Last October, an influential rock band was finally honored by their peers, albeit 15 years after they became eligible. KISS is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite the fact that they revolutionized their industry, selling millions of records and concert tickets, the critics in charge of the Hall never liked them. What finally got them in was the belated inclusion of the fan vote, which was a landslide.
Now at this point, you might be asking: Is this a Rolling Stone article or an advertising blog? Or maybe you hate heavy metal bands, and think Lou Reed or The Clash are far more deserving Hall members. That’s fine. What this blog is really about is results, born of the collision of art and commerce. Just like in advertising.
Advertising was once broken into two worlds: “above the line” and “below the line”. The former tended to be more respected and critically acclaimed, the latter was where all the hard selling was done. It was in this environment that Eicoff began making direct response television. TV had been the most visible form of above the line advertising, so Eicoff’s approach was a new thing. And it connected with consumers.
An old CMO adage is “I know half of my marketing budget works, I just don’t know which half.” At Eicoff, this isn’t the case. After a predetermined test period, if we’re not moving the needle, a spot we spent 2-3 months working on will be pulled off the air. That's the unforgiving world of results. While our commercials are crafted with same quality as brand advertising, our goals are much different. We don’t always get a lot of critical attention, but our clients love us. We do great work and we get them results.
As you can tell, your humble author* has often been a fan of entities that weren’t necessarily critical darlings. But I became a fan because they moved me. KISS came to a local arena and put on a spectacular rock show for me, their fan. Eicoff taught me how to really sell a product. And a funny thing happened on the road to respectability. The world in general got more direct every year, because changing consumer (or fan) behavior demanded it. The lines are now gone, and the rest of the ad world often tries to act like Eicoff, with mixed results. But we’re doing just fine. And Kiss is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Why?
U.S. Record Sales for Lou Reed: 800,000
U.S. Record Sales for The Clash: 7,500,000
U.S. Record Sales for KISS: 40,000,000
*The musical tastes of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Eicoff or its parent company Ogilvy.