Ian P. Murphy

Ian P. Murphy is senior editor of ER magazine

Recent Posts

Into the Fold

by Ian P. Murphy on Oct 25, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV

In social media, another click-through is rarely more than a split-second away. As a result, there isn’t much time to make a comprehensive sales pitch, much less build a brand. A new Facebook campaign promoting the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Visa card has challenged those constraints, however, and built awareness and conversions with a creative treatment that appeals to the escapist in everyone.
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Making the Cut

by Ian P. Murphy on Aug 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM ER Magazine, DRTV

IdeaVillage’s recent launch of the MicroTouch Tough Blade shows that consistent messaging—and a well-placed celebrity endorsement—can build brands fast. Made in Germany of Teflon-coated steel, MicroTouch razors rinse cleaner than most multiple-blade razors, allowing them to last longer. IdeaVillage promises that each cartridge will last a month and sells a 12-pack for the low MSRP of $19.95.

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30 Years of Quality, Value, and Convenience

by Ian P. Murphy on Aug 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, e-Commerce

One of the original home shopping giants, QVC, turns 30 this month. Marked by innovative products, casual elegance, and a soft sell, the retailer has gone from being an insomniac’s cable companion to the No. 15 e-commerce player in the world. Selling nearly $10 billion worth of clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, electronics, housewares, and other goods every year throughout the world, it isn’t about to slow down.

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The Never-Ending Story

by Ian P. Murphy on Jul 28, 2016 12:00:00 AM ER Magazine, DRTV, Brand Marketing

Once upon a time, direct response marketers could take a specific, innovative item—a pair of polarizing sunglasses, an extra-thirsty shop towel, or what have you—and sell it on its merits. It was one product, one medium, one story—and with all eyes focused on television, one hell of a way to make money.

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Business Travels

by Ian P. Murphy on May 27, 2016 12:00:00 AM ERA News, DRTV, International

Each year, ERA Europe stages the Electronic HomeShopping Conference (EHSC) to bring together the movers and shakers of the teleshopping business in the EU and beyond. And while the European show has been growing in recent years, there’s one thing it’s always lacked—an award to recognize excellence in direct response television. “We are a TV-based industry and yet, we don’t have any awards,” laments Julian Oberndöerfer, executive director of ERA Europe.

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Dialed-Up Litigation

by Ian P. Murphy on May 20, 2016 12:00:00 AM Advocacy

Direct response advertisers face a number of hurdles in getting the word out about their products, mostly from FTC regulations put in place to protect consumers. But class action lawsuits are a particular source of consternation—not only are they difficult to predict and avert, but some also seem to be filed in search only of profit.

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A Joy to Behold

by Ian P. Murphy on Apr 7, 2016 12:00:00 AM ER Magazine, DRTV

Direct response has earned a place in the culture, making stars out of salespeople and populating television with catchy ads, popular products, and opportunities to shop 24 hours a day. The industry’s personalities have even crossed over into entertainment with reality shows such as Pitchmen and Shark Tank. But only recently did the industry’s inventiveness, entrepreneurial spirit, and sheer pluck get the big-screen treatment.

Based on the life of inventor and HSN host Joy Mangano, David O. Russell’s Joy stars Jennifer Lawrence in the title role as the struggling single mom who invents a self-wringing Miracle Mop that catapults her to home-shopping stardom.

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Building Community

by Ian P. Murphy on Mar 14, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Support Services

Listen Up Espanol (LUE) has long supported buildOn in engaging high-school youths at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago. But since giving back is such a strong aspect of the company’s values, LUE (now ListenTrust) offers employees at its call centers in Portland, Maine, and Mexico a chance to help, too. Once a year, they hit the road to construct schools in underserved rural areas around the world with the international nonprofit. “The goal for us is to build a school every year,” says Tony Ricciardi, company president and co-founder.
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A Leg Up

by Ian P. Murphy on Feb 5, 2016 12:00:00 AM ER Magazine, DRTV

At about the same time the National Infomercial Marketing Association (NIMA) was forming, a young television executive and Procter & Gamble veteran was helping expand the reach of direct response products. Instead of shooting a quick-money campaign and cashing out, Peter Bieler wanted to build the ThighMaster into a true brand.

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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.