Rodrex Looks to Make Splash With Fishermen Through DRTV Campaign

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Rodrex Inc., a start-up fishing equipment company, will debut its first product, a car-top fishing rod carrier, through a short-form direct response television campaign that will begin in early May.

The self-titled storage and transportation product can be used as a car-top carrier, a portable hand carrier and a home storage device. Rodrex will be airing 60- and 120-second short-form infomercials demonstrating the product's uses.

"It's a problem-solution ad and a hard sell of the product showing how it's used," said Ron Perlstein, president of Concept Media, Boca Raton, FL, the company producing the campaign.

Rodrex decided to use DRTV as a way to achieve relatively inexpensive broad marketing for a product with no name recognition.

"We want to be known as the first in the business with this new item. We want to get the name out there before the idea is knocked off," said John Gatusso, founder of Rodrex Inc., Katonah, NY.

The campaign will begin testing in early May to target consumers before the summer vacation season and Father's Day, Perlstein said. Rodrex will target males older than age 30 who are interested in outdoor activities. To reach this demographic, Concept Media plans to run the spot on outdoor and sports networks such as ESPN, Outdoor Life, The Outdoor Channel and Speed Vision, Perlstein said.

Concept Media plans to focus on strong fishing markets such as coastal regions of Florida and New York, Perlstein said, adding that the spot will run on both local broadcast and national cable stations. Specific media placement has not been determined yet, he said.

If initial testing proves successful, Concept Media also plans to run the spot on a per-inquiry basis on small local broadcast stations, in which Rodrex will pay the stations per sale to run the ad on unsold media inventory.

"It benefits the stations because they can generate income with unsold inventory rather than just run a late-night news promo," Perlstein said.

The Rodrex infomercial will direct consumers to a toll-free phone number to order the product, which is expected to sell for $29.95. Customer service representatives will upsell a second Rodrex at a reduced price, Perlstein said.

Concept Media is responsible for scripting, production and media placement for the campaign and is in the process of selecting a telemarketing firm and fulfillment center from a list of its strategic partners, Perlstein said.

Rodrex plans to drive the product to retail fishing pro shops and mass-merchandise centers by the end of the year. The company is developing additional fishing products for DRTV, Perlstein said, adding that it is too early to disclose details.

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