3 Things to Consider with Programmatic Television


The relatively new world of programmatic buying on TV presents a new kind of challenge to advertisers and their agencies when it comes to figuring out the best way to use the platform for the biggest benefit.

The promise of programmatic TV – combining available data and the latest technology to reach a target audience that goes beyond age and gender – leads to a logical question:

Why wouldn’t every television advertiser want to use this platform to reach their key consumers on a more granular level? The easy answer to that question is “of course, they would.” However, it’s not as simple as just hitting the go button. Even with new programmatic vendors and technologies seemingly popping up every month, there isn’t a turnkey approach to success.

Many advertisers should be able to reap benefits from devoting a piece of their budget to programmatic TV. The challenge becomes finding the right combination of vendor/platform, custom target, and KPIs for evaluation. Testing a variety of combinations may be necessary, but these tests can be done quickly with minimal investment.

So as you look at programmatic TV, here’s some advice to consider:

1)  Keep your objective clear. Is the test goal to drive increased conversion to sale by reaching a more targeted customer? To extend reach by utilizing networks and programs not included in the current media plan? To increase media efficiency against a specific segment of your target audience? Identifying the primary goal of the programmatic TV test should drive the decision about which vendor to use, since they all have differences in their approach and capabilities.

2)  Be open to different approaches for building a custom target. There are many ways to skin a cat, and the myriad of data out there can provide multiple ways to define the target audience. Third party data (MRI, Experian, Acxiom, Nielsen, Kantar, Rentrak, to name a few) and an advertiser’s own first party customer data can be combined to create the custom target, which becomes the focus of the campaign. Testing more than one over the course of time will provide learning about how to use programmatic TV to build your business and complement your overall ad campaign. In fact, it may help identify new or unlikely consumer segments that will inform your overall marketing efforts.

 3)  Evaluate the test based on relevant results.  Every programmatic vendor offers unique reporting and analysis – from basic calculation of incremental reach driven by the test to attribution modeling that endeavors to connect media weight to sales. Just as important as identifying the objective of a programmatic test is identifying the key metrics for evaluation. Direct response advertisers have an advantage in this regard because they can clearly observe not only direct sales, but whether the consumers responding to programmatic advertising are more qualified due to data targeting. But the bottom line for any advertiser is to not lose sight of the fact that a programmatic test needs to be held to the same standards as any other media vehicle: does it drive sales by reaching the right people with your message?

Data, automation and technology have made programmatic TV buying a reality that is predicted to become a larger part of the TV advertiser’s world in the coming years.  Testing the platform now makes sense so you can learn how it can best be incorporated into your marketing efforts in the future.

For further definition of programmatic TV and its potential, here are a couple of articles to read:



Parody Ads. Are they "Alright, alright, alright"?


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but making a parody of my TV commercial will never hurt me.

Saturday Night Live has been bashing on brands for decades. Youtube offers a never-ending supply of user-generated ads that make fun of ads. And with the recent spoofing of Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln car commercials, I can’t help but wonder... “Is all of this mock-filled attention a good thing?”

In some cases, there’s no doubt it can do harm. However, for the most part, I see it falling under the same umbrella as, “All press is good press.” Lincoln, a relatively forgotten car brand, has received more attention in the last few months than the last 10 years. And according to MarketWatch, October 2014 sales are up 25% for the carmaker. 

While you have to give the Oscar Winner - and his cool persona - much of the credit, you cannot underestimate the role of these spoof ads. From Ellen Degeneres to Jim Carrey on SNL, the extra exposure has been massive. People are thinking and talking about Lincoln. That’s a huge win for any brand or product. So if you ever find your TV commercial a victim of others’ satire, just think of Mr. McConaughey and say to yourself, “It’s alright, alright, alright.”

To further embrace the spirit of this blog article, below is an Eicoff commercial lucky enough to provide inspiration for a few writers at Saturday Night Live. Our commercial chronicles the invention story behind Breathe Right Nasal Strips. SNL's commercial wonderfully imitates ours, only featuring a different product solving a much different problem.  

'Tis the Season(s) For Holiday Radio

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer... in October? Yes, it's already begun! Radio stations around the country have been racing to switch formats and feature holiday music 24/7. 

This New York Times article details the compelling attraction for listeners who eagerly anticipate the highly popular, annual Nov-Dec short term switch to the all-holiday radio format. Almost 500 stations nationwide will take part in this transformation. Even in warmer locales, like Alabama, people are eager to sing along to Let It Snow by Bing Crosby.  For local radio stations, this Jingle Bell Takeover is a big winner. It creates an advertiser-friendly format filled with listeners who can't wait for the holidays and the biggest shopping season of the year to begin.


While some radio stations have already switched to their holiday playlists, our local Chicago station WLIT-FM is engaging their listeners with an online contest, “Guess when our holiday music starts!” You can visit their website for your chance to win. OUR PREDICTION: Soon very soon.


Philips Launches Another Exciting Innovation

Philips Innovation.png

Our client Philips Lifeline has always been the leading innovator in medical alert systems. Today they take their technological expertise in this field to a whole new level. With the launch of a new mobile product called GoSafe, Philips is giving seniors greater safety, security and freedom than ever before. It's the kind of product that will truly make a huge difference for many people. Visit their website to learn more.

And stay tuned for a category changing commercial coming soon to a TV screen near you.

2 minutes of awesomeliciousness

DRTV best practices call for longer length commercials. This two-minute spot for GE calls, raises.

Lunch Lab. Fresh Thinking. New Ideas. Pizza.

Lunch Lab.png

Despite the 4th quarter chaos, looming deadlines and an inbox full of unread emails, I managed to slip away from my desk to attend The Eicoff Lunch Lab. I mean come on, a person's gotta eat, right?

Matt Cote, Eicoff's VP|Video Innovation, set the tone for his presentation with this thought:

When it comes to innovation, forget the multitude of reasons why something won’t work and believe the one reason why it will.

Innovation seems elusive and complicated, something beyond our control. Also risky, because of a fear of failing, and the fallout from that failure. Being successful requires change, but with change comes uncertainty. Let's face it, none of us are Steve Jobs, creating The Next Big Thing like the brand newest iPhone or what have you. How do we, mere mortals, make innovation happen?

Innovation, Cote explained, doesn’t have to be a big idea homerun like the iPhone. It's simply a question of looking at things differently. As in everything. All the time. It isn’t a department, but rather everyone working together with a common goal: to make the most of every new opportunity to our clients' advantage.

Innovation is at the core of any successful company. Who would have thought that a DRTV Advertising Agency would be finding ways to deliver measurable results via breakthrough technologies like interactive TV, online and mobile video, programmatic/addressable TV? How about a client-customized iChannel? A click-to-buy test on Smart TVs? And what's next?

The question to ask isn't why, but why not.

Lunch Lab is an ongoing series at Eicoff, one of North America's leading DRTV advertising agencies, with presentations and discussions about various topics, from DRTV best practices to what's going on in the advertising industry at large. It's a great way to keep up on the latest, learn something new, etc.

And there's pizza, so...

A TV With A Lot Of Friends

Tv With Friends.png

When a friend asked me what a Connected TV was I jokingly responded with the headline of this post.  It was a joke, kind of.  Welcome to the world of interactive television.  A Connected TV (often referred to as a Smart TV) transforms a consumers’ main source of entertainment from a screen that simply displays content provided by a cable/satellite provider into something much more - an IP delivered TV experience. 

Want to watch a YouTube clip? How about binge viewing of the latest Netflix hit? A live sports event not offered on a traditional channel? Or a hot web short series that someone at work mentioned?  All of that and much more are at your fingertips with a Connected TV.  Easy to see why 113 million consumers have become instant friends with a Connected TV. Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and a very long list of other content providers have quickly developed apps that bring all the content the consumer wants to the TV screen, in an easy to use format.  Often for free.

Advertisers are always looking for better targeting ability, more flexibility in the ad units they can use and, most importantly, the ability to better measure their video efforts.  The Connected TV advertising marketplace is poised to deliver on all of that.  Want to only reach homes that have a HH income over $100K and who have been watching a lot of video content on home improvements?  Want to serve an ad to consumers within 1 mile of your retail location? How about in that area with an interactive overlay displaying your actual store address? Want to know exactly how much of your ad was watched? All are very easy to do in the Connected TV environment. Whether it's through a Smart TV, an Over The Top Device like Roku, an internet-enabled cable TV package, or a game console like Xbox, Connected TV provides an incredible amount of information, targeting, and ad units that linear TV can not offer.

Surprising as it may seem, the friendship between Connected TV's and advertisers, well...it's complicated. As with all other emerging platforms, it takes time. Standards for ad insertion, full understanding of inventory and who controls it, as well as a pricing structure that makes sense, are all being worked through right now. But I suspect they will become BFF's in the near future. How could they not? One offers the other exactly what they have been looking for their entire life: an opportunity to combine the power of digital targeting/measurement with the power of the big screen in the living room.

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

Eicoffers Kick Off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Eicoff and Lee.png

You might think wearing jeans to work at an advertising agency would be no big deal. But when it's to benefit National Denim Day, it's a very big deal. Participants donate $5 or more in exchange for wearing jeans to work, and support one of the largest single day fund raisers in the fight against breast cancer. Being a performance driven agency, we like results: since its inception in 1996, Lee National Denim Day participants have raised more than $91MM for the fight against breast cancer. Not too shabby. #denimday #leejeans

Group Breast Cancer.png


And how about something to wear along with those jeans? Something like... a Big Pink Bra? Seriously. Eicoffers took a few minutes out of their lunch break to help Advocate Health raise cash (and a few eyebrows) by donating $1 to the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk every time anyone poses with The Bra and posts the photo on Twitter or Instagram.  Well done. #SupportYourGirls

Another Doing Good event from Eicoff's Can Do team.

Another Doing Good event from Eicoff's Can Do team.

Hispanic DRTV Best Practices

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 through October 15

With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, it's a good time to point out some facts on the Hispanic market and best practices to use when targeting this expanding, evolving market.

Hispanic DRTV Best Practices.png

The Hispanic market continues to explode….

  • As of 2013, Hispanics make up 17% of the U.S. population, totaling 54 million.
  • More than half of the total population in California, Florida and Texas is Hispanic.
  • In 22 states, Hispanics are the largest minority group.
  • In 17 states, 20% of the public school kindergarten population is Hispanic, up from 8 states in 2000. 

Targeting the Hispanic market through direct response television, or any other medium for that matter, should be considered culturally, not on language alone. But language is incredibly important for obvious reasons. The choice of language to use in a commercial and for media placements will largely depend on the target demographic of the audience – Millennials? First-generation? Second- or third-generation? Most Hispanics still prefer to speak Spanish in the home and consume their media that way as well, even if outside the home English is spoken more often.

Best practices for advertising to the Hispanic market:

Speak The Language

  1. Spanish-speaking/bilingual telemarketing agents are key. Hispanics will feel more at ease sharing their information and ordering. Live agents are more successful in conversion vs. IVR’s.
  2. Hispanics like ads 51% more if viewed in Spanish vs. English.
  3. Hiring Spanish-speaking talent to deliver the script resonates 30% better with Hispanics.

Embrace The Culture

  1. Cultural fluency is even more important than language.  Take the time to understand who they are and what they represent: family, music, food, religion; media that reflects the roots, country of origin, community, values and aspirations.
  2. Hispanics are sustaining their culture rather than assimilating:
      • 9 out of 10 Hispanic parents and parents-to-be want their children to be able to speak Spanish, even though they also want them to be fluent in English.
      • There are more than 100 Hispanic-focused broadcast and cable networks today – proof the Hispanic culture is here to stay and continuing to grow.
      • Hispanic adults say they want to be more Latino (31%) or bicultural (60%) than they are now, they like telling people from other cultures about Hispanics (75%), and they speak to their closest friend in Spanish (51%) or both English and Spanish (24%).

If you’re not considering a Hispanic component to your advertising, you're missing a big opportunity. There's never been a better time to tap into this vibrant culture and rapidly expanding market.

Get more interesting facts on the Hispanic audience here.

Beth Fritz is VP/Associate Media Group Director at Eicoff, one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.

Quicken Loans Helping Rebuild Detroit

Eicoff recently helped partner Quicken Loans with the Travel Channel to create a custom “30-Second Escape” to showcase the new Detroit and help rebuild the Motor City.

Check it out below!


DRTV Anatomy: What Makes a Spot Effective?

We’re often asked by prospective clients, “What are the rules for doing DRTV?”

The fact is, there really aren’t any. Every client has a unique brand personality, different objectives, and specific desired results, so there’s no one way to achieve them. However, there are definite guidelines we use to create an effective DRTV spot.

And of course, it’s knowing which guidelines to use and when to use them that makes for a strong spot, be it a stand-alone spot or as part of a broad-reaching media mix.Let’s talk through some of the traits a DRTV spot must have to work its magic, so to speak: engaging, informative and compelling.

CLIENT: SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio

This is a spot we created for SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. Our objective: overcome the target’s perception the product was inaccessible and irrelevant to their lifestyle and get them to try it for 30 days.




Premise introduced early. It’s a good idea to get right to it. This spot’s premise: why settle for just a little bit of radio when you can have so much more?

Stand up presenter. Often used when there’s a complex or meaty story to tell. A presenter on a simple background allows you to show graphics or supers that help support the message.

This doesn’t mean the presenter has to be serious or dryly spout the copy points. Quite the contrary. Our presenter is engaging and witty and helps capture, and hold, the viewer’s attention. He gets us nodding our heads and takes us step-by-step through the story.



Specific information and support points. Often why clients choose longer format versus shorter length spots. You can say a lot more. The benefits of Sirius XM – their specialty stations, endless sports, exclusivity with Howard Stern Radio – are spelled out and help persuade the viewer why this is worth considering.

The “lower third.” This is a good place to keep the phone number, logo, URL and a simple call to action prominent through the whole spot.


Free trial. Sirius invited viewers to try their service FREE for 30 days.

No commitmentNice way to encourage action, “Hey, you’ve got nothing to lose, why not give it a try?”

Free gift. In this case, a cool baseball cap. A smart way to increase urgency (if you call right now). Could be the tipping point that gets viewers to go for it.

Call to action. Good to repeat two or even three times. After all, we’re trying to get viewers to act – make a call or go online, for example.

Strong wrap up. A concise summary of all the good information we’ve given.

American's Dirtiest Cleaning Secrets and Habits Exposed

No matter what the media channel, effective advertising begins with solid research and intelligent insight. Our long-time client Jelmar, the makers of CLR, recently commissioned a study to discover our dirtiest cleaning secrets. The findings are not only useful; they’re funny because they’re familiar to us all.

New CLR® Study Finds One-Third of Americans Consider Themselves "Cleaning Fanatics" and More than Half Find Cleaning Therapeutic

CLR Cleaning.png


Obsessed with cleaning? If so, you are not alone. According to a new survey commissioned by CLR (www.jelmar.com), one-third of Americans consider themselves to be cleaning fanatics with the average American spending almost five hours a week cleaning and mothers with children under eight years old spending an average of nine hours a week cleaning. Additionally, more than half of Americans (52 percent) consider cleaning to be therapeutic.

The "CLR Cleaning Confessions" survey was conducted by TNS to examine the cleaning habits and pet peeves of U.S. adults as well as how the larger topic of cleanliness affects their behavior. Beginning with the flagship calcium, lime and rust remover (CLR) and expanding to include a Mold & Mildew remover and Stain Magnet stain remover, the CLR family of products has helped solve people's toughest cleaning problems for more than 20 years.

"Of course we love to hear that people enjoy cleaning, but I'm sure there are many things they would rather be doing than scrubbing their bathroom or kitchen," said Alison Gutterman, president of Jelmar. "We want to make the time people are spending cleaning as easy and effective as possible, so they are always ready for the unexpected guest, or have more time to spend with their family or even just spend more time treating themselves. This is why we continue to focus on making products that are easy to use and get the job done the first time."

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Confessions of a Cleaning Fanatic: Half of parents with younger kids consider themselves cleaning fanatics and many Americans avoid socializing when homes are dirty.
    • More than six in ten Americans (63 percent) are triggered to clean their homes when friends, family or significant others visit and over one-quarter (29 percent) of Americans have avoided having people over because their homes are too dirty.
    • One-third of Americans (33 percent) have avoided visiting a friend or family member's home because it is too dirty.
  • Bathrooms Considered "The Dirtiest": Americans consider the bathroom to be the dirtiest room in the home, but do not clean it as frequently as other rooms.
    • One out of three Americans (35 percent) admit that their bathroom is the dirtiest room in their home, and one in five Americans (19 percent) only clean their bathrooms once a month.
    • More than half of Americans (55 percent) consider a dirty bathroom to be one of their biggest pet peeves when visiting other people's homes. Strong odors, dirty dishes, overflowing garbage and clutter were other common pet peeves.
  • Cleaning Trigger Points: When asked about what motivates them to clean, the majority of Americans said seeing dust and clutter gets them to get moving.
    • Additional triggers motivating Americans to clean include: feeling sticky, dirty surfaces (64 percent), seeing stains or residue on surfaces (62 percent), smelling unpleasant odors (52 percent) and seeing mold or mildew on surfaces (39 percent).
  • Outside the Home: Americans are also focused on cleanliness outside of their home. When asked about additional cleaning pet peeves:
    • Half of Americans admit to flushing the toilet with their feet.
    • Four out of ten Americans (42 percent) use paper towel to open public doors.
    • Over one-quarter of Americans wipe down silverware at restaurants and surfaces in hotel rooms.

The CLR survey was conducted using the online omnibus services of TNS from May 29 – 31, 2014 among a nationally representative sample of 2,500 Americans 18 years of age or older (balanced to census). The margin of error for total Americans 18+ is ±1.9 percent. If the study were replicated, the findings would not vary by more than 1.9 percentage points in either direction 95 times out of 100.

JELMAR is a leading manufacturer of a broad range of household cleaning products, including CLR® and Tarn-X® brands of cleaners. Flagship CLR products include CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover, CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner and CLR Septic Treatment and Drain Care. With its unique formula, the CLR brand gets the cleaning job done in virtually every area of the home. New products recently introduced include CLR Mold & Mildew Remover and CLR Stain Magnet, designed with the modern kitchen in mind. For more information visit http://www.jelmar.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140716/127805

SOURCE Jelmar, Inc.


Cardz for Kidz and Ice Cream for Eicoff

The weather outside might have been gloomy, but it was a sunny afternoon inside at Eicoff's “Can Do” Volunteer Corp’s Ice Cream Social benefitting Cardz for Kidz.

Armed with paper, markers, stickers, googly eyes, and lots of imagination, Eicoffers created handmade cards for hospitalized children to remind them they are truly special.

In the words of Delia Farrell, VP Management Supervisor, it was “the greatest work day ever!”

The ice cream slowly melted as everyone became absorbed with writing messages, drawing pictures and placing stickers, hoping to put a smile on a child’s face. In the end, our gallery was filled with 138 amazing cards displaying fun designs, jokes and encouragements. Special thanks to Eicoff's “Can Do” Volunteer Corp for making this event such a big success.

If you’d like to know more about Cardz for Kidz, check them out at cardzforkidz.org or visit their Facebook page. 

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.


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.

Peter 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.


Stefan 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.

Kids Gala.png

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

Eicoff’s “Can Do” Volunteers Find Their Green Thumbs At City Farm

Amongst the tall buildings, busy streets and sweltering summer sun, Eicoff’s “Can Do” Volunteer Corps got their green on with a day of service at City Farm. The urban-farming initiative transforms vacant land into productive farmland, which translates into jobs, green space and fresh produce for the city.

City Farm is also a place of education. After a brief tour, we were awed by the capabilities of the one-acre farm. Then it was time to get our hands dirty. Eicoff’s Volunteer Corps members showed off their signature “Can Do” spirit by weeding and pruning rows of vegetables.

Chicago’s motto is Urbs in Horto, or “City in a Garden.”  We were very proud to help City Farm’s efforts to create lush, sustainable gardens in a city, and look forward to partnering with City Farm in the future.