 30, 2019

New & True: Pop N Play

Description: An interactive cat toy
Pitch: "Just like the carnival game the random, unpredictable movements entice kitty"
Offer: $19.99 for one with mouse and feather toy
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee), free shipping
Marketer: Allstar
Rank: No. 28*
Visit Website

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 39 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: NutriChopper

Description: A slicer/dicer
Pitch: "Cuts up to 10 times quicker than a knife"
Offer: $19.95 for one with free shipping
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Brand: Nutri
Marketer: Emson
Producer: Opfer
Rank: No. 10*
Visit Website

This is a brand extension of NutriSlicer, which was No. 21 on the 2018 True Top 50. It was originally tested under the name "Nicer Dicer Quick" by Genius in August of last year.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 39 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: Flawless DermaPlane Glo

Description: A dermaplaning device
Pitch: "Instantly transform your complexion ... to the radiant skin you've always wanted"
Offer: $19.99 for one with free shipping
Bonus: 6-pack of replacement heads (free)
Brand: Finishing Touch Flawless
Marketer: IdeaVillage (2019 True Top Marketer)
Producer: Blue Reef
Rank: No. 2*
Visit Website

This is the fifth rollout in this billion-dollar line.

The other products in the line are: Finishing Touch Flawless, Flawless Brows, Flawless Legs and Flawless Body (No. 37).

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 39 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: Flawless Contour

Description: A vibrating facial massager
Pitch: "Rejuvenate, tone and de-puff tired-looking skin"
Offer: $19.99 for one with rose-quartz roller & eye press
Bonus: Free shipping
Brand: Finishing Touch Flawless
Marketer: IdeaVillage (2019 True Top Marketer)
Producer: Blue Reef
DRMetrix Rank: No. 7*
Visit Website

This is the sixth rollout in this billion-dollar line.

The other products in the line are: Finishing Touch Flawless, Flawless Brows, Flawless Legs, Flawless Body (No. 37) and Flawless Dermaplane Glo (No. 2).

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 39 (Source: AdSphere)

September 02, 2019

New & True: Perfect Cushion

Description: An orthopedic cushion
Pitch: "Helps relieve the stress and pressure from prolonged sitting"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: DEG
Rank: No. 17*
Visit Website

This is Old Gold with a twist from another Old Gold item.

The hit it most closely resembles is Allstar's Forever Comfy, a 2012 True Top Spender and 2013 True Top Spender.

The cutaway section near the base of the spine goes back to an even older hit, Ontel's Seat Solution.

As for the creative, it borrows from Infomercials Inc.'s Miracle Bamboo Cushion, an Ontel product with a similar design.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 35 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: Mighty Sight

Description: LED magnifying glasses
Pitch: "Makes detailed tasks easy to see, ultra bright and hands free"
Offer: $19.99 for a pair with charging cable and hard storage case
Bonus: 2nd pair (just pay a separate fee)
Marketer: Ontel
Producer: Schwartz
Rank: No. 25*
Visit Website

This is a sequel to Ontel's Big Vision, a 2015 True Top Spender.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 35 (Source: AdSphere)

August 05, 2019

New & True: Socket Shelf

Description: A shelf & outlet multiplier
Pitch: "Adds a shelf to any outlet for clutter-free counters"
Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping
Brand: Sharper Image
Marketer: Allstar
Producer: Kingstar
Rank: No. 12*
Visit Website

This is a TLC project that finally paid off. It first tested in February of 2017.

This is another category where Allstar seems to have the magic touch. The company's Side Socket was a 2013 True Top Spender.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 31 (Source: AdSphere)

New & True: Bella Brow

Description: A microblading eyebrow pen
Pitch: "Gives you naturally beautiful, full-looking eyebrows"
Offer: $10 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Brand: Dream Look
Marketer: SAS Group
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Rank: No. 24*
Visit Website

It has been a while since SAS rolled out with a TV product under its "Dream" brand. The last time was eight years ago when the original Dream Look was No. 30 on the 2011 True Top 50.

To find the one before that, you'd have to jump back another six years to 2005. That's when Dream Lips was No. 71 on the JW Annual. The previous year, it had been No. 60 on the same chart while Dream Lash came in at No. 45.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 31 (Source: AdSphere)

July 15, 2019

New & True: Bell+Howell Monster Trapper

Description: A UV bug trapper
Pitch: "Traps them in, then you dump them out"
Offer: $29.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping
Brand: Bell+Howell
Marketer: Emson
Producer: Hutton-Miller
Rank: No. 24*
Visit Website

This is one of two bug products Emson tested in April of this year. (The other was Solar Monster Zapper, a solar-powered mosquito killer.)

Telebrands followed in June with Mosquito Finito.

Ontel tried a product similar to this one in the summer of 2017 called Master Trap.

All of these appear to be value-priced variations of DynaTrap, which has been on the market for years.

A DynaTrap-branded product was tried on DRTV in the summer of last year. It was called DynaTrap Fly Light.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 28 (Source: AdSphere)

May 28, 2019

New & True: Lash Ease

Description: A fiber lash mascara
Pitch: "Instant lash lift with buildable volume"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay P&H)
Marketer: Allstar
Rank: No. 33*
Visit Website

Lash enhancement has a long and mostly disappointing history. Prior to last year, you'd have to go back to 2004 to find a 'true top spender' in the lash category: SAS Group's Dream Lash (No. 45 that year). Everyone took a shot, though.

IdeaVillage teamed up with Guthy-Renker to try Lash Appeal in 2011. Media Enterprises tried with Lashfull in 2012. Ontel tried with Max Lash in 2014.

Many of these commercials featured Taylor Baldwin, who finally hit with 3 Second Lash, No. 49 on the 2018 Mid-Year True Top 50. That was an Allstar campaign as well, making this their second rollout in as many years.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 21 (Source: AdSphere)

May 06, 2019

New & True: Full Crystal Full Exterior

Description: A home exterior cleaning solution
Pitch: "Clean all the dirt & grime from around your house in no time"
Offer: $19.99 for one with bag of cleaning crystals
Bonus: Double the cleaning crystals (just pay a separate fee)
Brand: Fuller Brush Co.
Starring: Jon Florell
Marketer: Hutton-Miller (2018 True Top Producer)
Producer: SAS Group
Rank: No. 13*
Visit Website

This is a sequel to Full Crystal, which was No. 24 on the 2018 True Top 50 and is ranked No. 14 this week.

It is the fourth entry under the Fuller Brush Co. brand. The others were Pane DR (No. 42 on the 2018 Top 50) and Roto Sweep.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Short Form Week 18 (Source: AdSphere)

April 22, 2019

New & True: Arctic Hat

Description: A cooling hat
Pitch: "Keeps you 20 degrees cooler and has a built-in UV barrier"
Offer: $19.99 for a brimmed hat or ball cap with free shipping
Bonus: Double the offer (just pay a separate fee)
Brand: Arctic
Marketer: Ontel
Rank: No. 21*
Visit Website

Ontel's Arctic Air, a cooling product with a similar name in a completely different category, was No. 5 on the 2018 True Top 50.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, 4/15-4/21/2019 (Source: AdSphere)

April 01, 2019

New & True: Flawless Body

Description: A body hair trimmer
Pitch: "The new gold standard in full body hair removal"
Offer: $29.99 for one with free shipping
Bonus: Rose Gold carrying case (free)
Brand: Finishing Touch Flawless
Marketer: IdeaVillage (2019 True Top Marketer)
Producer: Blue Reef
DRMetrix Rank: No. 35*
Visit Website

This is the women's version of MicroTouch Solo. It is the fourth rollout in a line we now know is worth nearly $1 billion.

The other products in the line are Finishing Touch Flawless, currently No. 1 on the DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, Flawless Brows and Flawless Legs.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, 3/25-3/31/2019 (Source: AdSphere)

March 28, 2019

Breaking News: IdeaVillage Sells Flawless, Finishing Touch for Nearly $1 Billion

Church & Dwight announced today that it will buy IdeaVillage's Finishing Touch and Flawless lines of hair-removal products for nearly $1 billion. (That is not a typo.)

According to MarketWatch:

Under terms of the deal, Church & Dwight will pay $475 million in cash, and an additional 'earn-out' payment of up to $425 million based on 12-month net sales targets. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

You can read the complete press release here.

Forget the rankings, I'm announcing it now: IdeaVillage is the TRUE TOP MARKETER of 2019!

MEGA congratulations to Andy Khubani and his team.

March 18, 2019

New & True: Flexible Mirror

Description: A vanity mirror
Pitch: "The light-up magnification mirror that comes to you"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: Free shipping
Marketer: Emson (2018 True Top Marketer)
Producer: Hutton-Miller (2018 True Top Producer)
Rank: No. 18*
Visit Website

Emson tested four mirrors in 2018. This is the fourth. The first, My Foldaway Mirror, was No. 48 on the 2018 True Top 50. They also tried a line extension called My Foldaway Compact and a vanity mirror with a built-in fan called Beauty Breeze.

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* DRMetrix Weekly Top 40, 3/11-3/17/2019 (Source: AdSphere)

March 10, 2019

The 2018 True Top 50


(Click to see the complete chart)

It took a little longer than usual, but it's time once again to announce last year's best of the best. Congratulations to the champions of 2018!

TRUE TOP MARKETER

The full accounting is complete, and E. Mishan & Sons (aka Emson) takes the top spot once again. The company also dominated the mid-year rankings and will soon take home the AdSphere™ Advertiser of the Year trophy, making 2018 one of their best years ever!

Here's the ranking of the Big Five:

  1. Emson (12)
  2.  
  3. Telebrands (12)
  4.  
  5. IdeaVillage (9)
  6.  
  7. Allstar (4)
  8.  
  9. Ontel (2)
  10.  

Although BulbHead (aka Telebrands) tied with Emson for number of hit campaigns in the top 50, the company had a lower advertiser Spend Index in 2018 (37.37 vs 53.97) and less total airings (56,853 vs 70,054) — hence the No. 2 ranking. Otherwise, Telebrands had another banner year and an impressive late surge that moved them from three hits out of first to even by year-end.

Additional congratulations to IdeaVillage for having the highest-ranked campaign of the year: Flawless Legs.

TRUE TOP PRODUCER

In a late-season surprise, Hutton-Miller has rocketed past all mid-year contenders to grab the crown! Mega-congratulations to John, Peter and the rest of their super-talented group. This is not H-M's first title, but it has been a while. Their last win was in 2015.

Here's the ranking of the top five:

  1. Hutton-Miller (9)
  2.  
  3. Blue Reef (6)
  4.  
  5. Paddock (5)
  6.  
  7. Kerrmercials (5)
  8.  
  9. Cole (3)

Special kudos to Kerrmercials, which achieved its highest ranking and number of hits to date.

TRUE TOP FEEDER

Every feeder last year had a single hit or no hits in the top 50 — except one: Paragon Products.

We ended the year with six hits in the top 50. They are: Bell+Howell TacGlasses (12), Bell+Howell TacVisor (18), Own Zone (27), Bell+Howell TacLight Pro/Elite (31), Bell+Howell TacLight (45) and RoboTwist (50).*

METHODOLOGY

Most of you know my methodology well by now, but here's a quick refresher. First, I only include traditional short-form DRTV campaigns in my analysis. I do not include lead generation or other types of DR campaigns. I also manually exclude brand-only advertisers as I have determined reasonable criteria for doing so. The way I get to this in the AdSphere system is to select the brand classification "Short Form Products." This year, I also included "Retail Products" to capture supplemental retail-support spending by short-form players.

Second, my annual charts are based on the broadcast year. In 2018, that aligned almost perfectly with the calendar year as January 1 was a Monday and December 30 was a Sunday.

Third, I exclude 30s and shorter formats from my analysis as well as formats longer than 120 seconds. That's a long way of saying I only include 120s and 60s in my analysis, which seems to be the best way of capturing a "true" picture of our business.

Finally, this is the first year the True Top 50 includes airings running on both English and Hispanic networks as that is the new default filter setting for AdSphere.

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* Disclosure: Paragon Products is a partnership between me and Bill Quarless of Impact Products.

February 27, 2019

Emson Wins Advertiser of the Year

DRMetrix announced the winners of its third annual AdSphere Awards Wednesday. The awards "recognize best-of-class advertisers across four industry classifications including short-form products, lead generation, brand/direct, and 28.5-minute infomercials," according to DRMetrix CEO Joseph Gray.

This year, EMSON (aka E. Mishan & Sons) took home the top award in short form, the coveted "Advertiser of the Year." Congratulations to the Mishan family and the entire Emson team!

For a full list of the awards and their recipients, click here. The official awards presentation will take place at PDMI East in Miami next month.

February 04, 2019

New & True: TacAmplifier

Description: A sound amplifier
Pitch: "Enhanced hearing like you've never experienced before"
Offer: $19.99 for one with free shipping
Bonus: 2nd one (just pay a separate fee)
Brand: Bell+Howell
Starring: Nick Bolton
Marketer: Emson/Paragon
Producer: Paddock
DRMetrix Rank: No. 33*
Visit Website

Written by yours truly. This is the 10th "TAC" product we have rolled out. Also on the DRMetrix Top 40 this week: TacVisor (#8), TacGlasses (#24) and TacLight Pro (#28).


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

New & True: Legacy Leg Pillow

Description: A knee pillow
Pitch: "Instantly align your spine and help alleviate pain"
Offer: $19.99 for one
Bonus: Head pillow (just pay P&H)
Brand: Contour
Marketer: Contour Products
DRMetrix Rank: No. 14*
Visit Website

This is Old Gold. The original hit was the Contour Leg Pillow, which was on the JW Annual from 1999 to 2002, peaking at No. 1 in 2000.


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

New & True: Copper Fit Compression Gloves

Description: Copper-infused compression gloves
Pitch: "Support muscles and joints in your wrist, palm and fingers"
Offer: $19.99 with free shipping
Bonus: None
Brand: Copper Fit
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Blue Reef
DRMetrix Rank: No. 5*
Visit Website

This is a relaunch of this campaign. The original campaign, which rolled out in the summer of last year, featured Jerry Rice.

Telebrands tried a non-sports version of this particular product in March 2014 under the name Copper Hands.


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

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.