Fertility Test Maker Uses DRTV for Awareness

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Healthcare distribution firm O2 Unlimited is counting on short-form DRTV advertising to spread the word about its female fertility prediction device that uses saliva to detect ovulation.

O2 opened testing this month of its 30-second and 60-second spots in the New York metropolitan area. Ads run from 6 a.m. to midnight on cable stations including E!, Oxygen, The Learning Channel and Discovery.

Media spending in this initial phase of the campaign will be $25,000 to $30,000. The company also plans to run ads on local broadcast stations in five weeks. Testing on the West Coast begins in two weeks. O2 expects full rollout to be complete by April.

Long-format infomercials may be in the campaign's future. Kenneth Weinstein, president of O2, Jericho, NY, said the long format may be the best one to explain to couples the benefits of using the product, named The Donna for distribution in the United States.

For now, the company will stick with short-form ads until it generates enough buzz to justify further expenditures.

Weinstein said that he thinks the short-form ads for The Donna will generate awareness via word of mouth. The product was featured in a segment of a local news broadcast in the New York area, and the company hopes that future news coverage will give The Donna another boost.

O2 is avoiding late-night television. The company hopes that running its spots in the day and evening hours adds a serious tone to the campaign.

"We don't want people to think this is some sort of toy," Weinstein said. "It's something people have got to take a serious look at."

O2 offers The Donna through its DRTV ads for $59.95. The ads call on consumers to phone a toll-free hotline or go to TheDonna.com to buy the item.

ADM Productions, Port Washington, NY, produced the DRTV ads.

Weinstein began marketing the product last year online. He said he initially tested The Donna, which is a play on the Italian word for lady, among acquaintances, family and friends, and also checked it out with a doctor.

Initial marketing involved banner ads, search engine hits and chat-room discussions. After initial online sales of 200 units during tests by March 2001, Weinstein and a partner decided to take the product national.

Weinstein said he expected The Donna's ease of use to appeal to a large market of women. According to O2, one in six women trying to conceive experience fertility problems, and 50 percent of women older than 35 have trouble conceiving.

The Donna will be marketed in America strictly as a conception aid. The Italian firm that manufactures The Donna also markets the product as a form of natural birth control, Weinstein said.

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