'Everybody's Watching': Turns To TV Ads

With so many advertisers cutting their TV spending, more D2C advertisers are seeing possibilities. just launched its first TV campaign in years and says it is getting strong results with minimal spending. Best of all? It went from its initial phone call with its ad agency to on-the-air creative in less than two weeks.

With TV viewership up so sharply during the safer-at-home period, “we felt like there could be an opportunity for us to buy TV, but we didn’t have the assets,” says Justin Griffiths, head of marketing and retention at “We know everybody’s watching more TV. We just needed to come up with new creative quickly.”

Working with Rapid Response TV, a new program developed by Marketing Architects, a Minneapolis-based ad agency, evaluated possibilities for scripts quickly. “Once we settled on a creative approach that hit our sweet spots, we got it running fast,” Griffiths says. And while the company is still evaluating its tests, performance is strong enough that he says the company will increase TV spending in the weeks ahead.



Griffiths says the pandemic has made the company’s ”marketing aperture very obvious.” As consumers threw themselves headlong into the world of online groceries, offerings had newfound relevance -- including many in-demand shelf-stable products like flour, dried beans and coffee.

“With more eyeballs on TV and more people being forced to use other shopping channels, especially for shelf-stable goods, we were in a good position,” saving the company from some of the out-of-stocks that plagued so many retailers, Griffiths says. “We’ve got a long history, and have been around for decades. We are often the oldest client of many of the farms we buy from.”

And while an increase in orders did slow the company's fulfillment time -- it turned away some business rather than create customer disappointment -- “we were filling most of our orders in several days, and are now back to sending out most within a day.”

The ads are running on networks like E!, HGTV, Lifetime and the Food Network.

For D2C brands, the pandemic-driven decrease in costs is “dramatically changing the risk profile,” says Chuck Hengel, CEO of Marketing Architects. “Ratings are up. Pricing is efficient. It’s just a unique time. And even if it a campaign doesn’t work, it doesn’t miss by very much.”

Increasingly, buying TV is becoming as fast and flexible as buying digital ads and continues to be one of the boldest moves a company can make, he says.  “Next to word of mouth, it’s still the next-best way to build a business.”

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