Direct Response Television is one of those phenomenons that are an unavoidable part of modern life for anyone who watches television. While it is more & more prevalent in the Toy Category few of us know much about the nuts and bolts of actually preparing and running a DRTV campaign, not to mention whether it is something that makes sense for our products. That is why I asked Robert Yusim, the leading expert on direct response in the toy & youth categories, to write an article about it.
Rob began his career working directly with Raymond Kives one of the founders of K-Tel and Quality Dino Entertainment. In 2006 Rob crossed over into the toy category and started Spin Direct, Spin Master Ltd's DRTV division, with the launches of Rocket Fishing Rod, Moon Sand, Storm Launcher and Reflex Heli. Over the past 6 years Rob has launched or licensed over 100 toy product campaigns in the US, Canada and UK. In 2010 Rob launched Product Counsel to provide complete turnkey DRTV services to clients, with emphasis in the toy & youth marketplace, as well as to assist companies and inventors with acquisitions and/or licensing out their products.
DIRECT RESPONSE & TOYS – THE AS SEEN ON TV COMPANIES HAVE ARRIVED!
WOW has the DRTV marketplace, in the toy category changed dramatically over the past several years! Prior to 2006 there was literally no DRTV activity in the toy category due to a belief in a myth that toy products would not sell via DRTV. Then in 2006 with the launch of Floam® by SAS and campaigns for Moon Sand®, Rocket Fishing Rod®, Storm Launcher® & Reflex® Heli by Spin Master LTD., the myth was obliterated.
From 2007 through 2010, Spin Master literally dominated the space by launching dozens of campaigns in the RC, Activities, Outdoor, Collectibles, Doll & Wheels categories. It was transformational for Spin Master and as a result was transformational for the entire toy industry. Many major industry players like Mattel®, Hasbro & Jakks Pacific® have since experimented with DRTV while many smaller companies have also developed campaigns to gain more exposure for their brands.
All the DRTV activity in the toy category caught the attention of many of the major As Seen On TV Companies. In 2008/2009 Merchant Media & All Star Products (with Spin Master’s involvement) had strong success with Bendaroos® in the US, Canada & UK. But it was the success of Pillow Pets® that not only invented the new category of Transformational Plush but also brought Ontel® into the category. With their success with Pillow Pets®, Ontel® has followed up with other youth directed products, most notably Slushy Magic™ & Dream Lites™, which is currently trending to be a major Xmas 2012 driver. Other As Seen On TV companies have also entered the space including IdeaVillage™ with Fushigi™ (2010), Shimmer Glitter Tattoos™ & Stompeez™, which is also projected to have strong success at retail this season. The toy category is, more than ever, on the radar of all As Seen ON TV companies.
The results are both positive and negative for traditional toy marketers…. The Positive… More potential retail doors for toy marketers as retailers who stock As Seen ON TV products are now including As Seen ON TV Toys in their ranges; The additional option/consideration for toy marketers of placing their DRTV Toy Products in As Seen ON TV departments at mass retailers in addition to the toy departments; The Negative…More competition for traditional toy companies for licensing and selling new products as more As Seen ON TV marketers enter the category. As Seen On TV Companies believe toys are now a trend in DRTV. While Spin Master opened the door to the trend years ago, traditional toy companies can expect to see more & more toy marketing from As Seen ON TV Companies in the future. Its truly remarkable how DRTV has impacted the toy industry!
Please look for my articles related to DRTV, as well as other topics in the toy category. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly by phone - 204 977 6102 , by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ProductCounsel.com. © 2012