Hooked On Phonics Tries I-TV in DRTV Spots

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Gateway Learning Corp., manufacturer of the Hooked On Phonics product line, will add interactive television features to its long-form and short-form infomercials next month.


The interactive television enhancements will allow viewers to click on links to a microsite for further information on Hooked On Phonics products. The link also will present viewers with a toll-free number to order the products.


The long-form infomercial has been running for about 18 months, and the short-form spot has been running for four years. Both infomercials direct consumers to a toll-free number and a Web site, www.hop.com, to purchase the products.


"We are just testing a new medium and sticking our big toe in the water," said Donna Rude, executive director of media at Gateway Learning, Santa Ana, CA.


Wink Communications will track response rates to the interactive links, Rude said, adding that Gateway Learning eventually may profile respondents to the interactive ads through a series of demographic questions. She added that Gateway Learning will compile a database of consumers who order brochures through the link for future direct mail and promotional opportunities.


Gateway Learning targets its Hooked On Phonics reading and math assistance product line to mothers age 25 to 49. The products are for children age 3 to 8. To reach this female demographic, Gateway will test the interactive infomercials on Lifetime Television, The Discovery Channel, HGTV, The Learning Channel, The Weather Channel, E! Entertainment Television, Court TV and The Nashville Network.


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