Novus, Eicoff & Co. Make Plans for Great Entertaining

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A. Eicoff & Co., Chicago, is teaming up with Novus Marketing, Minneapolis, a list management and direct response media buying service, to help drive Web traffic to Greatentertaining.com, a new online party-planning site launched by Great Entertaining Inc., San Francisco.


The integrated effort will cost $10 million and include direct response television, as well as online and offline advertising, said CEO Tanya Roberts, who launched Greatentertaining.com last month.


"We are still testing our way into this," Roberts said, "but the television is ready, and we have a print campaign well under way that will be primarily aimed at getting people to come to the site for their holiday planning and for their kids' birthday parties. We're predominantly targeting women who are already online."


"Direct response television is where we'll be spending a good deal of our money," Roberts said. "We'll fill in the rest with print."


Greatentertaining.com's total effort will include direct response advertising on Home & Garden TV, Lifetime, The Learning Channel and Food TV. The print ads will be aimed at newspapers and magazines in large metropolitan areas.


"The people at Great Entertaining are going to be on the cutting edge of merging direct response television with the Internet," said Bill McCabe, senior vice president of account services at A. Eicoff & Co, a subsidiary of Ogilvy & Mather.


To be a true e-commerce company, McCabe said, Great Entertaining won't rely on toll-free numbers in the commercials but still will analyze everything on an ROI basis.


At Novus Marketing, a firm that has traditionally helped clients build and implement effective direct response media plans, Brian Blanchard, head of business development, said Web-based direct response advertising for company's like Great Entertaining rarely require a great deal of copy, just a strong, well-placed message.


"This kind of advertising usually has more visuals than copy," he said. "But you have to do what works. We don't pass a lot of judgment on creative, but we always throw in our two cents - and when it comes to the dot-com campaigns, you have to remember that the object is to get consumers to go to the site."

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