Aug 04

Response July: Don’t Call Them Comebacks

Response July 2016It’s been about 10 days since Response‘s July issue hit the web (and mailboxes). Earlier this week, we wrapped up and sent off our August issue to print. So I’m now able to share a bit about the issue, which is led by  a cover story on long-time performance-based marketing leader Nutrisystem. The issue also features our annual look at production and creative work in the TV/video sector and a feature touching on the latest news in the entertainment market. Read on for some back story on the key facets of the July issue:

  • We at Response have a lengthy knowledge of and history with Nutrisystem and its marketing efforts. The 44-year-old company has been a long-time leader in utilizing performance-based efforts — both offline and online — that have merited our coverage in the past. Additionally, we’ve known, personally, a number of the company’s media strategy leaders over the years. But, while prepping for Response Expo 2016 last winter, we reconnected with the company’s PR head, Robin Shallow, thanks to another old friend of the magazine, Karla Crawford Kerr of ad agency Hawthorne Direct. And though the company’s CMO, Keira Krausz, wasn’t able to swing her schedule to speak at the Expo, we were able to grab this cover story. And what great timing, as Nutrisystem is on a three-year hot streak after some lean years — thanks to Krausz’s leadership and its team’s knowledge of omnichannel marketing. At the same time, the company made a key acquisition while also debuting a brand new campaign in late 2015. If you missed it above, here’s the link: All Systems Go!
  • An annual staple, our feature on the production/creative end of the business, used to be centered fully around DRTV production. But with the expansion of new screens, digital media, and more, the story has expanded to include a deeper dive into the wider world of what might now be called video production. It’s clear that video assets are among the most desired by online marketers — and the experience with the success of video in different facets of online marketing is driving many of these marketers to look at linear TV as an advertising option. Don’t worry — even though we have updated how we look at this feature, our annual “cost of” spot and infomercial production charts remain a major part of the piece. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: Harnessing the Ever-Shrinking Screen
  • If you didn’t get enough about the power of new screens in the production story, well, the entertainment feature has some more for you. Between the growing power of subscriber video-on-demand (SVOD) and over-the-top (OTT) options and the technological breakthrough of 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) televisions, performance-based marketers have a lot to consider these days. Our Nicole Urso Reed, a one-time senior editor for Response and long-time freelancer, has more in her story: Ready for the Next Big Thing
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the long-form DRTV space for first-quarter 2016 results that continue the sector’s recent run of good fortune. After a three-year losing streak was finally broken in 3Q 2015, results reported in this issue make 1Q 2016 the third consecutive winning quarter. Total time slots purchased rose more than 22 percent, and only fading cable media pricing — which, actually, is a relief to buyers and perhaps a major key to recent success — kept the quarter’s dollar-on-dollar rise below 16 percent. For a full look at 1Q 2016 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form DRTV Billings Continue Rising in 1Q 2016
  • I wasn’t all that happy with my Editor’s Note column this month. When you’re tasked with writing a monthly column for 15 years, things can get … stale. And, sometimes — when you’re blocked — the writing gets rather clunky. Anyway, the thing you probably want to take from this piece is that we are working hard — at all times — to build our community of readers and advertisers. One recent development in that is the formation of DRMA Committees. While nearly four-dozen industry executives have joined the committees, there’s still room for more volunteers. Get more info on the committees here: DRMA Committees. And if you missed the link above, click here (if you must) to read my latest: Banding Together Can Create Business Freedom

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jul 05

#LOTD2014: January Playlist

#LOTD2014: January PlaylistNext up on the Lyric-of-the-Day project recaps from 2013-2014 is the January 2014 playlist. As a refresher, each day from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014, I posted a lyric on my Twitter feed. At the end of each month, I created a Spotify playlist of the songs featured, and throughout much of 2013-14 here on the blog.

Here’s January’s #LOTD2014 playlist (find the Spotify playlist I’ve created from these lyrics linked at the end of the post or on the clickable image at right), with some brief explanations (in italics) for a number of the lyrics.

  • “It’s time to spread our wings and fly/Don’t let another day go by my love” #JohnLennon “(Just Like) Starting Over” #LOTD2014 1/1
  • “But there’s something about us I’ve got to do/Some kind of secret I will share with you” #DaftPunk “Something About Us” #LOTD2014 1/2
  • “Got a 7-inch trigger finger/Don’t know how to stop it” #7Horse “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” #LOTD2014 1/3 (Memorable tune from Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which I saw on this Friday night.)
  • “Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is/Everything I do, I do it big” #WizKhalifa “Black And Yellow” #LOTD2014 1/4
  • “Cause we were raised/To see life as fun and take it if we can” #TheCranberries “Ode To My Family” #LOTD2014 1/5
  • “Roots that spread so deep/Bring life to frozen ground” #CrowdedHouse “Something So Strong” #LOTD2014 1/6
  • “We never once thought of the fears/For what we’d do when the battle cry was over” #Alarm “Sixty Eight Guns” #LOTD2014 1/7
  • “I’m not the only soul who’s accused of hit and run/Tire tracks all across your back” #JimiHendrix “Crosstown Traffic” #LOTD2014 1/8
  • “Forever never seems that long til you’re grown & notice the day-by-day rule can’t be too long” #Outkast “Ms. Jackson” #LOTD2014 #Coachella 1/9 (Coachella 2014 lineup announced, featuring the Outkast “reunion.”)
  • “These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill…” #U2 “Dirty Day” #LOTD2014 1/10 #Bukowski
  • “Before the teacher and the test/Before the journey and the rest” #BigCountry “Fields Of Fire” #LOTD2014 1/11
  • “And all this science I don’t understand/It’s just my job five days a week/A rocket man …” #EltonJohn “Rocket Man” #LOTD2014 1/12 (Visited the Space Shuttle at the California Science Center in Exposition Park with my Aunt Sue.)
  • “Tough guy, what you got to prove/Moving like an elephant, that’s your favorite move” #BeastieBoys “Tough Guy” #LOTD2014 1/13
  • “Winter’s winners and those summer sons/Aren’t good for everyone, aren’t good for everyone” #EchoAndTheBunnymen “The Game” #LOTD2014 1/14
  • “Yeah, we’re runnin’ a little bit hot tonight/I can barely see the road from the heat comin’ off it” #VanHalen “Panama” #LOTD2014 1/15
  • “This is what they call the life/I’m melting in the sun/Great expectations/Of all we seem to be” #INXS “Melting In The Sun” #LOTD2014 1/16
  • “Just 2 lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year/Running over the same old ground” #PinkFloyd “Wish You Were Here” #LOTD2013 1/17
  • “Greedy little people in a sea of distress/Keep your more to receive your less” #RedHotChiliPeppers “Give It Away” #LOTD2014 1/18
  • “Why you all in my ear?/Talkin’ a whole bunch of sh*t I ain’t tryin’ to hear” #Ludacris “Get Back” #LOTD2014 1/19 #Sherman to #Crabtree
  • “Sleep, sleep tonight/And may your dreams be realized” #U2  “MLK” #LOTD2014 1/20 #IHaveADream #MartinLutherKing
  • “Now I’m makin’ them wait/Except for you mama, I’m ready/I don’t wanna be late” #ChildishGambino “Make It Go Right” #LOTD2014 1/21
  • “I remember traffic jams/Motor boys and girls with tans/Nearly was and almost rans” #REM “I Remember California” #LOTD2014 1/22 (USC hoops upsets Cal for its first Pac-12 win of the season.)
  • “Nothing stayed the same/But there were always renegades” #AfrikaBambaataa #RageAgainstTheMachine “Renegades Of Funk” #LOTD2014 1/23
  • “Wrote a nasty letter & I sent it to the Lord/I said don’t you dare come & bother me no more” #TheDeadWeather “Rocking Horse” #LOTD2014 1/24
  • “If one guy’s colors and the other’s don’t mix/They’re gonna bash it up” #TheOffspring “Come Out And Play” #LOTD2014 1/25 #StadiumSeries #LA (L.A. Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks in front of more than 54,000 at Dodger Stadium in the NHL Stadium Series game.)
  • “Seasons change with the scenery/Weaving time in a tapestry” #SimonAndGarfunkel “Hazy Shade Of Winter” #LOTD2014 1/26
  • “I met you on the Palisades/The sun was spilling kerosene/And I was feeling wide awake” #MiikeSnow “Song For No One” #LOTD2014 1/27
  • “You could have a bumper car, bumping/This amusement never ends” #PeterGabriel “Sledgehammer” #LOTD2014 1/28
  • “Sometimes I say stupid things I think/Well, I mean/Sometimes I think the stupidest things” #FranzFerdinand “No You Girls” #LOTD2013 1/29
  • “Painted lies on broken lips/That promise heaven tastes like this” #PsychedelicFurs “All That Money Wants” #LOTD2014 1/30
  • “Flip on the tele/Wrestle with Jimmy/Something is bubbling/Behind my back” #Weezer “Say It Ain’t So” #LOTD2014 1/31 #PhoenixOpen #BirdsNest (After a full day on No. 16 at the Phoenix Open, a group of us stuck around to catch the Weezer concert at the famed “Birds’ Nest” location at TPC Scottsdale.)

Here’s the Spotify playlist if you’d like to listen along: #LOTD2014: January

Jul 01

#LOTD2013: December Playlist

#LOTD2013: December PlaylistAfter a long, long, LOOOOOONG delay, I’m bound and determined to post the rest of my Lyric-of-the-Day project playlists from 2013-2014. As a refresher, each day from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014, I posted a lyric on my Twitter feed. At the end of each month, I created a Spotify playlist of the songs featured, and throughout much of 2013-14 here on the blog, I was posting links and more information on those lyrics and playlists.

The latest playlist to (finally) get a work-up in my Lyric-of-the-Day project is from December 2013. Here’s that month’s #LOTD2013 playlist (find the Spotify playlist I’ve created from these lyrics linked at the end of the post or on the clickable image at right), with some brief explanations (in italics) for a number of the lyrics.

  • “Jesus was born and so I get presents/Thank you Jesus for being born” #Cartman “O Holy Night” #LOTD2013 12/1 #SouthPark
  • “Then comes that big night/Giving the tree the trim/You’ll hear voices by starlight” #Sinatra “Mistletoe & Holly” #LOTD2013 12/2
  • “We know that Christmas will be green & bright/Sun to shine by day & all the stars at night” #BingCrosby “Mele Kalikimaka” #LOTD2013 12/3
  • “I want to roll around like a kid in the snow/I want to re-learn what I already know” #TheKillers “A Great Big Sled” #LOTD2013 12/4
  • “Chains no longer bind me/Not the shackles at my feet/Outside are the prisoners/Inside the free” #U2 “Silver & Gold” #LOTD2013 12/5 #Mandela (South African apartheid hero Nelson Mandela passed away, necessitating this break from the holiday tunes to drop U2’s homage to him.)
  • “You’ll get a sentimental feeling when you hear/Voices singing ‘Let’s be jolly'” #BrendaLee “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” #LOTD2013 12/6
  • “Santa’s got to make it to town/Santa make him hurry/Tell him he can take the freeway down” #ChuckBerry “Run Rudolph Run” #LOTD2013 12/7
  • “So this is Xmas/I hope you have fun/The near & the dear one/The old & the young” #JohnLennon “Happy Xmas (War Is Over) #LOTD2013 12/8 #RIP (43rd anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon.)
  • “There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel/One in the park as well” #PerryComo “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” #LOTD2013 12/9
  • “There’ll be parties for hosting/Marshmallows for toasting” #AndyWilliams “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” #LOTD2013 12/10 (The Response team hosted its annual Winter Bash cocktail party in New York City.)
  • “City sidewalks busy sidewalks/Dressed in holiday style/In the air/There’s a feeling of Christmas” #DerBingle “Silver Bells” #LOTD2013 12/11
  • “I’ve been for a walk/On a winter’s day/I’d be safe and warm/If I was in L.A.” #MamasAndPapas “California Dreamin'” #LOTD2013 12/12 (Throwing out some hometown love from a very cold Thursday in New York City.)
  • “Rhymes so loud and proud you hear it/It’s Christmas time and we got the spirit” #RunDMC “Christmas In Hollis” #LOTD2013 12/13
  • “The orange and palm trees sway/There’s never been such a day in old L.A.” #DarleneLove #PhilSpector “White Christmas” #LOTD2013 12/14
  • “She’s candyapple red with a ski for a wheel/When Santa hits the gas/Man just watch her peel” #BeachBoys “Little Saint Nick” #LOTD2013 12/15
  • “Oh that we could always see/Such spirit through the year” #VinceGuaraldiTrio “Christmas Time Is Here” #LOTD2013 12/16
  • “What a bright time/It’s the rite time/To rock the nite away/Jingle bell time/Is a swell time”#BobbyHelms “Jingle Bell Rock” #LOTD2013 12/17
  • “So anxious for your look of joy and delight/Waiting for just your surprise” #SmashingPumpkins “Christmastime” #LOTD2013 12/18
  • “Church bells in town/Ringin’ a song/What a happy sound” #DarleneLove #PhilSpector #U2 “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” #LOTD2013 12/19 (Hopped a plane “home” to Boston to spend the holidays with my future wife’s family.)
  • “Sleigh bells ring, are you listening/In the lane, snow is glistening” #Eurythmics “Winter Wonderland” #LOTD2013 12/20
  • “Through the years we all will be together/If the fates allow” #LouRawls “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” #LOTD2013 12/21
  • “I feel just like I wanna kiss you underneath my mistletoe” #BruceSpringsteen #OtisRedding “Merry Christmas Baby” #LOTD2013 12/22 (Got engaged to my baby in Newburyport, Mass.)
  • “Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time” #BandAid “Do They Know It’s Christmas” #LOTD2013 12/23 pic.twitter.com/aXIsH5YhlL
  • “He knows if you’ve been bad or good/You better be good for goodness sake” #Bruce #EStreetBand “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” #LOTD2013 12/24
  • “And so I’m offering this simple phrase/To kids from one to 92” #NatKingCole “The Christmas Song” #LOTD2013 12/25 #MerryChristmas
  • “Our little group has always been/And always will until the end/Hello hello hello how low” #Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” #LOTD2013 12/26 (Group dinner with Caitlin’s old friends in Boston.)
  • “Me and my cousins/And you and your cousins/It’s a line that is always running” #VampireWeekend “Cousins” #LOTD2013 12/27 (Family party in Maine with Caitlin’s many cousins.)
  • “I used to dream/Of better days that never came/Sorry ain’t nothin’ to me” #BlackCrowes “Seeing Things” #LOTD2013 12/28
  • “I’m goin’ back to Cali/Shakin’em, bakin’em/Takin’em to spots they never before hung” #LLCoolJ “Going Back To Cali” #LOTD2013 12/29 (Flying home to L.A. after a great holiday.)
  • “I feel that ice is slowly melting/Little darling it seems like years since it’s been clear” #Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” #LOTD2013 12/30
  • “As vintage wine from fine old kegs/From the brim to the dregs/It poured sweet and clear” #Sinatra “It Was A Very Good Year” #LOTD2013 12/31

Here’s the Spotify playlist if you’d like to listen along: #LOTD2013: December