Recruiting With Direct Response

May 16, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Sheree R. Curry

Special to TelevisionWeek

When the nonprofit Jewish Federation of Portland, Ore., wanted to recruit new members and solicit donations, it said yes to placing a direct-response ad on cable.

“Because we want to target people of the Jewish faith, we did an analysis of where they live and determined that cable was the best way to reach them,” said Michelle Cardinal, president and CEO of Cmedia, the media buying arm of Portland direct response agency Respond2.

Ms. Cardinal said local cable has become more appealing recently. “In the past, local cable has been expensive in terms of costs per thousand, but now we are finding [account executives] to be more willing to negotiate, and they are willing to do creative deals to sweeten the pot.”

Part of that creativity includes bonus airings based on the performance of direct-response ads, she said.

“The more phone calls we get the more likely we are to buy that cluster again” and receive a better rate on a cost-per-call or cost-per-order basis, said Ms. Cardinal, who began working with the Portland interconnect in 1998. She also buys for national clients throughout the U.S.

For the Jewish Federation, Cmedia bought a news cluster that included MSNBC, Headline News, CNBC and the Weather Channel. “The client came to us and said, ‘We really want to reach an informed viewer and someone who is involved in current events,'” she said.

The two ads-one 30-second and one 60-second spot-run primarily around Jewish holidays, particularly Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.