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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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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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New Year’s Resolution: Update your profile pics! Quick advice and free tools for a smart refresh.

Who was the President when you last updated your profile pics? If you answered anyone other than Biden, it’s probably time for a change. And if you’re wearing a puka shell necklace or a designer trucker hat in your pic, it’s DEFINITELY overdue.   Your profile pics need to make a solid first impression. They reflect your personality and can have an impact on networking, job opportunities and possibly your career. So don’t wait for that spare moment that will never come, follow these easy tips to create a fresh and fulfilling profile pic.   1) Frame yourself so people can clearly see your face. Especially important for professional/business profiles.   2) Take multiple images from multiple angles. Hold your camera at face level and shoot face forward, 3/4 angle, and side profile images. You’ll probably prefer one over the others.   2) Be conscious of the background. Flat colors that contrast your image are ideal. Also, try...

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Supply Chain Holiday Blues: Questions & Answers for Marketers.

It’s not just the title track of the 2021 Holiday Season. This year’s supply chain issue is a heavy dose of reality that has retailers scrambling to meet demand and end the year in the black. As marketers, we’re kind of caught in the middle with more questions than solutions. Our Q &A tackles some the broad questions behind this unprecedented Holiday marketing season.   Why isn’t the supply chain keeping up with demand?   The pandemic is ultimately to blame but there is no simple answer. Three key factors have led us to be unprepared for the uptick in demand.   Just in time inventory management: Rather than keeping warehouses full, companies have switched to having raw materials and finished products arrive exactly when they need them. It’s a way of running leaner by eliminating excess inventory. Unfortunately, it leaves little room for surprises like a pandemic.   Lack of warehouse workers and truck drivers:...

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Health plans should expect record ACA enrollments in 2022 — thanks ARP!

Back in April we promised to follow up on the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP’s) impact on the health insurance market. As you may recall, the ARP offered larger premium tax credits to a greater number of people who obtain coverage through Affordable Care Act health plans. It also created an extended special enrollment period (SEP) that’s slated to end on August 15th.   Here’s the good news from the ARP’s impact on 2021 enrollments: CMS reports that over 1.2 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the extended SEP as of June 1st.   3 million consumers reduced their monthly health insurance rates by applying for additional premium tax credits.   State-based marketplaces and healthcare.gov helped spur additional enrollments by promoting the SEP along with health plans. This included CMS teaming up with Stride’s Portable Benefits platform to help independent contractors enroll in an ACA health plan during a “Gig Workers Week of...

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American Rescue Plan equates to huge opportunities for insurers

Here at Direct Choice, we’re capitalizing on a new wave of marketing opportunities for our health insurance clients brought on by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). That’s the self-aggrandizing title for what you may more readily recognize as the most recent COVID-19 stimulus/relief package. Signed into law on March 11, 2021, Biden’s $1.2 trillion package includes direct stimulus payments, extended unemployment benefits, expanded child tax credits and other safety nets for struggling Americans.   One of the less publicized aspects of the plan includes a big win for people without employer-provided health insurance, including middle-income folks. Here’s a breakdown of how the new law is expanding access to affordable health insurance for Americans in 2021 and 2022:   Larger premium tax credits According to HHS.gov, monthly premiums will decrease by an average of $50 per person after credits. Four out of five enrollees (up from 69% pre-ARP) will be able to find a plan for...

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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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