Computer Company Looks to Score With Bradshaw Infomercial

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MyTurn.com, a 1-year-old computer hardware and software manufacturer, is banking on the star power of Terry Bradshaw, National Football League Hall of Famer and co-host of Fox's "NFL Sunday" program, to elevate its awareness and spark sales of its new computer system via direct response television. The company in early December will launch a test run of an infomercial promoting its new computer system, GlobalPC.


The long-form infomercial will feature Bradshaw and Bella Shaw, former CNN anchor, using the computer, detailing its options and explaining its advantages. The spot also will feature a variety of audience testimonials.


"We chose Terry Bradshaw because he can relate to the public as someone who is not a computer expert and is very likable. He has a wonderful Everyman kind of quality," said Michael Fuchs, CEO of MyTurn, Alameda, CA. "He also fits into a generation of people who did not go learn about computers at school."


Shaw has more expertise in computers and represents the other side of the equation, Fuchs said.


MyTurn is positioning its product, which retails at $399, as an affordable, easy-to-use computer. The GlobalPC is built on an independent operating system and includes software. Consumers also will be able to purchase a monitor for $149, a printer for approximately $70 and Internet access through MyTurn for $19.95 per month. Fuchs said the monitor is being sold separately because the computer system can be connected to any television. He would not disclose sales goals for GlobalPC.


MyTurn is targeting its system to beginners or those who have never used a personal computer. The target demographic is Americans age 35 and older and families with young children. Fuchs said that the economic demographic is wide-ranging and cannot be limited to any specific economic bracket.


"Basically we are going after people with technophobia," he said.


"We have decided to go with a long-form infomercial because a small company trying to brand a product in a competitive environment cannot do it in a 30- or 60-second commercial," Fuchs said.


The combination of a celebrity and television can be powerful and presents a good means to create awareness, he said. The infomercial is being produced internally with the assistance of independent producers Michael Hiatt and Debra Chenoweth.


MyTurn ran a test, traditional TV and radio ad campaign over the summer, but Fuchs said it proved relatively unsuccessful.


"We were not able to tag the point of sale in the short advertisements," he said.


The campaign ran in four markets: Tampa Bay, FL, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Portland, OR. During the test run, the computer retailed at Wal-Mart, Electronics Boutique, Fred Meyer Stores and Babbage's Etc. Fuchs did not disclose specific results of the test campaign.


The infomercial will direct consumers to a toll-free number and possibly the MyTurn Web site. While call-to-action strategies have not been solidified yet, Fuchs said he expects to concentrate on directing consumers to a toll-free number to speak to a representative for further information. Customer service reps will upsell the printer, monitor and Internet service. The company is still deciding where and when the infomercial will be broadcast.


Fuchs launched MyTurn in the beginning of 2000. Fuchs was chairman/CEO of Home Box Office from 1976 to 1984 and most recently was chairman of Time Warner Music Group.
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