Go Direct Makes Fast Break to National

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Jeff Meltzer Editorial's direct response television arm, Go Direct TV, New York, will extend the placement of its "Urban Rebounding" workout system infomercial to the national level beginning in early March.


The 30-minute infomercial debuted on Jan. 1 on targeted local broadcast and cable networks and, according to Jeff Meltzer, writer/director and president of Jeff Meltzer Editorial Inc., the product was a big hit with audiences. Meltzer was instrumental in Sports Illustrated's successful sports phone and bloopers DRTV campaigns.


"We're not ready to release any numbers yet," he said, "but suffice to say, the only changes being made to tweak the spot are ones that include putting more direct information about the product itself and adding more testimonials."


The decision to add more medically related testimonials to the spot is based on comments from viewers, who either called the toll-free numbers or e-mailed the urbanrebounding.com site, which is run by the inventor and owner of the product, fitness specialist J.B. Berns.


"You can tell if a product isn't going to work if you have to change the focus of the spot considerably after the test," said Meltzer. "But the changes we are going to make are based more on a positive response to the product. When we quizzed people, they wanted to know more about what the product could do for them and see what it had done for others who have used it. Though we, of course, included them initially, viewers were interested in seeing even more testimonials."


Meltzer was convinced of the success of the product and the infomercial not only through consumer feedback but through the many calls from industry insiders who saw the spot and wanted a piece of the action.


The Urban Rebounding system is essentially a 40-inch diameter mini-trampoline that Berns has been using in his exercise classes for years. He developed a hybrid step aerobics routine for the device, and his classes quickly began filling up. The infomercial offers the springless mini-trampoline, a video detailing the workout and a music CD featuring songs designed to go along with the routine.


Consumers can purchase all three facets of the product for two payments of $49.95 or purchase them separately: the trampoline for $89.95 and the video and CD multimedia package for $39.95. The product can be purchased through the infomercial and the Web but is not yet available in retail.


The Web site, which appears at the call-to-action, has figured prominently in early sales, making up roughly 15 percent of all orders.


Meltzer recently completed shooting a 30-second spot for the off-Broadway play "De La Guarda" with the distinct dual purpose of broadcasting the spot on the air as well as Webcasting it on theatermania.com.


"If you have a product, you have to have a site. This is a sink-or-swim business, and you can't do a one hit," said Meltzer. "The chances of you making money on just a DRTV campaign today is slim [to] none. Being diversified is very important, so all the things we do have split tracks on them. You must have an Internet site and make sure you can handle orders over the Web. Properly placing spots to drive people to it as well as getting involved with streaming media on the site is vital, too. You should also always consider pushing the whole campaign internationally."
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