We start with a celebration and end looking out a bar window in Chicago. Here’s the week that was Oct. 7-13!
Much to the dismay of our error-prone printers, the July issue of Response has been available online for more than two weeks now, though I know it just started hitting many of your mailboxes last week. Let’s take a look at the issue, including the cover feature on the geniuses behind fitness behemoth Zumba, our annual look at the entertainment market and more.
- When Alberto Perlman teamed with legendary trainer Beto Perez and fellow entrepreneur Alberto Aghion in 2001 to bring Perez’s workouts from their birthplaces of Colombia and South Florida to the world, there was no way they could have known that Zumba Fitness would become the world’s largest fitness brand. But, it has — with customers in 180 countries, more than 25 million DVDs sold and more than 200,000 fitness locations worldwide offering Zumba workouts. It’s also been a story I’ve been digging to tell in the pages of Response for some time now. Finally, thanks to Brian Comstock, the company’s DR marketing guru, and Aly Robins, its PR leader, we were finally able to track down the fast-moving Perlman for this exclusive feature. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: The Zumba Revolution
- As the average consumer’s options for entertainment expand — all the way to watching (and perhaps buying from) an online video on the smartphone in the palm of your hand — the options that same expansion have given marketers have served only to add to the fragmentation of the consumer base? What to do? Well, no one has all the answers, but Pat Cauley put together a strong piece for us that touches on multi-screen engagement, content distribution and data management. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: Entertainment Epiphanies
- Our DRMA Spotlight feature returned in July — after a brief hiatus — as payment processing leader Vantiv opted to tell its story to fellow DRMA members and Response readers. Elizabeth Rector, Vantiv’s senior vice president and general manager, spoke about the 40-year-old business, perhaps best known to our readers as the company that bought long-time direct response processing leader Litle & Co. about two years ago. For more on Vantiv and its focus on customer service and technological solutions, click here: The Vantiv Advantage
- Hopes for a flying start in 2014 media billings results didn’t last long. Unfortunately, first-quarter 2014 direct response TV and radio media billings got off to another slow start — after a generally dismal 2013 — in the long-form DRTV market. First-quarter billings eerily mirrored results in 1Q 2013, as the long-form space lost $24.2 million (9.2 percent). This drop caused 1Q long-form billings to slip below the quarter-billion dollar mark for the first time in 10 years. Positives were limited — time slots purchased only fell by 1.1 percent, as the cable market rebounded from some of its 2013 issues — but we won’t know what direction the long-form space is truly headed until 2Q results come in. For now, to take a deeper look at 1Q 2014 long-form DRTV billings, click here: The Struggle Continues for Long-Form in 1Q 2014
- Finally, this issue includes various takes on the role of payment processors in the direct, digital and data-driven marketing space (beyond the DRMA Spotlight on Vantiv, there was also a short feature on the space, as well as a column about fast-paced changes in processing). Therefore, it should be no surprise that my Editor’s Note touches on the truth that “if consumers know about your payment processor … something’s likely gone wrong.” To read my full take, here’s the link once again: Wherever the Order Comes From, It’s Still About Getting Paid
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!
The week of Sept. 30-Oct. 6 offered up a pretty wide array of image opportunities. From still-lifes to portraits to wide shots, there are some solid ones in here. Let’s take a look as we turn the corner into the year’s final quarter!
And with a much quicker turnaround, it’s a recap of the #LOTD2013 project from last October. Some good tracks in here, and many related to the actual goings on in my day-to-day life. 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. Remember, if you want to see the lyrics as they pop up daily, just give me a follow on Twitter!
- “But look around/Here go the sound/Of the wreckin’ ball/Boom and pound/When I …” “Shut Em Down” #PublicEnemy #LOTD2013 10/1
- “Stay cool/And be somebody’s fool this year/Cause they know/Who is righteous, what is bold” #SmashingPumpkins “Cherub Rock” #LOTD2013 10/2
- “The tougher it gets & the more that I sweat/The harder it fights & the deeper it bites” #TheAlarm “One Step Closer To Home” #LOTD2013 10/3
- “Out in the crowd/You are one in a million/And I love you so/Let’s watch the flowers grow” #Travis “Flowers In The Window” #LOTD2013 10/4 (Another fantastic show from Travis at the Wiltern, featuring the wonderful acoustic arrangement of this, my favorite Travis song.)
- “So the conversation turned/Until the sun went down/And many fantasies were learned/On that day” #HumanLeague “Fascination” #LOTD2013 10/5 (This song, appropriately, popped on XM in the car while driving to an 80s-themed 40th birthday party. Sadly, when we arrived at the party, it was not painted completely red like a dot on a map.)
- “Boom, boom, boom, boom/I’m gonna shoot you right down/Right off’a your feet” #JohnLeeHooker “Boom Boom” #LOTD2013 10/6 (Watched 13 Dodger runs in a bombing of Atlanta in Game 3 of the NLDS.)
- “Famosa y que llamando/Pues me va a despertar/La noche para decir” #GipsyKings #Eagles “Hotel California” #LOTD2013 10/7 (A little Spanish flavor for Dodger hero Juan Uribe on this evening.)
- “Thanks for the book/Now my table is ready/Is this a library or bar?” #PaulWesterberg “Dyslexic Heart” #LOTD2013 10/8
- “Be the magic in the northern lights/Be the river as it rolls along/Be the rain you remember fallin” #NeilYoung “Be The Rain” #LOTD2013 10/9
- “Lover, I’m on the street/Gonna go where the bright lights/And big city meet” #U2 “Desire” #LOTD2013 10/10 #RattleAndHum #25thAnniversary (25 years ago, I waited in line at midnight at the Tower Records in Brea to buy this CD. The first single, quoted here, had dropped a few weeks prior.)
- Catch-up time for #LOTD2013. “Long nights allow me to feel/I’m falling/I am falling/The lights go out” #EddieVedder “Long Nights” 10/11
- “I will be the bird in your straw/But you won’t get far/I will keep you in the corner of my eye” #Audioslave “#1 Zero” #LOTD2013 10/12
- “Look out here I come again/I’m bringing my friends/OK alright/I know where I’ll be tonight” #Wilco “Outtasite (Outta Mind) #LOTD2013 10/13 (Hopped a flight to Chicago for work. Good enough reason to slip in a Wilco lyric.)
- “Windows are for cheaters/Chimneys for the poor/Closets are for hangers/Winners use the door” #BruceSpringsteen “Rosalita” #LOTD2013 10/14
- “We talked and we talked and we lay on the bed/And I can remember every word she said” #ChrisIsaak “Flying” #LOTD2013 10/15
- “Causin’ confusion/Disturbin tha peace/It’s not an illusion/We runnin’ the streets” #Ludacris “Move Bitch” #LOTD2013 10/16
- “Jennifer Juniper rides a dappled mare/Jennifer Juniper lilacs in her hair/Is she dreaming?” #Donovan “Jennifer Juniper” #LOTD2013 10/17 (An inspiration for my sister’s name. She was born 40 years ago this very day.)
- “Everybody’s very happy/Cause the sun is shining all the time/Looks like another perfect day” #RandyNewman “I Love LA” #LOTD2013 10/18 (A salute to my Dodgers, whose thrilling and very fun 2013 season ended in the NLCS on this night.)
- “Well, back home are no floods or tornadoes, baby/And the sun shines every day” #StevieRayVaughan “Texas Flood” #LOTD2013 10/19
- “You would like those flowers on the hills/And the sunlight in the fall, even the coyotes call” #RyanAdams “Go Easy” #LOTD2013 10/20
- “Birdie in the hand for life’s rich demand/The insurgency began and you missed it” #REM “Begin The Begin” #LOTD2013 10/21
- “Are you really that pure, sir?/Thought I saw you in Vegas/It was not pretty/But she was” #JennyLewis “Rise Up With Fists!!” #LOTD2013 10/22 (As it was again on this night, Jenny Lewis at the Largo has become a very special type of “only in L.A.” experience.)
- “Soothing/I’ll make you feel pure/Trust me/You can be sure” #Muse “Undisclosed Desires” #LOTD2013 10/23
- “Picked you from a lineup in downtown Phila/Cigarette hangin out your mouth/#HenryMiller in your back pocket” #Live “Freaks” #LOTD2013 10/24
- “Everybody has/Their own opinion/Everybody has/Their own opinion/Holding it back/Hurts so bad” #JanesAddiction “Mountain Song” #LOTD2013 10/25
- “To this day/She glided on/Always home/But so far away/Like a word misplaced/Nothing said/What a waste” #PearlJam “Dissident” #LOTD2013 10/26
- “Early dawning, Sunday morning/It’s just the wasted years so close behind” #VelvetUnderground “Sunday Morning” #LOTD2013 10/27 #RIPLouReed (With news of Lou Reed’s death on this particular Sunday morning, this one was a no-brainer of nearly cliche level.)
- “Underneath the arches where the witches are saying/There are ghost towns in the ocean” #Coldplay “Cemeteries Of London” #LOTD2013 10/28 (The next four lyrics/song titles are a somewhat loose tribute to Halloween week.)
- “In starlit nights I saw you/So cruelly you kissed me/Your lips a magic world” #EchoAndTheBunnymen “The Killing Moon” #LOTD2013 10/29
- “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s/His hair was perfect” #WarrenZevon “Werewolves Of London” #LOTD2013 10/30
- “I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go/Walkin’ with a dead man over my shoulder” #OingoBoingo “Dead Man’s Party” #LOTD2013 10/31 #Halloween (If you grew up in SoCal in the 1980s, you know.)
Here’s the Spotify playlist if you’d like to listen along: #LOTD2013: October
It was time to hit the road again during the week of Sept. 23-29, with a week-long work trip to Las Vegas followed by a quick hop to Phoenix to hang with some friends and go to the USC-ASU game in Tempe. It was a fun week with a lot of variation in the images I captured. Let’s take a look — and remember, to see any image full-size, simply click on it!