This year, I attended the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas. This conference gave “Money Revolutionaries” the opportunity to meet and discuss many challenges, including the following.

Creating Momentum

The major insight I extracted is how difficult it is to communicate brand appeal in the financial Industry because let’s face it, mortgages, loans and account services apps aren’t as enticing as the material presented in the entertainment or travel industries. Additionally,the industry uses very specific lingo that may not be easy to understand for the common customer. Because of these two obstacles, the concepts involved aren’t typically appealing throughout the digital/social media ecosystem.

But what’s the solution to this? TV advertising, of course! And we have three very clear reasons to believe it.

First and foremost,these “Money Revolutionaries” need to face their traditional competitors within their branding realm with a big brand-awareness push, getting the message out to the massive audience and there’s no other medium that could offer such speed and scale than digital and of course TV.

Secondly, we know that the synergy between DRTV campaigns and download rates is strong without high ad spend.  Based upon the likeliness of the target market being a multi-screen user, the call to action response is more viable when the TV ad airs while having a mobile device in hand. These results are also more measurable. Having DRTV and Mobile within the marketing mix is simply a no-brainer.

Third, consumers have been losing the trust in the banking and financial sector throughout the years, and TV has been the king of media in relation to trust, giving these digital products/services the sense of reality.These new technology service providers offer new ways to manage finances, meeting the consumer’s needs and desires and moving away from the tarnished reputations of the “bad banks.” This evolution, or shall we call it FinTech Revolution, should be massively televised to build up trust!

Finally, the “cherry on top” for the FinTech data-rich and data driven industry, is that DRTV campaigns can be measured, analyzed and optimized as the “digital revolution” has brought to the marketing/advertising basics.

So for those Financial brands looking to create momentum, don’t wait anymore and contact us now! We will get your product/service where the high street banks are.

Sandra Valencia – Managing Director

Does your creative pass the Mute Test?

A lot of time is spent behind the scenes coming up with great ideas for TV spots: internal brainstorming meetings, long calls and presentations with clients, focus groups, scripting, various rounds of revisions…. the list goes on and on.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fun process, even one of the main reasons I originally got into advertising. And, it is a vital process to make sure companies are putting the best product in the market to lure consumers into buying/interacting with their brand.

Unfortunately, many times, creative teams (and clients) get too caught up in the stories and aesthetics of the spots that they forget one simple element: Does the spot pass the Mute Test?

The mute test

The mute test you ask? That’s right! At the end of the day, your TV spot and/or video must pass the test! Why?  Because after all that effort, time, and money spent producing the spots, you need to make sure that, even with the volume down, viewers understand who you are (brand), what the story is about, and what you offer. Remember, viewers may be at home with their TV muted during the commercials, watching it on Social Media with their volume muted (default for most platforms), or at a bar or restaurant watching sports where, in most cases, only one game has the volume playing, and/or the crowd is so loud viewers may not hear the spot anyway.

Furthermore, it is crucial that your spots pass the test because you are paying for the media placements and impressions.  So instead of “wasting” those media dollars with spots that may not get your message across, make the necessary adjustments to deliver the best spot the first time.

Here is the test:

  1. Ask a person to watch your video for the first time
  2. Mute your volume
  3. Play them your video
  4. Ask them:
    1. What was the spot about?
    2. What was the brand?
    3. What product or service was offered?
  5. Publish or revise as necessary


An easy fix? Supers. Good ’ol supers that help tell the story; supers that highlight the main points of your message, and that are designed within your brand guidelines.

Then, put it to the test one more time.  Passed?

Want to learn more? Let’s talk! Contact us at



Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How to Reach the Wealthiest Demographic: Television

Silent Generation

We see it and hear it every day, how do we reach Millennials? They consume media differently than other generations. But as you research how to target this generation, you may be missing out on what the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance states is wealthiest demographic with 23x the net worth of Millennials and 1.3x as Boomers. This wealthy group are the 75+ age bracket largely made up of the Silent Generation.

And this demographic is spending their money. A recent TD Ameritrade survey reported that grandparents spend an average of $2383 annually on their grandchildren and according to the Kenan Institute, Americans age 65+ are now more than twice as likely to be caring for a non-elderly family member.

So how do you reach the wealthiest demographic spending money? Linear Television. Adults 65+ continue to spend more time on linear platforms than digital. According to Nielsen’s 1st Q 2018 Audience report, 7:24 hours is spent per day watching Live-Time Shifted TV compared to only 2:28 hours on digital platforms (this includes TV-Connected devices such as DVD, Internet Connected Device and Game Consoles).

If you still are thinking you don’t need to target the wealthiest demographic, there are recent key findings on why television is vital for all demographics:

  • People are 44% more receptive to television advertising compared to 27% – 24% on digital advertising (online display, online search and video) according to Kantar Millward Brown August – November 2017 survey
  • Television is more effective than online banner ads in driving consumers to search, 57% versus 36%, according to a 2018 Nielsen report
  • 37% of the 11:06 hours of the daily average time spent per adult 18+ to connected media is being consumed on Live TV based on 1st quarter 2018 Nielsen data

Television continues to be a vital part of building brands, just ask the online retailers Purple Mattress, Adore Me, Uber and Stitch Fix who are now household names.

Want to learn more? Email us at and let’s connect!


Photo by Marisa Howenstine

Optimizing the Relationship Between Client and Agency

Optimizing Client Relationships


As it is often said, over a lifetime you end up spending more time with those you work with than your immediate family. Sigh. And just as those relationships with individuals you are related to via birth or marriage are not always a walk in the park, the most successful and satisfying unions get through difficult phases because they are built on trust, prioritize integrity and at the end of the day there is a general affinity for one another. Work relationships aren’t much different, trust, honesty and a general likability are all important – check, check, check.

Sometimes, however, you need to dig deeper – particularly when that relationship is between a client and an agency. One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of the client-agency dynamic is a scene from the movie, Jerry Maguire and a related catchphrase and no, not “Show Me the Money!” (please). It’s, Help Me…Help Me Help You! So, with Cameron Crowe as my muse along with some help from Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. I offer up 3.5 ways a client can help their agency help them…


  1. Share as Much Data, Metrics and Company Information as Possible

Everyone can appreciate the value of information in this atmosphere where data is king, and analysis is critical. Most clients do endeavor to provide the key facts and figures to make the necessary decisions related to their campaign. That said, I would also encourage clients to provide some of the information that is beyond the database. Anecdotal, qualitative and industry stats can really provide needed context for the current campaign and inspire new recommendations for the quarters to come.

  1. Encourage and Facilitate Testing

As a media agency with decades of experience across multiple channels, we can certainly bring to the table a variety of scenarios to predict how your campaign will respond…but it will never be as accurate as a well-constructed media test. Testing can be considered a luxury because of the inherent uncertainty and the fear of wasted money. But when thinking long-term, in the end testing is a valuable tool that can set the foundation for a productive profitable roll-out. Testing also should remain part of the media strategy. New media opportunities worthy of testing are emerging at an accelerated rate due to the convergence of traditional and digital medias. Testing new platforms positions your company for future growth often at an efficient cost.

  1. Establish Boundaries with Respect to Budgets and Timelines

“Setting boundaries” is a term frequently used when discussing the management of relationships because it’s important to know where you stand. In this case I would like to encourage boundaries when it comes to the finite elements in a campaign – especially budgets and timelines. Budgets are admittedly hard to determine when it comes to media because there are so many different options to consider. For this reason, it’s vital to provide a construct, even if it is a broad range of what is affordable now. Scale is always an option. Additionally, having a sense of timing is key. What is your company’s business cycle? When would be the ideal time to launch a marketing initiative? What are your creative needs and how long will it take to craft a message that resonates with your customer? Answering these questions will significantly improve the development of a detailed and robust advertising strategy and plan. Without these guidelines, the resulting media plan can lack focus and end up generating more questions than answers.

       .5 Ask Questions and Push for Answers

I deemed this only a “.5” on this list because of course you know that asking questions is critical to a successful relationship, so why bring it up? Because many times there is not only a single answer in this complicated media space and when both the client and agency are collaborating and pushing to dig a little deeper – it’s amazing how this push and pull can lead to innovative solutions to what was originally thought to be a common question…and that’s when you feel good about your day as you head home.

At Modus Direct, we are lucky to enjoy some of the best client relationships in the industry.  Many of our clients have been with us for several years with a few closing-in on a decade and (by the way), that’s when we opened our doors. This list was compiled by thinking back as to how our clients have helped us become a better agency – and they certainly have, and we are grateful. When you are in a great relationship – everyone wins.

Are you missing out on the Hispanic Market?

With the fast growth of the Hispanic market in the United States,  it has become more important for brands to market to that demographic. With overall population growth, higher HHI and a strong purchasing power, brands can no longer ignore that market if they want to grow their ROI.

However, it is not as simple as using traditional “techniques” used to market to the Anglo market. Latinx consumers behave different and it is the responsibility of the marketer (and their agency) to understand the Hispanic audiences first.

Hispanic Advertising

A little bit about this demographic: 

Hispanics are the second-fastest growing demographic group in the United States * and it’s a young population as for over 50% of them are age 30 years old and younger *. This specific fact should be accounted for in how brands talk and reach out to this massive younger generation of Hispanics, since the majority of this audience, although being of Hispanic background, is born in the US and exhibits bi-cultural behaviors.  With that being said, the greatest opportunity lies on a wider spectrum for creativity.  Since this demo tends to be bilingual, Creative Directors get the chance to develop messaging in “three languages”, English, Spanish and “Spanglish”. In addition to the message, it is important to tailor messages specific to the platforms where Hispanics consume media. Brands have the chance to engage them where they are “hanging out”. For instance 74.5% of the Hispanic population consume media through TV Cable and/or ADS and Hispanics are the most avid radio listeners *.

Brands are always looking for loyalty and repurchasing tendencies in their consumers and according to the Experian Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study, about 56% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics agree that, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.”

So, let me assure you that for the next two decades, brands that ignore the Hispanic Market won’t survive. They have to understand that this market has great growth potential; nevertheless, it remains an underserved demographic, and there’s where the GREATEST opportunity lands. It’s always a good idea to be the FIRST in doing anything. So, don’t wait and contact us; Modus Direct can become your partner in helping your business grow as never before, with our many years of experience and understanding of this Demographic Group, we will take your brand/product/service to the next level.

Sandra Valencia – Managing Director



Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Why Ask Why?

Do not stop to think about the reasons for what you are doing, about why you are questioning.  The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.  It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.”  ~Albert Einstein

Why ask why?

Had Albert Einstein and many others not asked all the question he did, where would we be today? We are not rocket scientists or philosophers in advertising, but it is equally important for us to ask questions to truly be the best partners that we can be.  Agencies need to be asking clients questions, clients need to be asking agencies questions and agencies need to be asking their vendors questions.  One of my mentors instilled in me to always ask at least one question in every meeting you’re a participant in.

Clients to Agencies

Clients should be encouraged to ask questions!  Here at Modus we love an open dialog and enjoy educating our clients because as both client and agency become more educated results get better.  Clients ask how media works if you don’t know!  We love to help our client feel more comfortable and confident with how your marketing budgets get spent. Asking questions strengthen the relationship and eliminates any confusion between client and agency.  If you don’t know how that Local Break works, ask! We will gladly impress our knowledge on to you.  Ask your agency if who will be working on your account and what their credentials are.  Ask about the strategy behind the creative execution?  It is going to be effective or will it just earn that agency another creative award. Ask what type of reporting you will receive and on what frequency.  You should ask what types of clients the agency likes to work with, what makes a good client?  What is the agency’s culture, and would that mesh with yours so the relationship can be effective and enjoyable?

Agencies to Clients

Agencies should be asking clients TONS of questions especially in the beginning of the relations, but if the questions don’t continue the progress and growth will stall.  Asking questions keeps the line of communication open and you know that the agency is engaged in your business.  Agencies ask for as much data as we can possibly can.  This isn’t because we are nosey, it is because the more information we have you’re your business the better decisions we can make.  We will ask you for ALL of your marketing spending even on tactics that we don’t control, the reason why is that we can create predictive models, so we are able to see how our efforts effect the overall business because in today’s marketing world it is more difficult to convince someone to pick up the phone. Here at modus we will ask if your call center can handle Spanish speaking calls, we will ask about particular markets and how each of them are individually performing.   We will ask what your goals are, what data you already have on your consumer base, what have you tried before, what your successes and failures have been?   And yes, I said failures, because without some failure there is no growth.  If you have any type of testing strategy, then you would have experienced success and failure.

I could continue to list questions that should be asked, but then you will be sitting there asking yourself why am I spending this much time reading this blog!  There is always something that can be done better, collectively agencies with clients grow business in an active partnership. If you have questions, call us, (941) 552 6770!  We will gladly answer your questions.

4 Reasons Why Your Company Should Do a Media Audit

You may be thinking, I don’t have time to read this blog let alone request an independent media audit, I know my media is airing exactly what I approved. Or you may be thinking, I know my media isn’t perfect but is anything perfect? I will tell you in four words why you need an independent media audit– Trust, Financial, Goals and Competition.

1. Trust –
Trust isn’t just in the people who are buying your media whether internal or with an agency, but also with the numbers they are providing to you and ultimately you are providing to your C-Suite.
Ask yourself these questions:
• Are you confident these numbers are accurate?
• How transparent is the media you are purchasing?
You may receive affidavits, but do you have the time and resources to review each one individually to confirm your media was correct and aired correctly? Was a national break reported when instead it was a national break covered up by 80% of the country?
Trust is also about trusting your media buyers to keep current with your competition. Allowing you to cut through the clutter and gain market share on the competition. You may find your competition isn’t even airing on your most successful network and now is the time to dominate the network, before they do.


2. Financial –
Media expenditures are expensive! How can you justify this type of expenditure without an audit? Think of your media audit as important as your company’s financial audit. An audit puts doubt to rest, doubt for you, doubt for your superiors and doubt for the C-Suite. The audit may find some waste but also opportunities to reallocate the waste. Ultimately this will make you look like the hero for finding areas to better use your media dollars

3. Goals –
We understand goals can vary by subsidiary but also by different products or divisions. And with all these variables is your media reaching the correct target(s)? Have you thought about if your media is diverse enough to reach all the demographics needed to achieve not only your media goals but your corporate goals? Do you need to reach not only Millennials but multicultural Millennials? Are you airing on the optimal networks, dayparts and days of the week? After reviewing a media audit, you may find niche demographics you are not yet reaching, and those demographics could exceed your company’s financial goals.

4. Competition –
Your competition is also reading this blog. Don’t you want to schedule your media audit before they do and take away market share from you?

The Modus Direct Free Competitive Television Media Audit includes a 2-year review of your top two competitors. Modus Direct needs your email address, your phone number, your company’s name and your top two competitors and within 5-10 business days we will review our findings with you on a pre-scheduled call. For more information or to sign up for your free report please visit: or contact Jean Rebel at or 941-552-6770 x104 for more information.

TV is More Alive than Ever!

TV is More Alive than Ever!TV is more alive than ever!

People say “TV is dying”, however, in truth, TV is more alive than ever. It continues to be the biggest mass media channel and the “go-to” for brands that desire to make an impact in the marketplace and spread their message to as many people as possible at once.  Before you say “nah..”, have you seen the Facebook Ad apologizing for their latest botch with Cambridge Analytica? I am sure you did.  How about the re-branding of Wells Fargo claiming “Established 1852, Re-established 2018”? No?  Oh wait, how about the new Nike ad with Colin Kaepernick?

Are you still thinking that “TV is dying”?  I bet not.  Millions of dollars have been spent on TV advertising for each one of these campaigns. Why? Because even the most sophisticated online brands like Facebook realize TV still reaches the masses in a cost-efficient way.  They acknowledge the power of TV in their media mix as one of the most (if not the most) impactful of the media channels in terms of reach and social impact.  In addition, TV is entrenched in our day to day lives, including our water cooler conversations, our shared social media posts, etc.… I know I’ve heard my share of talks around Walking Dead, Shameless or America’s Got Talent. Have you?

So, whether you are consuming TV programming via linear TV or via OTT options like Hulu,  Roku, Sling or Video-On-Demand among others; trust me, TV is more alive than what we give it credit for.

Is TV in your media mix? If it is, are you maximizing it? And if it is not, I invite you to reconsider AND we should definitely talk.

Email us at or call us at 941-552-6770 today!

The Television Inventory Economy: Getting the Best Inventory for the Best Price

The Television Inventory Economy: Getting the Best Inventory for the Best Price

Often when advertisers work with us for their first television campaign, there’s a ton of great questions about just how we purchase TV inventory, and how it is exactly that we are getting them the most for their money. With Direct Response TV, you hear terms like “remnant”, “preemptable”, and “discount”, but does that mean your commercials will only air in late night, or that you’ll be in poorly rated, unheard of programs? Not necessarily! Keep reading to find out how you can air in the top-rated shows that everyone loves like The Walking Dead on AMC, for an average of 60% less than other advertisers are paying in the same program!

So how exactly is TV time sold, and what is this remnant thing?

Method #1: Upfront

You’ve likely heard of Upfronts, the very long standing traditional way that TV networks sell their inventory consisting of huge parties with celebrity appearance in New York. Behind the scenes at the upfronts, deals are made for advertisers to commit to purchase huge amounts of TV inventory for the coming year. While this is a great way to get efficient pricing on a massive amount of TV time for large advertisers, those starting out on TV typically require more flexibility (you don’t want to buy 2 million dollars’ worth of something you’ve never tested), and just don’t require the large scale of buys that it takes to get you into those back rooms at an upfront. These deals are pretty much always guaranteed to deliver a certain amount of rating points or impressions, again perfect for big brands with big goals.

Upfronts Pros:

  • Large scale guaranteed to run inventory, necessary for big brands with massive budgets
  • Efficient if you negotiate well, economies of scale can certainly be obtained when buying big chunks

Upfronts Cons:

  • Big commitments both in terms of time and dollars – deals are in the millions and run the course of the season or year

Method #2: Scatter

Scatter is the other way that brands requiring guaranteed impressions buy TV inventory. Scatter is basically just all the inventory that wasn’t sold at upfronts. Scatter inventory still includes top performing shows, live sports, or any other high-profile cable airings. Scatter typically doesn’t have minimums (in terms of dollars of length of commitment), which gives it a huge advantage compared to upfronts. On the flipside, scatter usually has the highest CPMs of all the TV purchase methods (translated, least efficient pricing).

Scatter Pros:

  • Typically, no minimums in terms of dollars or
  • Guaranteed impression or rating point delivery

Scatter Cons:

  • Usually non-cancellable, whatever you buy you are stuck with
  • Least efficient pricing

Method #3: Surplus

Surplus TV inventory is basically created when ratings are higher than expected on certain shows and channels, and Upfront and Scatter buys can deliver all the impressions they were contracted to faster than anticipated. That means there’s more TV advertising time that’s not promised to those Upfront and Scatter customers, and the TV networks must sell it to someone in a hurry! Enter the Direct Response TV inventory purchase method. While some direct response does come in the form of remnant “leftover” inventory, much of the discounted inventory available is in the best programs on the best networks, who have the surplus due to their excellent ratings.

Surplus Pros:

  • Zero commitment, usually booked on a 72-hour cancellation notice – this means if the program or network you’re running isn’t getting the results you want for your brand, you can back out at any time
  • No minimums, in terms of time or dollars – you could book one spot for one day if you felt like it
  • BEST price efficiency of any TV purchase method – CPMs as low as $2 on top tier cable networks
  • Ultimate flexibility in terms of cancellation, last minute additions, making it the perfect solution for ANY brand who wants to run an optimized and efficient TV campaign

Surplus Cons:

  • Not ideal for brands who wish to spend more than $8-$10 million per month as inventory is limited

Flipping the Channel on Influencer Marketing

Flipping the Channel on Influencer Marketing

Many saw Kylie Jenner’s appearance on the recent cover of Forbes and chagrinned at the claim that Kylie is, “set to be the youngest-ever self-made BILLIONAIRE.” I too am willing to admit my side-eyed reaction after reading such a proclamation. But as a media and marketing professional, it also got me thinking as to how she built this successful business, not just at such a youthful age but also in record time – clocking in at just a little over 2 years. What was the catalyst? The article credited the obvious –  savvy social media skills and her role as an influencer not only put Kylie on the cover of Forbes but also helped add several other names to that coveted list. But just having game on social media does not guarantee entry into the Billionaire Girls Club. I suggest that there is an important variable in this formula that is being overlooked as we break down the juggernaut that is the “Kardashian marketing industrial complex” and that is the power of television.

It should be said, I believe social media is an extremely powerful marketing tool and that we have just started to scratch the surface of its potential. But also as a veteran of media placement, who has participated in traditional as well as digital media in a variety of roles and disciplines, I’ve witnessed a fair share of misses when digital was the lone media channel and client goals were defined by revenue generated and units sold.

So how can today’s brands – those that do not have the benefit of having access to a powerhouse reality show (along with a fierce “momager”), up the ante of their social/influencer media strategy? Incorporate television into your mix and here is why…

1. It’s a natural fit for the video content you are already creating. To wit, in late 2017 Viacom acquired WHOSAY, a top influencer marketing content producer. This relationship allows WHOSAY to leverage Viacom’s vast distribution channels and Viacom gets a creative partner that knows how to engage the younger demographic marketers crave.

2.  Everyone loves the targetability of digital but you miss out on the incredible reach that television provides. Hear Ye, Hear Ye, TELEVISION IS NOT DEAD, it IS changing and morphing every day along with its audience but our skilled buyers at Modus are still finding millions of eyeballs and more importantly, their credit cards every hour of every day. Utilizing TV immediately expands the universe your brand exists within and amplifies your message exponentially.

3. Brand Safety Control. In April 2018, CNN reported that over 300 top advertisers including large tech companies, major retailers, newspapers, and government agencies ran on various YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia. Even scarier – many of these companies had no idea how their ads ended up on these channels despite having extensive brand safety policies in place. No Bueno. With billions of websites out there it’s simply impossible to control exactly where your message will be viewed but that is not the case with television where network standards and FCC regulations inherently protect your brand.

4. Television essentially gave birth to the marketing “influencer” concept with DRTV legends like Ron Popeil. More importantly, it continues to be a natural platform to showcase your business in an ideal environment just as Chip and Joanna Gaines prove with their Magnolia empire.

5. Data, data, data. Like digital, today’s sophisticated multi-channel campaigns utilize regression analysis and attribution modeling to measure the specific impact of different channels. At Modus this is what we love to do.

Social media = good, Influencer marketing = good…it’s all good but it can be DAMN good when you know what you are doing and leveraging Modus’ expertise in ALL media channels especially television and video outlets to optimize your business – exponentially.




Carey Chase

Media Director

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