Oreck Hopes to Clean Up With Air Purifier on DRTV

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Oreck Corp. aims to place a second infomercial in the top 20 rankings with a campaign for its Professional Air Purifier product, as the longtime direct marketer continues its venture into long-form DRTV.

The air purifier infomercial campaign went into testing in January and began ramping up nationwide in February. In late March, Oreck began testing short-form 60- and 120-second spots to complement the long-form effort.

This DRTV campaign follows one last summer for the Oreck XL vacuum, one of the 40-year-old company's flagship products. Oreck used direct mail and catalogs for years to promote its products but turned to infomercials after having several years of success selling on home shopping channels HSN and QVC.

Last year, Oreck's vacuum infomercial reached the top 20 Jordan Whitney Greensheet and Infomercial Monitoring Service Report rankings, which measure frequency of airing and are used to indicate a campaign's success. The air purifier campaign also may rank highly given its successful test, said Tony Kerry, senior vice president of marketing for Script to Screen. Script to Screen, Santa Ana, CA, produced both the vacuum and air purifier infomercials.

Oreck first tried short-form DRTV in the mid-1990s with some success, said Maribeth Yasinski, national sales manager for Oreck Direct, who at the time managed media buying on the short-form campaigns. However, media prices rose and short form became less profitable, so Oreck let the effort lapse.

Prices have fallen again, and long-form DRTV is affordable, Yasinski said. Long form lets Oreck demonstrate its products and educate consumers, a strategy that proved successful on QVC and HSN.

"You get a lot more bang for your buck," she said. "You get many more minutes of selling time at a very efficient rate."

Company founder David Oreck is a host on the infomercials and personally gives demonstrations. Oreck also was prominent on the QVC and HSN segments that featured his company's products and has long been integral to the Oreck brand, appearing in the company's print marketing as well.

"He is the key person in the show," Kerry said. "He does a very direct presentation that he's been doing for years."

Yasinski declined to disclose sales figures for the vacuum or air purifier. But she said that though Oreck debuted the vacuum infomercial first because it is the New Orleans company's best-known product, the air purifier infomercial has been more successful.

The air purifier infomercial is running nationally on cable and broadcast channels "everywhere that performance can support the spend," Yasinski said. The infomercial offers the air purifier for $349.95 with a 90-day no-risk free trial.


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