In this age of high-tech, it’s comforting to know there are still low-tech solutions to some problems.
Encino-based Inter/Media Group of Cos., which specializes in direct response advertising, has planned a $5.2 million campaign starting this month for SkinFinity Lotion Applicator, designed to help people get goo on those hard-to-reach areas on their backs.
A curved wand with a sponge at the end, the SkinFinity will have national cable TV, print and Internet ad support. Cable buys are lined up for women-skewing A & E;, Oxygen, Food Network and Hallmark Movie Channel.
Simultaneous with the TV blitz, the agency’s InterQuantum subsidiary will contact retailers to get SkinFinity on the shelves in drugstores and grocery outlets.
“SkinFinity fills the void in the market for a high-quality lotion applicator and we feel that launching with direct response and then using it to begin driving the retail accounts is a strategy that will provide maximum momentum,” said Anthony Raissen, InterQuantum president.
Initially, the ads will ask consumers to visit a Web site or call an 800 number, but by June the campaign will drive customers into retail stores. The ads feature women humorously attempting to spread lotion on their back, then expressing delight as they discover the SkinFinity solution.
Raissen invented and marketed BreathAsure, a breath freshener product. Since then, he’s joined Inter/Media, which buys $400 million worth of direct-response advertising every year.
SkinFinity is manufactured and marketed by Distinctive Design in New Jersey. It has a suggested retail price of $19.95.
YellowPages Corp. in Los Angeles has announced an online video contest with a $1 million prize.
The company operates the www.YellowPages.Travel site, which allows users to search all the top travel sites Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and more with a single click. To promote the site, the company wants funny home videos that relate to travel.
The contestant who submits the funniest one will receive $500,000 for the rights to the footage, while another $500,000 will go to charity. The company plans to develop a 30-second TV spot from the winning clip that will air in the last half of 2008.
The company could have hired an agency to shoot a commercial for a fraction of the prize money.
“We feel the media attention and traffic behind this contest would be greater,” according to a company spokesman.
The winner will be chosen May 15. To learn more or submit video, call 1-866-Yellowpages.
Ads Address City Deficit
With the city of Los Angeles facing a huge budget deficit, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel has proposed an expansion of the bus advertising program that would bring in an additional $378,000.
Two years ago, Greuel sponsored a successful bill to get ads on Dash buses. Ad sales brought in $436,355 the first year, or 233 percent more than projected revenues. Now Greuel wants to put advertising on the sides of the city’s 106 Commuter Express buses, a move expected to generate $378,420.
Titan Worldwide handles the city’s bus accounts. The agency cites “a high demand from national advertisers for the placement of ads on Commuter Express vehicles,” according to Greuel’s office.
“The program has been a great success, and we see a lot more potential moving forward,” said Chris Pezzello, market manager for Titan.
The city estimates a deficit of about $150 million for its current budget, so the bus money probably won’t tip the scales. But that’s not how Greuel, who is chairwoman of the transportation committee on the council, sees it.
“In tough economic times, we must fundamentally re-examine the way our city does business and develop innovative ways to generate new revenue,” she said. “This (bus ad expansion) is exactly the kind of efficiency we need to balance our budget.”
Agencies & Accounts
The Valley Fair, a marketing event in Santa Clarita, won an Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation for its Web site. The fair runs June 26-29 at the Saugus Speedway. Startup agency Skylab-B has picked up its first client, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Skylab-B has two offices, one in Atlanta and the other in L.A., with the local operation headed by Grant Holland, former creative director at the L.A. offices of Team One and Ogilvy. The Asian American Advertising Federation has named L.A.-based Muse Communications as Creative Agency of the Year. Bender/Helper Impact, an independent PR shop that specializes in entertainment companies, has announced that Pam Kulik has rejoined the agency after 10 years. During that time, she worked with pre-IPO startup companies in Silicon Valley in the media and technology sectors. Kulik will oversee Bender/Helper’s corporate entertainment and technologies group.
Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at
or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.