Magazine article Marketing

DRTV Finds New Role in McVitie's Sampling

Magazine article Marketing

DRTV Finds New Role in McVitie's Sampling

Article excerpt

While direct response TV has almost become an obligatory part of any campaign promoting financial services, it has only recently moved into the realm of fast moving consumer goods.

McVitie's has joined the small group of groundbreaking advertisers looking at sampling through direct response television, although media observers believe it is a move others will soon follow.

For the launch of its Ace biscuits, McVitie's will use national television advertising to invite viewers to call in for a free sample. The technique could spread to other McVitie's brands.

"It is very much a novelty," says Ogilvy & Mather Direct's head of DRTV Simon Foster. "The majority of DRTV promotes finance, motor and travel; fmcg is very low down the scale."

If the UK market follows the US, DRTV is likely to become a much more common way of encouraging trial, with the added bonus of database development.

Until now, mass marketing has been the key to promoting fmcg products but increasingly the requirement is to talk to the customer on an individual basis, and a sampling campaign through DRTV is a useful way of building up information on the target market.

"It is highly contemporary because branding and communication is integrated through the campaign," says Nick Brien, managing director of Leo Burnett.

Others who have tested the waters include Revlon, which used DRTV to offer samples of its Age Defying Makeup, and Spillers Petfoods which last year offered cats a sample of its relaunched Purrfect pet food brand.

"We believe sampling is going to be big news this year," says Caroline Hunt, head of client sales at Carlton TV. As proof of this, Carlton is launching High Intensity Targeting in March, a one-stop shop for advertisers wishing to coordinate sampling support with TV activity.

Retaliating against retailers

"In the past the unwillingness to test sampling has come from the manufacturers," says Foster. "But it is now being seen as a way of edging round the retailers, which can be hard to achieve in-store if your brand is positioned next to the retailer's own-label."

In contrast to the more traditional methods of sampling such as door drops, point-of-sale sampling and events sampling offer manufacturers the dual benefits of inducing trial and getting enough information to initiate a relationship with customers. …

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