Alloy Hypes UPN's 'America's Next Top Model'

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It took less than 24 hours for Alloy Inc. to gain UPN an audience of 2,500 female viewers ages 13-17 for the March 2 premiere of the second season of its program "America's Next Top Model," thanks to an e-mail campaign to the Alloy database.


To gain viewers, Alloy and the network devised an e-mail campaign using free merchandise as an incentive to get girls to host premiere parties on the night of the show opener.


UPN saw a young female audience as a good fit for the show, so Alloy's database was ideal, said Joe Diamond, vice president of direct marketing at Alloy Media + Marketing, New York, an Alloy Inc. company.


"There are a couple other players that do buzz marketing, but what distinguishes us is that Alloy starts with a database of 27 million names," Diamond said.


Large components of the database are Delia's and Alloy catalogs targeting teen girls. It also includes names from the CCS catalog, Dan's Competition and all of the related Alloy Web sites.


The database complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires Web sites that collect information from children younger than 13 to obtain parental consent and to post privacy policies.


The multi-step campaign began with a Feb. 15 e-mail to 750,000 girls ages 13-17 from Alloy's database sent on behalf of the UPN Insiders Network. It invited recipients to click through to an "America's Next Top Model" Web site to sign up to host a premiere party and receive a party pack, including free T-shirts for each girl and a Cover Girl makeup kit.


Once they signed up at the site, the next step was to invite four friends via Insider Invites e-mails to go to the party. The first 500 girls to get four friends to click on the link and sign up to attend their party would receive a party pack.


Within the first 20 hours of the campaign, UPN reached its goal of 500 parties from the 1,600 responses it received before having to shut down the program because of the fast response. Diamond attributed the rapid response partly to the incentive.


"I personally believe that you have to have a reason to participate," he said. "I fully believe in incentives but I think we were recruiting people to participate in a program that resonates with them."


The next phase of the campaign was for the girls attending the parties to take photos of themselves and the "Top Model Makeovers" they gave each other using the Cover Girl makeup kit at the parties.


"The girls are supposed to take before and after pictures of their makeovers and upload them to the Web for a chance to win a $100 Delia's gift certificate for each girl on the winning team," Diamond said.


All 2,500 participants will get a follow-up e-mail asking for feedback on the party and the program, Diamond said. However, the friends of the hosts will not be added to Alloy's database unless they opt in.


"The friends that signed up will only be contacted one more time to give feedback on the party," he said.


Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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