RedEnvelope Extends DRTV Test

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Gift retailer RedEnvelope is testing DRTV ads as a way to strengthen its brand while at the same time selling products and generating new customer leads.

Testing, conducted with DRTV agency A. Eicoff & Co., began Nov. 10, and RedEnvelope announced just before Thanksgiving that it would extend the test campaign into the holiday season. The 60-second spot offers products from 14 categories chosen by RedEnvelope, San Francisco, as embodiments of its brand, said Pamela Knox, senior vice president of marketing at RedEnvelope.

The spot lets people know that shopping with the retailer won't be intimidating, Knox said. Images illustrate the importance of presentation in giving a gift and convey the "glee and anticipation" of pulling a ribbon before opening a gift, she said.

"We go beyond and say here are unique gifts that are perfect expressions of affection for another," Knox said.

The spot shows a series of vignettes of people exchanging gifts, such as a couple and a mother and daughter. From there, it flows into exhibiting several products and invites consumers to call a toll-free number to place an order, get a catalog or visit

Products offered include an ABC baby quilt, a framed four-leaf clover, a relaxation kit and a leather watchcase. Price points range from $28 to $70, according to the RedEnvelope Web site.

Throughout the spot, images of RedEnvelope's signature gift wrap, a red box with an ivory ribbon, play a prominent role. Knox described the RedEnvelope box, which can be found on the front page of the company's Web site, as the "hero" of the spot and an example of how RedEnvelope's brand is a recurring theme in the DRTV ad.

Though the campaign coincides with the early part of the holiday shopping season, the spot doesn't revolve around Christmas themes, Knox said. Much of RedEnvelope's sales stem from everyday gift buying rather than holiday sales.

As the spot is still in testing, RedEnvelope is trying various media and time slots to determine where its media dollars are most effective, Knox said. RedEnvelope has no specific plans for DRTV beyond the test and is awaiting results to determine what actions it will take beyond early December, through which the test is scheduled to run.

The campaign represents another add to the marketing mix for RedEnvelope, which began as an online retailer,, before relaunching as RedEnvelope in 1999. That relaunch featured 100,000 direct mail pieces along with online banner ads and e-mails as well as print and outdoor brand advertising.

RedEnvelope debuted its catalog in February 2000. Its marketing channels now include catalogs, branded mailers, corporate sales outreach, online affiliate marketing, online search and advertising and now DRTV.


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