Spenco Irons Out Wrinkles in DRTV Debut

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Spenco Medical, a manufacturer of pain-relief and foot-care products, is looking to take its first step into the cosmetics industry and direct response television with a September campaign for its new skin care product, N2S, or Nature's Second Skin.

"We see DRTV as an opportunity to establish a product and brand name in a market where we have no presence whatsoever," said Gerard Mayne, president of Spenco Canada, Toronto, Spenco Medical's Canadian spinoff, which is managing the campaign.

"Through the DRTV campaign, we can test the product with consumers first, develop a consumer database and build a brand to eventually go into retail," he added.

Spenco plans to build a customer database to use for N2S continuity programs and for possible future cosmetic product launches, Mayne said.

The 30-minute infomercial will feature testimonials from consumers who have used the wrinkle-reducing skin cream and before-and-after shots of product use. The spot will include opinions of dermatologists.

Monte BrooksXNorthern Lights, the company producing the ad, is searching for a celebrity host. The company said it has a list of 12 celebrities but would not disclose names.

"We are looking for a woman that peaked in television or movies in the '80s and has aged gracefully. We want someone who will be recognizable to women in their 40s," said Linda Brooks, partner at Monte BrooksXNorthern Lights, Toronto. The product will be targeted to women older than 30, she added.

Consumers will be directed to a toll-free number and a yet-to-be-launched Web site to order a one-month supply of the product for $40. Brooks said Spenco is working on upsells and expects to develop a continuity program for N2S.

New Day Marketing, Santa Barbara, CA, will handle media management for the campaign, and Monte BrooksXNorthern Lights will be responsible for production and scripting of the ad. The company has not yet finalized the media schedule for the campaign.

Monte BrooksXNorthern Lights is shopping for a fulfillment and telemarketing firm for the campaign. The Shop Creative Services, a Toronto-based advertising agency, is assisting in packaging and branding of N2S.

"We are making the initial contacts for Spenco, because they are new to the industry and don't have the manpower or experience to run the back end," said Ian French, partner at Monte BrooksXNorthern Lights.

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