Eicoff Blog

Eicoff Volunteer Corp Packages Over 5 Tons of Food

Eicoff Volunteer Corp Greater Chicago Food DepositoryLast week, the Eicoff Volunteer Corp paid another visit to the Greater Chicago Food Depository – a nonprofit impacting lives by providing food for the hungry and offering programs to address the root causes of hunger. 

The team of 40 donned their aprons, gloves and hairnets, and packaged over 8,000 pounds of pears and 4,000 pounds of apples – exceeding the Food Depository’s goals for the day. 

Thanks to everyone who came out!

A Winter For the Record Books

By: Tara Anbudaiyan

snowy day tvI know, I know – enough about our endless winter. But as Q1 comes to a close, it is important to recognize the unique winter events of 2014 and how they may, or may not, have impacted your TV advertising campaigns.

The Polar Vortex(es) (yes, plural) closed schools, businesses…even our Federal government. This forced many people inside and in front of their screens. According to Nielsen, Americans spent almost 30 minutes longer surfing entertainment websites in January compared to the monthly average. There was an uptick in daytime television viewers as well with daytime soap operas experiencing record ratings during these wintery weeks.

Blizzards and deep freezes weren’t the only surprises this winter. Despite a lackluster game, SuperBowl XLVIII ranked as the most-watched U.S. TV telecast of all time. Then there were the first all-live Winter Games in Sochi which dominated NBCUniversal’s TV ratings across day parts on, despite lower viewership than past Winter Olympics.

While no one can predict events like these, advertisers with DRTV in their mix can monitor data on a weekly, even daily basis. This gives them the agility to adjust their media buy on the fly to take advantage of shifts in viewership. 

So, as you develop your media plan for the rest of the year, consider including tactics that can help you weather the storm when the unexpected happens. Because it does.

Tara Anbudaiyan is VP, Account Services at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.


DRTV? Step Up To the Podium, Please.

By: Audrey Neems and Rob Schmidt

bobsled drtvNow that the Winter Olympics are well over and we’ve all returned to our regularly scheduled TV watching, it’s time to reflect on those mighty games.

How superhuman those athletes were! How dedicated! How composed and brave – not only before and during their death-defying performances, but as they awaited the scores that would determine their standings, value and medal-worthiness.

Obviously, we’re not athletes (well maybe some of us are), but we’re DRTV people. And while our limbs are never at risk, we know the importance of good scores. The judging starts the day a commercial goes on the air. Analytics kick in. Numbers are tallied. If we make the numbers, we’re successful. If not, we’re off the air. No gold, silver or bronze.

Our counterparts in the brand world may bask in the glow of their McDonald’s, BMW or AT&T spot running countless times over the Olympics, but did they score? Did they win? Can they head for the podium and know with certainty that they succeeded in a measurable way? Maybe, maybe not. That’s where DRTV has the advantage. 

Competing for the minds and wallets of consumers takes skill, strategy and accuracy.  With the data we receive each day, we’re able to shave off costs per lead and sale, the way a bobsled team shaves off hundredths of a second.  The time we save by optimizing our DRTV campaigns can add millions of dollars to our clients’ bottom line. 

Though it’s not an Olympic challenge, sometimes it takes courage to introduce DRTV to your marketing mix. But the results could give you the edge you need to beat the competition. And that’s worth its weight in gold.

Audrey Neems is a Creative Director and Rob Schmidt is a Management Supervisor at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.



Being a Technologist In a Creative Business

By: Joe McEvoy

creativetechBeing a technologist in a business that's all about creativity and relationships can be challenging at times. As social media, mobile technology and analytics play a more important role in DRTV than ever before, I find myself defending the tech world.

As technology evolves, we’re going to see greater acceptance and use of all the tools at our disposal. As a technologist, I love to talk with people about what’s ahead and how the next new thing will make bold new creative approaches possible and will allow media buys to be that much more accurate. We are using collaboration tools like WireDrive and FuzeBox that are changing the way we communicate internally and with external stakeholders. We are learning how to integrate DRTV with social media with mobile technology with web sites, and as we get better at it, we will generate better results and create even more satisfied customers.

It wasn’t that long ago that only the tech people in agencies and at their clients were using social media. Now, everyone is online all the time sifting through the vast amounts of information available and trying to figure out how to use it to improve the advertising.

It is a challenge for all of us, but especially for those of us in IT. We’re focused on trying to keep up with the current infrastructure to keep all our existing technology running smoothly, and so we don’t always have the time we need to test new ideas and approaches. But things are changing and businesses of all types are expanding the role of IT to capitalize on the advances taking place. In the coming years, you are going to see IT taking a more active role in every business function, addressing all the problems and opportunities that arise.

In the creative business, the pace of tech change is fast. If we fail to understand the current needs and challenges of our business and just work to maintain status quo, we’ll sink fast. We need to be hyper-alert to every device and trend as they emerge and figure out ways to use them—or adapt them for use—to our agency’s and clients’ needs. 

More than ever, technology is advertising’s friend. So, go hug your IT guy and have a sit down to discuss the latest and greatest thing you just heard about. Just make sure he’s had his low-tech coffee first!

Joe McEvoy is IT Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.

The Most Impressive New Gadget at the CES? The…Television.

By: Francie Gordon

CES TV GadgetsThe 2014 CES definitely proved there’s no one way to view content: Sony’s Short Range 4K projector, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro tablet, LG’s Curved TV and more.

But guess what –TV, in any form, is still king.

That, according to a panel of agency experts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.  

People still watch more than four hours of live TV a day on average. Even Millennials – can you believe it?

Of course, it makes sense that advertisers are shifting some ad dollars from TV to digital. There’s lots of potential around second screen and streaming video.

But digital by itself can’t touch the reach of TV. Even internet companies cannot live by online alone: successful companies like Quicken Loans, GoDaddy and Priceline turn to television to drive traffic and grow their business.

TV works – whether it’s brand advertising or direct response (DRTV), and whether it’s through a 4K projection on a wall or a bendable screen.

As TV viewing options continue to grow, clients and agencies alike need to strike a balance between the latest media technologies and their responsibility to the client’s business.

Francie Gordon is SVP/Executive Media Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America’s largest DRTV agencies. 

Soup Fundraiser


Last Thursday, our own Eicoff Volunteer Corp hosted Soup Day!

Simmering Crock Pots were loaded with Iron Chef-worthy soups like Pea Soup with Bacon Foam, and a scrumdillyicious Chocolate Soup.

 After the blind, taste test votes were counted, Alicia William’s Beef Vegetable Soup was declared the winner. And a special thanks to our homemade bread bakers (soup's favorite accessory) - Joy Woods, Mike Powell and Delia Marshall!

The lunchtime event raised over $1700 for the Ronald McDonald House, and donations of packaged and canned foods for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Paved With Good Intentions

By: Mike Powell

LaterNow"I'm going to..."

Who hasn't uttered these words, followed by, well...not doing whatever succeeded this well-intentioned phrase. Work out regularly. Eat healthy. Read more. And so on. Heck, the word itself, intent, drips with unfulfillment. Because let's face it, if you took action you wouldn't need to intend anything, you'd have Just Done it. So to speak.

So why then all the hoopla around a performance metric called purchase consideration?  Consideration is even a step more vague than intent. It sounds to me like an I.O.U. from that dead-beat college friend; he fully intends to pay up, but everybody knows somehow he'll never get around to it.

The author acknowledges that purchase consideration is fleeting: "What this doesn't show you, because we're looking at this only two days after the Super Bowl, is how long that purchase consideration lasts." Which is to say the longer you go without acting, the less likely you are to ultimately act. If we accept that as true (and Mr. Marzilli is way smarter than me, so...) why shouldn't the goal be to motivate an actual purchase, or at least a tangible step towards a purchase, right then and there?

Indeed. Which brings us to the world of don't-wait-do-it-now direct response TV.

Purchase consideration amounts to bupkus here. In the world of DRTV, it's all about how much did it cost to secure a lead, a sale, an application. It's about how many did we move yesterday. This is where purchase consideration and intent turns into measurable results before you can say "and that's not all." (Truth is, nobody says "and that's not all" anymore. Well, almost nobody.

I'm not suggesting brand advertising isn't a productive endeavor. Far from it. Some of my best friends are brands. I'm just uncomfortable with the unpredictability. When you're accountable for business results, all the thoughtful consideration and good intentions don't amount to much. Consider this: I had every intention of getting this blog posted a week ago. So there you go.    

Mike Powell is Executive Creative Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies. 

Turbo Tax’s Golden Moment

By: Delia Marshall

More brands are seeing the benefit of using more time to tell better stories. During the Golden Globes, Intuit Turbo Tax became the latest advertiser investing in a longer-length commercial to tell their story. The brand spot entitled The Year of You, features John C. Reilly as the voiceover. 


P&G and Apple: Telling Longer, More Effective Stories

By: Bill McCabe

P&G and Apple beautifully demonstrate what Al Eicoff was saying 60+ years ago. You need more than 30 seconds to tell an effective story. If these spots don't move you, nothing will. Well-done!

Apple iPhone Christmas 2013


P&G Thank You, Mom | Pick Them Back Up | Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

TV & Digital Video: A Match Made In Media Heaven

By: Matt Cote

cross platform adsAdvertising pundits tend to talk about television and online video as an either-or choice. In fact, it’s much more productive to discuss them from a “both” perspective.

Unfortunately, people often overreact when they see stories like a recent one that appeared in Forbes, headlined, “Brands Moving Budgets from TV to Online Video”.  A closer reading reveals that this movement is much slower and less significant than the headline suggests.  But the damage has been done.  It seems like if you don’t cast your lot with digital, you’ll be hopelessly behind the times.

In fact, savvy advertisers recognize the rise of digital combined with television’s growing efficacy represents a tremendous opportunity.  The ability to find the right balance between advertising on various screens—television, mobile, tablets, laptops--can create synergies.  Cross-platform advertising is the next great wave—a wave that some early adopters are already surfing.

What are they doing exactly?  Three things:

  1. Adopting a “video” campaign and budget mindset.  This means incorporating TV, online, mobile and connected TV. While each screen requires a different approach, everything should roll up to a total video campaign that is planned to get the most out of the budget.
  2. Creating better measures.  A traditional television spot is measured by Nielsen metrics.  A digital ad’s success rests on impressions, click-through and other response metrics.  What we really need to know is what happens when you switch $3 million from the television budget to online advertising.  What happens to overall reach, frequency and response metrics? Nielsen’s relatively new XCR product provides that measure and invariably, other emerging products will as well.  Forward-thinking advertisers are constantly monitoring the results generated through television and digital and using the latest analytics to find the right balance between the two.
  3. Knowing when to get interactive.  For television, this may mean inserting an overlay that viewers can click on and bypass the more time-consuming response vehicles.  In digital, there’s a wide variety of interactive options including ad-selectors, expandable units and overlays.   This interactive tool can pay dividends, but it’s also something that should be used strategically rather than reflexively. 

Cross-screen video advertising is in its infancy, so there’s still a steep hill to climb. To climb it with speed and strong results, though, every advertiser needs to test…and then test some more.  Most initial studies show spending 5-10% of the “total video” budget in digital video will yield the strongest overall campaign. Those figures vary by client and objective but are a good starting point for most.

The more you test and measure various combinations of television and online video, the more likely you’ll discover the right cross-platform approach for your specific offer.  

Matt Cote is VP of Video Innovation at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.

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