Author: Patricia Uhrich

5 Tips for Maximizing the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season

Despite the evidence of inflation all around us, consumers seem unfazed when it comes to their shopping habits. According to National Retail Federation President and CEO, “October retail sales data confirms that consumers continue to stretch their dollars on household priorities, including gifts for family and loved ones this holiday season.” In other words, consumers are still spending and they’re spending early on holiday gifts. The question is, what can you do to win your share of today’s  holiday shoppers? We have some tips.   Appeal to the Hybrid Shopper   The intermixing of digital and physical shopping is becoming more dominant with more than half of consumers reporting they shop both ways. Clients of Aptos commerce solutions saw a 75% increase in e-commerce sales fulfilled from their physical stores during the 2021 holiday season. That means more of your customers will expect that they can purchase online and pick up the...

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Insurance Ads Gone Wild – A Brief History

Pure genius. That was the phrase that came to mind when we clicked on the YouTube page for Liberty Mutual’s Young People commercial. It has 1.4 million plus views, half of which are probably from marketers who saw it on broadcast and then had to see it again. Have a look.   Kudos to the agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and the client for having a laugh at themselves. Insurance companies have been trying so hard to make ads that people want to watch, that it’s become a competition.   1999: GEICO Gecko Debuts We can thank GEICO for breaking away from stuffy, artless ads with the advent of the GEICO Gecko which first aired in 1999. Originally targeting government employees, Government Employee Insurance Company (GEICO) had an image problem as they entered the broader market. Obviously they succeeded, because according to Ad Age, 98% of people recognize the GEICO Gecko.   With a running start, GEICO...

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What it takes to win a Telly

Filming three versions of a DRTV spot with six actors, multiple extras and props in an outdoor location is akin to herding cats in a hurricane. Fortunately, our partners at Center City Film and Video are pros at managing what looks like controlled chaos. After months of concept and script development, we watched our creative vision come together in one frenzied day of shooting.   The What Matters TV spot was conceived out of a need to appeal to a broad audience during open enrollment for individual health insurance. Together with our client, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we knew our spot needed a setting that could serve as a common ground for a diverse group of people. We landed on a public park. Specifically, we chose the Philadelphia Navy Yard’s Central Green which had all the ingredients needed for a one-day shoot composed of numerous scenes.   After a rain...

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Summer Reads for the Marketing Obsessed

If you’re reading for escapism, this list isn’t for you. Maybe check out some smart beach reads suggested by NPR. This list is for those of us in the marketing world who can’t resist a title that could improve our careers and how we run our businesses. It’s also good if you just want to look smarter than the sunburnt vacationer asleep in the beach chair next to you.   For your strategy side:   The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share by Dan Gingiss. You don’t have to be a CX strategist to appreciate this new book. It’s for business owners and marketers who understand the value of investing in customers to build loyalty and boost positive word-of-mouth advertising. As a reviewer on Amazon (also on Gingiss’ site) stated, there are plenty of books touting CX advice that’s totally impractical for the average business —...

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Pride Month. It’s about more than waving a rainbow flag.

With so many brands jumping on the rainbow bandwagon every June, it’s not surprising that the LGBTQ+ community may find some marketing practices as opportunistic, or even worse, hypocritical. Last year, Popular Information, an advertising-free online newsletter, called out 25 rainbow-flag waving corporations that donated a combined $10 million to anti-gay politicians. Understanding pride month is a good first step to ensure that your brand is in synch with the history and meaning behind this important event for the LGBT+ community.   Here’s a refresher on the origins and significance of Pride Month.   In the United States, the lack of rights and protections for LGBTQ+ community led to a gay rights movement beginning in the 1940s. The U.S. movement gained serious traction after the well-known Stonewall riots, which began in June of 1969. This series of spontaneous demonstrations in Greenwich Village, NYC was in response to police raids at gay bars but more...

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Direct Choice honored with Best of Show at Philly DMA awards

Last night’s Benny Awards Celebration was extra special on many levels. First of all, it felt so refreshing for everyone — our agency family and the greater Philly direct marketing community — to be together in person. That honestly would have been enough for an amazing night out. To our good fortune, the night became progressively better as we were awarded for our work across three marketing categories:   Interactive – Social Media Winner: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina “What Matters”. As part of a multi-channel campaign for individual health insurance, our social media campaign leveraged the star of our TV spot to garner attention. Each ad promoted affordable plans that can “check all the boxes that matter to you” for as little as $0 a month.     Outdoor Campaign – Other Media Category (Outdoor, Transit, Posters, Point of Purchase): Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina “Healthy Blue +...

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Brand Advertising and Direct Marketing – aka Beauty and the Beast.

by Bill Rogers   Many years before joining Direct Choice, I strolled into a creative presentation with Progressive.com weary from an early flight but emboldened by the solid direct mail concepts my team had prepared. This was before Arnold Worldwide had crafted the beloved Flo character. At the time, Progressive.com was the new kid on the block, smothering the airways with a bold offer: get the best quote on auto insurance even if it’s not ours!  It was a novel approach, not to mention an offer that was built for direct mail. The presentation was going exceptionally well until I presented a mailing which removed the Progressive logo from the envelope in favor of what I called an “urgent, under-the-radar” approach. They didn’t get it.   The argument I heard against the “under the radar” approach was the same one I hear today. Quote the client, “Why would we mail un-branded envelopes when we’re...

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USPS Boosts Savings in 2022 Promotions for Marketers

It’s no secret that the USPS loves commercial mail. While last year’s first-class mail volumes fell to their lowest since 1971, marketing mail was on the rise in 2021.  That must be one of the reasons why the postal service is encouraging marketers to innovate and save with six special promotions throughout the year. Many of these special promotions are offering increased discounts compared to last year.   Some quick facts on these programs and why you may want to take advantage:   4% Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Promotion (now through July 31): Perhaps you’ve always wanted to test an interactive pop-up format or a mailer with special textures, visuals, or sound? With this discount, which has been doubled for 2022, you can help offset the added production and first-class mailing costs. Besides making a big impression in the mail, you may discover the added cost is worth the boost in response/sales regardless of...

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What the HEALTH just happened with Super Bowl ads?

If you’re looking for the typical review of the best Super Bowl ads, you can count on AdAge or Adweek for that. They both agree that the Coinbase spot was the most effective. In case you missed it, here it is:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIUD_NE1BDo   $14 million well spent? Well, the bouncing QR code was so effective that it caused Coinbase to crash. Perhaps they took a cue from some of the DRTV spots Direct Choice produced last year?     Anyhow, what struck us about this year was the emergence of health-related ads and the absence of Anheuser-Bush. Super Bowl 2022 ads posed an interesting contrast to the typical fare of chips, dips, pizza and beer.   What’s Gotten Into Lindsay?  Planet Fitness made a good bet that Inquiring minds want to know. They’re also betting that people are ready to get back to the gym, BIG TIME. Love the moment between her and Dennis Rodman which was easily...

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Important Trends for Direct Mail, Digital and TV for 2022…

Because getting left behind is not an option. You don’t have to be a trendsetter to be relevant. In fact, it’s much safer to be a follower of proven trends as long as you’re an early adopter. With that in mind, here are some top trends for DM, Digital and TV that you need to be aware of as we plan for success.   DIRECT MAIL TRENDS QR Codes for Digital Response on the Rise: According to Who’s Mailing What, QR codes now surpass basic website URLs among mailings that include a digital response. QR codes appeared 40% of the time vs 31% for website URLs and 23% for social media. This is no surprise since QR readers are now built into today’s smartphone camera apps.   Informed Delivery Is Growing Fast: This service by USPS allows customers to get a preview of what’s arriving in their mailbox via email, web or mobile app. It also...

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Kudos for Direct Choice at the PDMA Benny Awards last night. DCI won the top award in 3 categories PLUS WON BEST IN SHOW! Congrats to ALL #PDMA #bennyawards ...

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Here's something many of us can relate to in the era of virtual meetings - enjoy a good laugh and Happy Holidays from the DCI team! #virtualbloopers #Happyholidays #happyholidays2021 ...

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Way to go Reem, our resident @Peloton aficionado, for recently completing 500 RIDES!! #peloton ...

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Shout out to @michelafavazza who will soon be a Drexel University field hockey Dragon! Michela is the daughter of our very own Sal Favazza (a Drexel alum!) https://maxfieldhockey.com/2021-michela-favazza/ #drexelfieldhockey #drexeldragons #drexeluniversity ...

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Time to get your brackets done! #marchmadness #brackets #ncaabasketball ...

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Thank you to our friends from @Mayoseitz-media for the @dibrunobros gift basket! Looks delicious! Happy Holidays! ...

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You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite holiday movie - see if you agree with the DCI team’s favorite flicks! #holidaymovies #happyholidays2020 ...

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