“Traditional categories continue to be
the mainstay with categories like exer-
cise continuing to do very well,” he says.
“Beauty is another category that does
very well, and then household. Really, it’s
three categories leading the way.”
Bill Raymond, Los Angeles-based
executive vice president and broadcast
media director at Cannella Response Tel-
evision, says that buyers trickle over to
broadcast TV as long-form prices increase
and inventory diminishes on cable.
“It’s pretty tight right now because the
cable (inventory) is shrinking,” says Ray-
mond. “Agencies go to broadcast to get
more media to hit each week’s budget.
April will be tight, but depending on
what works, it’ll be about fire sales.”
Raymond anticipates 3Q rates will be
lower than 2Q, but response rates will be
weaker as consumers spend more time
outdoors in the warm summer months.
Purchasing power shifts with the
economy and politics influencing consumer confidence — and the unpredictability leaves DR businesses vulnerable.
“The uncertainty in the world is af-
fecting the cost of manufacturing, fuel
and shipping,” says Kennedy. “This could
be a concern for advertisers in the future,
although the current marketplace re-
mains consistent and robust.”
At MTVN, Fays has seen long-form
advertisers hesitant to commit to con-
tracts. “Some of the clients have had con-
cerns with what’s going on in the Middle
East and what’s going on in Japan,” says
Fays. “They’ve put a clause in some of
their deals saying that if there is some
catastrophe around the world that affects
product or distribution, that they’re going
to want to go back to the drawing board
on the deal. It’s interesting that politics
and what’s gong on in the world is com-
ing into deal points in direct response
What’s the Deal?
Products and businesses geared toward
discount shopping and do-it-yourself
projects have prospered despite the relentless economic slump.
Daily coupon website Groupon, a two-year-old, privately-held startup, which
offers deals from local merchants, reportedly earned more than $600 million in
revenue last year, according to earnings
documents published in TechCrunch.
Gilt Groupe, a sample sale website for
fashion and travel that launched in
2007, earned an estimated $500 million
in annual revenue in 2010. And Etsy,
an Amazon-meets-eBay concept, which
enables consumers to sell vintage wares
and hand-made crafts in its online marketplace, started in 2005 and by the end
of last year earned $314 million in annual
Discounts, limited-time offers and
DIY are already core motivations of the
direct response shopper, but products
and services that speak to the needs of
saving money or earning money while
also improving the quality of life have an
“Anything having to do with house-
wares will do well because people are
staying home,” says Scott Kowalchek,
president and CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-
based media buying agency Direct Av-
enue. “Fewer people are eating out and
going to the movies. More people are
staying at home, cooking at home, and
cleaning at home. People are saving a
couple hundred dollars a month instead
of having a maid come. Maybe they’re
buying a new vacuum cleaner, or maybe
they’re buying a new set of cookware to
help them at home instead of going out
to a restaurant.”
Even the rough bicoastal winter
weather has contributed to the boost in
stay-at-home focused verticals, according
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