Eight O'Clock Coffee Brews Business With DRTV

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Eight O'Clock Coffee perked up its outreach efforts with its first direct response television campaign, driving consumers to a Web site to download $1 or $2 coupons.

The national coffee brand, known for its whole bean product, worked with direct response agency Respond2 Communications Inc. on the effort. The objective is to increase sales, but the coffee seller also will measure Web site visits, e-mail signups (submits) and coupon downloads.

"Direct response was a nice hybrid," said Jeff Maloy, brand manager at Eight O'Clock Coffee, Montvale, NJ. "We are communicating the benefits of our product and providing a purchase incentive with the coupon."

The "Taste of Sunday Morning" spot highlights the whole bean taste and the company's 150-year history. "Caffeinated Diva" presents a snobby coffee drinker who discovers after much testing that Eight O'Clock has the flavor she was seeking.

The push is Eight O'Clock Coffee's first concerted effort to build its database by driving consumers to the site at www.eightoclock.com where they can opt in for e-mail updates. The site includes a blog called "The Grind" in the voice of a working suburban mom.

The two DRTV spots run in 30-, 60- and 120-second lengths and include only Web addresses, not 800 numbers. The campaign uses unique URLs so that individual station performance can be tracked.

The ads run on national cable and in four major local markets for the brand: Baltimore, New York, Detroit and Washington. Sunday daytime is the best day part based on the cost per submit performance.

The target audience is female heads of household or the primary grocery shopper. Eight O'Clock Coffee positions itself as a gourmet taste with practical value, and each spot plays to a part of this theme.

Respond2, Portland, OR, handled creative for TV and Web. Sister company Cmedia did the planning, buying and tracking for the DRTV component. The Eight O'Clock media plan may expand from TV and online to pursue radio and print spots next year based on results from its first direct response efforts.

Michelle Cardinal, CEO of Cmedia, discussed the difference in tactics when using direct rather than traditional advertising.

"One of the challenges in working with clients who haven't done direct response before is getting them to think about measurement in a different way," she said. "Rather than being concerned with traditional metrics like ratings and CPM, direct response relies on actual response metrics."

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