Eicoff Blog

Eicoff Summer Picnic: Cue the Blue Angels

This year’s Eicoff Summer Picnic was held just two days before the annual Chicago Air & Water Show. The timing couldn’t have been better. Over 350 Eicoff employees, families and vendors from the advertising sales community gathered on Navy Pier’s Rooftop Terrace for a sun-drenched afternoon full of food, drinks, games and the roar of the Blue Angels. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate summer with Eicoff. Check out the video for highlights.

Posted In: Eye on Eicoff

24th Annual Gala at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium


All hands on deck – the event of the summer is just ahead! The 24th Annual Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation, Independence Gala will be held at the Shedd Aquarium on Friday, August 1st. All proceeds support a learn-to-sail program for the physically disabled.

goldman participantPeter Goldman, President of Chicago company Reed-Union Corporation, has partnered with Eicoff for over 40 years. Peter and his family founded the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation in 1990 in memory of his father, Justin “Judd” Goldman, and his love for sailing. The program has grown throughout the years, and today, the adaptive sailing program consists of 20 boats specifically designed for the physically disabled. Over 1,000 participants experience the joy and independence of sailing each year.

Kids sailingStefan Holt, NBC 5 Chicago Today Show co-host, will be your Master of Ceremonies throughout the night’s festivities. Enjoy a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a candlelight dinner. Throughout the night, participate in the Silent Auction and Raffle with exclusive prizes including, an exciting vacation to New Orleans, Puerto Vallarta, or London, England. One lucky winner will escape the Chicago winter with a holiday in the British Virgin Islands.

To buy tickets, make a contribution, or for information on volunteer opportunities, visit the JGASF website.     


Posted In: Clients Giving Back

“Get in the Game!”

by Lauren Farris, Beth Fritz and Shelby Meadows

The Importance of Reaching the Fastest Growing Consumer Group in the Country

Forget football, it's futbol! The 2014 World Cup not only broke TV ratings records but also shattered social media records. With 35.6 million tweets during the Brazil vs. Germany semi-final match, it surpassed the number of Super Bowl 2014 tweets by a staggering 10 million. 

For major brand advertisers, the World Cup following was no surprise.  They have been targeting the lucrative Hispanic market since the 2010 U.S. Census revealed the changing landscape of the U.S. population.  Today, it’s no secret that Hispanics comprise the fastest growing consumer group in the country.  For those not in the know, the Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010 and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million. Additionally, between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation's 9.7 percent growth rate. And it doesn’t stop there….

However, what remains a surprise, and a very large one at that, is the number of direct response advertisers who do not invest in this powerhouse demographic. The Hispanic direct response marketplace is rapidly growing and is increasingly more responsive than the general market.  Yet there remains a reluctance to dive in and implement strategies to reach this game-changing demo.  Are you advertising to the one key demo that will grow your business more quickly than the competition may even believe possible?  If not, the time to get into the game is NOW. 


Posted In: DRTV Media

Clutterfest 2014: TV Commercials Per Hour Keep Growing

information overload

Y’know that feeling you get in theatres when they show 16 previews in a row? Restless everything syndrome? You’re probably feeling it during your favorite programs.

You’re not alone. According to Nielsen, the time allotted for TV commercials is on the rise.

And not just more time, more 15-second spots. In 2009, 15-second spots accounted for 35% of all ads on TV. In 2013, they’re on 44% of the time.

So how does a client cut through a messy little pod of 5, 6 or even 8 commercials? One way is longer spots: one and two-minute commercials. Something Direct Response TV (DRTV) does very well.

Do the math. A two-minute spot takes up a whole lot more real estate. Fewer commercials mean your spot has a far better chance of standing out. A two-minute spot might even own the entire commercial break.

Not to mention the benefits of longer format spots – compelling presentation of your product or service, more information and detail, and the ability to measure calls, orders or visits to your website.

An efficiently produced, smartly placed two-minute spot can break through the clutter and add some serious muscle to your marketing mix.

Gary Lande is VP/Creative Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America’s largest DRTV agencies. 


Posted In: DRTV Media

Eicoff Brings "Can Do" to Chicago's City Farm

City Farm Collage
Eicoff returned to City Farm for it's second year supporting Chicago's “City in a Garden." The urban-farming initiative transforms vacant land into productive farmland, which translates into jobs, green space and fresh produce for the city.
We learned about the new beekeeping efforts and how Chicago restaurants like Alinea, Frontera Grill, the Signature Room and many more partner with City Farm to bring fresh, organic produce to patrons.
Despite the threat of rain, Eicoff stepped up it's efforts this year with double the volunteers. The many rows of carrots and lettuce are now free and clear of weeds thanks to the team.
Posted In: Eye on Eicoff

Great commercial. What was it for?

puzzled look

Being in the DRTV media industry gives me a unique perspective when people start discussing commercials they enjoyed seeing on television.

Many times they say how funny or clever a commercial was. And I always ask, "what was the product being advertised?"

Nine out of ten times I get blank, thinking stares.  Then they’ll say, " I don’t remember, but I think it was for some company…”

That just kills me.  It hurts every bone in my body.

Some client paid good money for that commercial. They paid good money for the media placement. And the outcome is they entertained viewers. And that was about it.

Cue the age-old debate: how much steak and how much sizzle? The “sizzlers” argue entertainment sells; you feel good about the product, you’re more likely to buy. The “steakers” believe information is king. Tell ‘em, tell ‘em and tell ‘em again.

Can’t we all just get along?

Obviously, advertising clutter is the norm and eyeballs are being assaulted and fought over at every turn. So yes, you have to cut through and engage. Big time.

But you can never forget the importance of effective, efficient communication.

It comes down to finding the balance between entertaining and selling. At the end of the day, viewers need to know what the product is, the benefits they offer, and what they can do to buy it – call, go online, go to the store, etc. If your commercial isn’t making these key points clear to your target, why run it at all?

Ken Houdek is a SVP/Associate Media Director at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America’s largest DRTV agencies. 

TV: Searching for Higher Definition

tv showsPerhaps the biggest and most confusing word in today’s media landscape is "TV." As the industry continues to evolve, the term TV becomes more fractured into separate species – broadcast, cable, connected, streaming, social, etc.

Yet news and blog writers, myself included, continue to use TV as the catchall for everything related to the industry. But (there had to be a “but”), this oversimplification is generating a collective confusion in our headlines:

"Is TV Dead?" – AOL ad on the cover Adweek

“The Problem With Web Videos Is That TV Is Really Big Still” – The Wall Street Journal

“TV Is Dead. Now What?” – Politico

“TV, Not Digital, Propels Madison Avenue Spending” – MediaPost

Mixed signals anyone? Here's the reality. TV is now the ultimate cord-cutter and no longer bound by platform, time or place. So writers, for the sake of your readers (and mine), let's embrace a truer definition: TV is now the content itself – The Good Wife, Game of Thrones, Monday Night Football, Dancing with the Stars, The Price is Right – the programs and broadcasts we watch live, record, download, stream, or buy on DVD (have I forgotten any?)

In summary, what we watch is the content itself – our favorite TV shows. When and where we watch it is on TV sets, laptops, smartphones and tablets. How our content is delivered is through broadcast TV, cable TV, and streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Apple TV.

As long as there's a steady stream of new, quality content and people to watch it, the avenues to consume it will continue to expand, evolve and be newsworthy. And you can be sure advertisers will be invited to the party (hey, these shows don't pay for themselves). And as we write about it, let’s make sure we give our readers the clearest picture possible.

Jim Madsen is a Copywriter at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies. 

Eicoff Runs in JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

Team Eicoff 2014

Last week Team Eicoff participated in Chicago's JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. The evening was a sold-out crowd of 25,192 entrants from 594 companies. The event benefited Get In Chicago, which provides mentoring, cognitive/behavioral therapy and parent leadership services to at-risk youth and their families in Chicago. 

Thanks to the Eicoff Volunteer Corp for organizing our team. And a special thanks to Maura Foley, analyst and team t-shirt design contest winner. Gorgeous weather, a great cause and immediate measurable results made it a picture perfect evening for Team Eicoff.

What if Brands Combined 140 Characters with 120 Seconds of Video?


Posted In: DRTV Creative

Those Missing 3 Minutes

3 minutesThis just in from e-marketer4:28

The amount of time in hours and minutes that U.S. adults are expected to spend watching TV each day in 2014. That figure is down 3 minutes from 2013, but is still more time than is spent with any other single medium.

Things that take three minutes:   

  • Thorough brushing and flossing
  • Finding the dang keys
  • Trying to remember that dang password
  • Watching the pot boil
  • On hold
  • Updating mobile apps
  • Drop off dry cleaning
  • Toenail grooming
  • View cat video from your mom
  • Scan daily coupon email
  • Read Eicoff blog post

For advertisers who rely on television concerned over the much-ballyhooed demise of television: looks like we're good for 2014.

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



Posted In: DRTV News