First, you must continually believe in
yourself. Second, you must always be
positive. And third, every experience —
good or bad — increases your knowledge
and strengthens your foundation. There
are always valuable lessons to be learned
— every time.
In your professional career
or personal life, what have
been your biggest defining
Cardinal: A few years into my first
company — Cmedia — I had a client
who refused to pay me several million
dollars for media we’d bought. It was devastating. Painstakingly, I decided to pay
for the media — from my own pocket.
One of our core values is to value relationships, and I knew I could not get the
best media deals for my clients unless the
stations and networks trusted me implicitly. It was the right decision, and we’ve
been in business 20 years with a stellar
Congdon: One is our ability to adapt
and grow from two people to a pretty
big company with four locations — and
not get booted out by some hired gun.
But the first was when Ben van de Bunt
at Guthy-Renker introduced me to Carl
(Daikeler) in 1996. Our working styles
are complementary —and so off we went.
Another — there was this crazy moment
when someone posted on an online message board asking if Power 90 was a scam.
They were looking for a reason not to
believe. I walked into Carl’s office and
he told me, “Let it ride.” One by one, our
customers answered, telling the original
Daikeler: The first was when we fi-
nally cracked the code to make P90X a
successful infomercial. So many in the
industry — and even in our own company
— were telling us to give up on that prod-
uct. We believed we still had incredible
potential, particularly because we were
selling a $120 solution in a marketplace
where Bowflex was succeeding by selling
a $1,500 solution. The value equation
just made sense — and P90X went on to
become a billion-dollar brand. The other
was the creation of the Beachbody Net-
work. Instead of putting our product out
at retail and taking advantage of the all
the exposure of our DRTV advertising, we
let our customers take advantage of that
remnant demand and let them be ambas-
sadors for the product — and that created
amazing marketing efficiency for us.
Lazkani: When I was working with
Sears, managing the media and TV
marketing for Craftsman Tools, I recall
meeting with the Craftsman tool product
buyer. He thanked us for selling more
than 4 million RoboGrips in a single year.
This campaign made history in the Sears
Tower! He then pointed out the gold-plated RoboGrip on the product “Wall
of Fame,” and it was at that moment I
realized how much of an impact DRTV
had on a global basis. Another defining
moment was when I was selected by BNP
Paribas International Bank to be one of
23 female business owners from around
the world to attend a prestigious event at
O’Leary: The biggest moment was both
professional and personal: I met my wife
Michelle Cardinal on my birthday at a
DRTV industry event 26 years ago. That’s
the best gift the business ever gave me.
Sands: In DRTV, it was my original
relationship with Guthy-Renker — that
was the initiation of my career. I also am
thrilled to still be active in the twilight of
my career — with hard work, persever-
ance, and risk taking. Finally, it’s reward-
ing still to have many of the same em-
ployees who started with me 27 years ago.
Woodrooffe: Realizing in the early
1970s that direct marketing was a growing marketing technique and being part
of its evolution through all of its phases
— including DRTV. A second was when
I realized that a consumer is a consumer
— whether they live in America, China,
Russia, or Africa. It doesn’t matter —
everyone has similar aspirations.
What do you believe
was the most significant
accomplishment in your Hall
of Fame career?
Cardinal: Helping to transform traditional direct response marketing and
brand building into a new genre called
transactional brand building, where both
legacy and emerging brands can more effectively and efficiently build their companies for long term prosperity.
Congdon: That’s a tough one. It’s hard
to name the most significant. I guess it’s
the whole thing — and just that we’re
Daikeler: Am I allowed to say that it’s
just getting started? Our Beachbody-on-demand digital service, which is like a
Netflix of fitness, has more than 1 million
subscribers now. And that has an incredible potential to completely disrupt the
$228 billion fitness industry.
Lazkani: When Response’s Tom Haire
and John Yarrington advised me that
I was the only person that had been
DRMA Member of the Year to also
become a DR Hall of Famer! What this
means to me is that I must be impacting
more people that I can imagine. If had to
boil it all down to a single significance, it
would be the realization that taking a risk
to start my business as a single mother
was the best thing I ever did.
O’Leary: Probably the fact that I helped
bring big brands into the industry, which
was not always popular in the business.
I was always interested in redefining the
DRTV creative format from a pitchman
approach into something more interesting and complex and palatable for major
brands. While I was at Tyee, we developed something called the “storymercial.”
That was a really popular and successful
format for a long time.
Sands: Our Bullet brand, which has redefined the way people are changing their
nutritional habits as a lifestyle choice.
Woodrooffe: Helping entrepreneurs in
100-plus countries establish our successful
DRTV-based “Power Branding” business
and giving them the knowledge and the
tools to make it happen. And of course,
making all of my wonderful business
friends, too. ■