Pivot Adds DRTV to Advertising Mix

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Pivot, a Columbus, OH, quote provider and broker of term life insurance and annuities, has augmented its direct response print and radio advertising with a test of two DRTV spots that began airing earlier this month.

One and two-minute versions of the spots are running on select cable stations in a number of test markets chosen with the help of its agency DiMark/Harte-Hanks, Langhorne, PA. They are targeted to new families and men over the age of 40 with families and household incomes of more than $75,000.

The first commercial highlights consumers experiencing a life change that would trigger a need for insurance. The second illustrates the simplicity of buying direct from Pivot versus the traditional sales agent home visit approach. Both commercials give a price reference for both men and women to show how inexpensive insurance can be when you buy direct, said Pivot spokeswoman Heather Evans.

The commercials are running on Court TV, A&E, ESPN and the USA Network in Charlotte, Atlanta, Seattle and a handful of other cities. Each spot promotes a toll-free phone number unique to the cable station or local network affiliate where it appears. This enables Pivot to instantly track where the calls are coming from and compare the performance of the one- and two-minute versions. The spots all make reference to the Pivot Web site (www.go2pivot.com).

DiMark handled the creation and production of both spots. On the agency's recommendation, Pivot used Direct Response Media, Wayne, PA, for all media buys. Mary Pat Siwak, account supervisor for DiMark, said short DRTV spots have been very successful in the healthcare arena for lead generation and are becoming a regular part of the media mix for direct response insurance clients.

Pivot sells insurance from 10 carriers rated A- excellent or better and considered financially stable by industry regulators. The companies include Transamerica, Nacolah, USG Annuity & Life and Midland Life Insurance. Pivot provides online quotes, processes applications and arranges the home paramedic visit. All sales take place over the phone and are handled by licensed agents. Pivot operates its own 12-seat call center and all employees are required to be licensed.

While Pivot does not offer the choice of competitors like Quotesmith, Evans said that makes little difference for the products it sells. "Term is very price driven, it's a commodity product. With 10 [carriers] you are able to stay on top of the market,'' she said.

Pivot has individual compensation structures with each insurance underwriter. Some pay Pivot a flat fee while others pay commissions based on policies sold.

Based on initial call volume driven by the test, Pivot expects it will continue DRTV advertising. In addition, the firm will add functionality to its Web site in coming weeks and continue to pursue keyword placements on search engines and form online partnerships similar to its role as the preferred insurance provider at SmartMoney.com.

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