After a visit to the Housewares show in Chicago (while also hosting our annual DRMA cocktail party there), a 10-day Ireland vacation, and the twin deadlines of our April issue and finalizing the speaker roster for Response Expo, I finally have a little breathing room to look back at Response‘s March issue. With a rather timely cover feature on DR Hall of Famer and award-winning biopic subject Joy Mangano, our annual look at the housewares and hardware markets, and our first Response Advisory Board roundtable of 2016 tackling the media challenges presented by election and Olympic ad spend, the magazine packed a lot of punch in its 60 pages. Here are some of the key pieces you should consider taking a look at:
- The cover story on industry legend and 2015 DR Hall of Famer Joy Mangano was a long time coming, honestly. We had hoped to bring a feature to our readers about Mangano since the first announcement that director David O. Russell and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence were teaming to bring her story to the big screen. Mangano’s involvement in “Joy,” which netted Lawrence a Golden Globe in January, plus her creation of the retail launch discussed in the feature, took her off the board in 2015. The idea to bring readers a story about Mangano was resuscitated during a January conversation with Hawthorne Direct‘s Karla Crawford Kerr about an educational session that’s taking place at next week’s Response Expo. I mused that I was still looking for a cover for our March issue, which is always featured at the International Home+Housewares Show, and Karla immediately mentioned Joy as a perfect fit — now more than ever — if we could make it happen. She was absolutely right, and Mangano’s PR team jumped on the opportunity immediately once I reached out. The phone interview with Mangano really was an absolute joy (pardon the pun). Here’s the link to catch up with Mangano, if you missed it above: What a Joy!
- For the first time, we combined our looks at the housewares and hardware markets into a single feature story (a combination necessitated by the addition of features on two burgeoning markets — digital goods and business solutions — to our annual editorial calendar). Our freelancer Doug McPherson did a great job with both markets, diving into the vast expansion of digital marketing and sales for both verticals. If you missed the link above but want to check it out, click here: Housewares Finds a Home
- Our first Response Advisors Forum of 2016 tackled the year’s big TV media topics: how 11 months’ worth of political advertising and two weeks worth of Olympics advertising tying up the NBCUniversal networks will affect availability, pricing, and more. With as much as $12.5 billion expected to be spent in conjunction with the U.S. election cycle and Rio Olympics, the squeeze is on for marketers across the board. But our Advisory Board says that solid planning and a little ingenuity can help advertisers not only overcome the challenges, but thrive through them. One more thing: the online story is a web-exclusive expanded version of the story that ran in print. To see the unabridged answers from our experts, and missed the link above, just click here: A Long Run … and a Short Sprint
- Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the DR radio space for third-quarter 2015 results. While the radio market enjoyed its second-best 3Q results in the past six years, a pullback in spending by a single marketer doomed the space to a 10.2-percent dip from 2014’s stellar third quarter. That marketer’s reduced spending was also a big factor in losses in both the network radio outlet and the “Drug and Toiletry” category. For a full look at 3Q 2015 DR radio media billings — and to find out the culprit in those decreases — click here: 3Q 2015 Short-Form DR Billings Continue Reset After Kantar Shift
- Fifteen years. 15. My Editor’s Note marks a decade-and-a-half since I joined the Response team as the magazine’s lead editor. What a difference time can make … I mean, look at the damn headshot. What’s that shirt-tie combo about? And I don’t remember having all that hair! Anyway, it’s been one hell of a good time putting this magazine together for our readers — and co-creating Response Expo … and the DRMA … with our esteemed publisher (and, more importantly, my friend) John Yarrington. As usual, looking back also gives one a chance to look ahead, so if you missed the link above, click here to catch some of my thoughts on our past, present, and future: Looking Back on 15 Years Crystallizes a View of the Future
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!