DM Days keynoters talk change, connectivity

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CHICAGO - You know direct marketing's not the same anymore when two former executives from Draftfcb - one of the ad agencies handling the U.S. Postal Service account - don't mention direct mail in their keynote presentation at the Chicago Direct Marketing Days & Expo.

President and chief operating officer Yvonne Furth and chief creative officer Lor Gold of Draftfcb sibling Rivet Chicago, mentioned the three C's - change, consumer and connectivity - in their talk yesterday on the new face of direct marketing.

"The marketing cannot keep pace with the technology," Mr. Gold told delegates attending the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing's 53rd annual DM Days.

Technology's speed, the level playing field created by globalization and the lack of time contributed to the new landscape for marketers. At the intersection of these three factors is creativity, the premise for Rivet's recent launch.

"We think we represent one of the new faces of direct marketing," Mr. Gold said.

Both he and Ms. Furth agreed that mass marketing no longer works. The key is to break the mass into segments.

"You can't say everything to everybody all at the same time," Mr. Gold said.

Rivet's model is to blur the distinctions between above the line and below the line to develop marketing in a market where everybody's using the same tools. The agency seeks to blend the emotions of branding with the process of activation.

Ms. Furth said consumers are exposed to an average number of 1,000 messages before he or she makes it out the door in the morning. Not surprisingly, relevant communications is imperative in a world that is operating in instantaneous mode.

Apple's ads for the iPod - 100 million of which have been sold so far, making it the most successful MP3 player ever - and its in-store campaign for Apple TV were cited as examples of ads that resonate with the target audience.

They also mentioned mobile marketing and social networking.

They pointed out examples of the way consumers now connect with media and marketing. On YouTube there is an amateur video of a young man dancing to rock and pop tunes - it's gotten 47 million views and is the No.1 video on the site to date. Then there's Dove's fast-forwarded clips of a woman transformed by makeup.

YouTube does not just appeal to consumers between 12 and 34, Mr. Gold said. The fastest growing audience on the online video site is users 35 and up, according to Nielsen//NetRatings data he cited. That trend is evident on other social media sites such as MySpace.

Take Mr. Gold's 73-year-old mother-in-law. She's got a page on MySpace.

"My son found it," Mr. Gold said. "Quite frankly, he was embarrassed about it. She didn't care."

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