A New Shine for Eagle One1 Oct, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response
Robert Stravitz says a direct response TV campaign for Valvoline's brand of automotive appearance products helped drive positive sales growth — both direct and at retail — in a declining market.
Eagle One's retail partners, which include Wal-Mart and key automotive supply stores like AutoZone, Advance, CSK, O'Reilly and Pep Boys, lined up behind the concept of DRTV as well. "Retailers were pretty open to the idea of a DRTV campaign," Stravitz says. "We were concerned that they might not like the idea, but — to their credit — they looked at the idea and said to us, 'If it's driving my sales, I'm not worried about your direct sales.' Wal-Mart was probably the most comfortable, thanks to their experience with DR products. But, the auto parts stores were also comfortable. A number of our retail partners even set promotions to dovetail with our DR campaign."
When the campaign debuted in February 2008 in a number of southern states, Stravitz says Valvoline had two things in mind. "We wanted to highlight the fact that Eagle One's products have superior performance," he contends. "Second, we wanted to create awareness for some new products."
Included in the campaign are such products as Eagle One's NanoWax spray, NanoProtectant, NanoWash & Wax, A2Z All Wheel and Tire Cleaner, Tire Detailer, Wipe & Shine, Tire Detailer and Wheel Cleaner and TireGel Spray. Each DRTV offer also included a book of coupons that could be used at retailers. Stravitz says, "On products featured, we've seen high double-digit sales growth, between 20 and 80 percent depending on the product."
Eagle One products also saw a 37-percent increase in retail sales nationwide during the campaign, and also won AutoZone's "Comeback Brand of the Year Award" for its growth in the retailer's 4,000-plus stores around the United States. "We're planning on slowing down in the fall," Stravitz says. "The category is much bigger in spring and summer, and we'll be working on firming up plans for 2009."
A True Partnership
Involved in that planning will be Eagle One's key agency partner, Cesari Direct. Not only was the DR agency crucial in assisting with the TV campaign itself, but it also worked closely with Eagle One and Valvoline representatives on buyeagleone.com, as well as the retail campaign. The campaign utilized integrated point-of-sale end caps that have been effective at reinforcing the DRTV creative, particularly at Wal-Mart.
Stravitz credits Cesari Direct with crucial knowledge and support throughout production and media testing that allowed the campaign to be a success on-air, as well. "Cesari has been incredibly helpful," he contends. "They really worked through the scripts and helped immensely with product demos. The Cesari team made the visuals come alive. Another big value-add was its ability to place media — thinking through programming options and evaluating results quickly. Their team showed lot of strength in results analysis. Traditional agencies give you great creative, but they are not analytical. With Cesari, we're talking the same language — about results and numbers."
Stravitz believes the Eagle One campaign would not have fared as well without Cesari's broad range of services. "They used the Web and retail to maximize sales," he says. "The Web site, in particular, was designed to keep people on it longer and create a strong brand impression. They also helped filling out the roster of vendors needed for the DRTV sales side — finding the right call center and more."
Eagle One's success has much to do with the talent of Stravitz, his internal team and the efforts of its agency partners. At the same time, however, Stravitz believes the opportunity direct response presents to sell direct, build brand and create retail traffic is undeniably strong.
"There are a lot of businesses and brands that could leverage DRTV but don't," Stravitz says. "I know DR represents our brand very well. It's cost effective, while creating a good image of the brand and explaining exactly what it will deliver to the consumer. What else could you want?"