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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports - November 2011

1 Nov, 2011 By: Thomas Haire, Jackie Jones Response

Sensa Sprinkles DRTV Into Its Successful Mix

In its October 2011 issue, Response announced and spotlighted the three finalists and winner of the Third Annual Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Marketer of the Year Award. In this issue, we begin spotlighting the other top nominees in a monthly section. This month, we caught up with Jeff Campbell, executive vice president of El Segundo, Calif.-based Sensa Products LLC.

With data from an online campaign that the company contends serves more impressions than Johnson & Johnson or Procter & Gamble, Sensa leveraged its experience to launch into long-form television and home shopping. The Sensa weight-loss system has sold more than 2 million units, with more than half of those sales coming online. The company attributes its continued success to a superior product backed by clinical data and real results, and an integrated marketing campaign that created touch points through multiple channels to engage customers, including the Web, social, TV, print, radio and more.

Q: What does it mean to you and your company to be one of the top 11 nominees for the DRMA Marketer of the Year Award?

A: For Sensa, it is a big accomplishment. Considering that we are an online technology company that made the jump to traditional offline marketing in a relatively short period of time, it is nice to get the recognition from our peers.

Q: What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for your company?

A: Being able to sustain consistent growth and performance in one of the most challenging economic times in recent history is a testament to our teamwork and product.

Q: How did the successful products you had over the past year fit within the overall concept behind your company? Were any of those products so successful that they changed the way you do business? If so, how?

A: Our suite of products focus on lifestyle and lifestyle choices. That can mean health and diet, fashion or beauty. With the success of Sensa, it only strengthened our commitment to these categories and drove us to continually innovate so that we can build our brand as a market leader.

Q: Why do you think your business responded well during the recent economic downturn?

A: When things are difficult, people want to feel good about something, and many times that means they want to feel better about themselves. If the world is out of control around them, they can take control over their health, their diet and their image. If losing weight is as easy as a few sprinkles, then that is very compelling.

Q: What is your outlook for the next 12 months? What are the top items in your pipeline?

A: All companies and brands evolve, and ours is no different. We are always looking for brand and channel extensions, but more importantly looking at optimizing our current business.

Q: What vertical markets do you believe are best equipped to survive current economic issues — and even thrive — in 2012? Why?

A: A better question is not what vertical markets are best equipped but how will these vertical markets work together to survive collectively. There are too many touch points for today’s consumers for you to only have a presence in one.

Q: Does today’s consumer respond better to short-form or long-form DRTV? Which of these two formats are best supported by other media, including online, mobile, print and radio?

A: Today’s media is almost, by definition, fragmented and with cable and HD expansion, the targets are even more specific. Thus, consumers are fragmented along with their buying habits. The type of consumer that responds to short form is different than those who respond to long form. The consumers that call in are different than those that go online. My expectations change based on whether it is prime time short-form drive to Web vs. national cable long-form or another format, but one common thread is our online presence and our ability to customize the user experience by the type of media channel that is pushing traffic.

Consumer Groups File FTC Complaint Against PepsiCo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four consumer and privacy groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against PepsiCo and its subsidiary Frito-Lay for what they say are “deceptive and unfair digital marketing practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act,” claiming the companies are disguising their marketing and data collection strategies aimed at teens.

The complaint names three Frito-Lay advertising campaigns — “Hotel 626,” “Asylum 626” and the online concert “Doritos Late Night” — that target teen consumers through social media, multimedia content, mobile phones and gaming platforms, according to a statement from the consumer groups.

“PepsiCo’s covert ad campaigns take advantage of teens’ vulnerabilities and encourage them to buy and consume a product that is harmful to their health,” said Angela Campbell, counsel for Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and director of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation, which drafted the complaint.Frito Lay Advertising Campaigns

The Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog and The Praxis Project joined the CDD in filing the complaint with the FTC. The complaint claimed PepsiCo’s digital advertising techniques are deceptive in three ways: by disguising its marketing efforts as entertaining games and concerts, making it difficult for teens to recognize the content as advertising; by claiming to protect teen privacy while collecting a range of personal data without meaningful notice and consent; and by using viral marketing techniques that violate the FTC’s endorsement guidelines.

“PepsiCo has used an arsenal of powerful online marketing tactics in these campaigns, including interactive games with storylines designed to heighten arousal and instill fear and anxiety in teens,” said Jeff Chester, CDD’s executive director. “This complaint sheds a spotlight on practices that are increasingly used routinely in the industry, but which raise many troubling consumer protection and privacy concerns — especially when adolescents are the target.”

PepsiCo had yet to comment publicly on the complaint as of press time.

IAB, MMA Issue Mobile Marketing Guidelines

By Jackie Jones (

NEW YORK — The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) released the final version of their mobile marketing guidelines, the “Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions” (MRAID).

The guidelines define a common application-programming interface (API) for all mobile rich media advertisements and establish a framework of principles and guidelines to help the mobile marketplace achieve optimal levels of consistency, efficiency and effectiveness, according to the IAB and MMA.

“With apps becoming more and more central to the consumer mobile experience and brand marketers’ plans, the industry needs to have set guidelines and principles when it comes to communication between ads and apps,” said Joe Laszlo, deputy director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “MRAID is the next crucial step in bringing mobile to scale.”

The MRAID is intended to “eliminate the use of multiple incompatible APIs that force marketers and agencies to continually rewrite the code underlying their ads so they can run across different apps,” according to a DM News report.

“Greater emphasis is being placed on mobile by advertisers, which is a fantastic tribute to mobile’s benefits for brands. However, the industry’s rapid growth also gave birth to a number of inefficiencies that need to be addressed if we’re to move ahead,” said Scott Jensen, vice president of digital products and applications at The Weather Channel Cos., a participating member company of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center Board of Directors. “Simplifying and streamlining the process for designers of ad creative through MRAID today will only further the chance of stronger mobile media buys in the future.”

A full copy of the MRAID guidelines can be found here.

News Corner

> Response Magazine and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) invite you to attend this year’s Winter Bash on Dec. 13 at Viacom Media Networks in New York. The event is sponsored by Fosdick Fulfillment, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, Media Design Group, OpenJar Concepts, OrderMotion and Wide Orbit. For more information, and to RSVP, visit:

> Fosdick Fulfillment names Jeff McMann as director of new business development.

> Hawthorne Direct announces the addition of Dan Hertzog as vice president of production, John Pucci as creative director, Todd Kniss as post-production supervisor and Jen Echternach as media account manager.

> Hearthware Inc., the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) 2011 Marketer of the Year award winner, debuts its newest countertop appliance, the Precision Induction Cooktop.

> InfoTech announces the release of its new version of the Media Management System, its Web-based solution for direct response campaign management. New features include a new pre-buy module, advanced reporting capabilities and shortcuts.

> Karlin+Pimsler moves into a new headquarters at 115 E. 30th St., New York, NY 10016.

> Caitlin Cooper joins Cannella Response Television as business development manager. She formerly worked with Williams Worldwide TV and will be based in Cannella’s Los Angeles office.

> Nutrisystem hires Michael Amburgey as its new chief marketing officer.


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