Accelerate Your Creative Learning

  • Moving quickly on creative testing is critical to maximize ROI.
  • Modus methodically tests creative knowing the difference in performance on 1 creative compared to another can be well over 300%.
  • Changes in creative could be small items such as Music, Voice Over, Offer, Call to Action, Colors, End Cards, other variables or completely new executions.
  • IBM’s Watson Advertising Accelerator provides creative/visual insights to drive the highest engagement for a given audience
  • Anticipation: Predicts the creative elements to drive engagement
  • Segmentation: Discovers new audience segments based on message resonance to help expand a message to untapped audiences.
  • Revelation: Analyzes each campaign from a creative and audience perspective, extracting insights on the highest and lowest performing experiences.
  • Accelerator analyzes cookieless data signals to predict and subsequently assemble a customized video creative for each impression based on the likelihood of a consumer converting against a KPI.
  • The growth of OTT/CTV is accelerating faster than originally projected. It is imperative brands adopt tools that allow them to make quicker, more accurate decisions to maximize ROI.

Source: IBM Watson Advertising Accelerator Expands to Bring AI to Fast-Growing OTT Media and Streaming Landscape | Nasdaq

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

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

What makes Facebook a great platform for Direct Response?

In today’s world, social media is a part of almost everyone’s day to day life. Facebook paved the way, starting out as a way to connect with schoolmates, however, its purpose has now moved beyond that. Users now use the platform for working purposes, consuming news, debating current affairs, shopping, organizing events, and even for gathering recommendations on businesses or products.


Facebook alone has two billion users a month, making it the most popular social media platform out there. Pew Research Center found in 2016, eight-in-ten online Americans (79%) use Facebook. Not only does Facebook capture the largest audience, but it also has the widest range of targeting capabilities. Part of this is attributed to information gathered on users based on their profiles and interactions, and the other part of this is Facebook’s partnerships with third party data sources.

All of the above makes Facebook a great platform to advertise on it. But what makes it a great companion for Direct Response?

There are three main reasons:
1. Direct Response Ads
2. Affordability
3. Tracking and optimization
First, Facebook has ads specifically designed for Direct response, such as:
– Dynamic ads, which pull images and details from your shopping site to advertise various products
– lead ads, which direct users to a fillable form
– Link ads, which direct users to a desired URL
Additionally, Facebook provides the option to add a Call to Action (CTA) button, such as “Shop Now”, “Apply Now”, “Sign Up Now”, “Learn More”, etc. These buttons can be linked to the advertiser’s website or a Lead Form, which directs consumers to a desired destination with one simple click. There are no extra steps of writing down a phone number or website URL. Another useful feature is Facebook’s ability to optimize for link clicks or conversions – this means Facebook will try to show your ad to only the people it thinks will click your link or will convert on your website.

The next reason Facebook is ideal for Direct Response is its affordability. Facebook is the most affordable social platform to advertise on. Being that it is the most affordable, it makes it a great platform to test on if you’re new to advertising on social media.

Lastly, performance can be tracked in real time and changes can be made in a matter of seconds. Facebook has a number of metrics it tracks within the platform such as: reach, impressions, frequency, link clicks, click through rate, etc. Facebook also has additional tracking options for visibility beyond the social platform with the Facebook Pixel. By using the Facebook Pixel, you can keep track of consumer behavior beyond the social platform, and these actions can be fed back to Facebook to enhance targeting and conversion optimization.


Hail Direct Response!

What was once an afterthought needs to become an integral part of a Brands advertising strategy. The belief that if people knew that your brands existed, they would see it on a shelf and buy it is unrealistic. The retail experience is going extinct. In an interview with Business Insider Warren Buffet discusses how the face of retail is changing. “The department store is online now,” the billionaire investor said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, as Business Insider’s Bob Bryan reported. “I have no illusion that 10 years from now will look the same as today, and there will be a few things along the way that surprise us,” he said. “The world has evolved, and it’s going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing.”

With retail dying, and more people going online to do their shopping, Brands need to be more creative in finding ways to get their potential customers to click that call to action to push the buyer down the funnel to buy. Extend the brand from just awareness to action.

We at Modus believe that the services we offer such as TVSync, tieing digital/ Social DR campaigns to TV Brand ads, are the way to combat the degradation in retail. Accenture did a study in 2015 that found that 87% of people they surveyed used a secondary device (smartphone/ tablet/pc) while watching TV. What’s better than promoting your brand on TV and hitting your target on their smartphone or Tablet?

Your Customers Want to Text You!

Meet your audience where they already are – on their smartphone!

According to a study by RingCentral, 78% of consumers actually wish they could have a text conversation with a business. The evidence is mounting that smartphones are the primary way consumers interact with each other, and it’s no surprise they want the same from brands.

According to a Nielsen survey Americans text twice as much as they call, on average. 81% of medical and dental patients have indicated that they prefer appointment confirmations and reminders via text (versus 41% via email). If you walk into a Target store you’ll see signage prompting customers to text for coupons, or even to apply for a job. Target uses texting to marry physical and digital shopping experiences, and advertisers can use the same strategy to connect media consumption and direct response. 57% of people use their smartphones while watching TV, and 93% have them handy. This means you can use a text CTA to meet your customers halfway, offering to interact via their preferred method of communication – texting.



Connect with your audience NOW – ask them to engage!

51% of all television ads now show a URL, but only 30% contain a clear call to action. URL’s have moved out of simply being a direct response mechanism and become integral with brands themselves. Cutting through the barrage of URLs washing over your audience is crucial if you want to connect, and offering an instantaneous way to connect via text does exactly that. A text offer creates a sense of urgency and real time connection with your audience.

Take advantage of unparalleled consumer attention – people actually read their texts!
Let’s put this in perspective. 8 trillion text messages were sent last year, and 95% of them were read within minutes. Meanwhile, only 14% of phone calls were answered without being placed on hold (I don’t have to write about why that’s less than ideal) and the average consumer receives 1,216 emails per month, but doesn’t even open 20% of them. This is big, this means that once you do have the conversation started via text, your conversions and remarketing efforts stand to benefit from a level of consumer attention that no other response mechanism can offer.

TV advertising and Analytics research

The Importance of DRTV Specialists

Use Direct Response TV specialists when buying DRTV
DRTV planning, buying and accountability is vastly different than purchasing Brand media (aka retail rates). If you are going to move to accountable DRTV buying you need an agency that is an expert in it.
Some simple questions every DRTV agency should quickly have the answers to:

1. What is my discount off retail rate card?

DRTV rates are up to 80% off retail rate card. This holds true for both national cable and spot market affiliates. Because your media is being purchased at distressed rates not all media will clear. Retail buys paying full rate card may “bump” you out of your inventory. Because you want to make sure you are clearing your dollars, your agency should be booking no less than 150% to budget. This is where DRTV experience is key – people who buy DRTV understand this balancing act so you do not clear over or below your budget. They understand they may need to cancel media (DRTV cancellation is 72-hours vs. Retail’s 2-week cancellation – minimum) or add media at the last minute.

2. How do you track my campaign performance?

The answer should never be Reach, Frequency, Ratings or GRPs. Also, if your agency says they ONLY use Strata, they are most likely not buying much direct response. Strata is a great tool when planning and buying retail but not direct response. Your agency needs a system that will not only allow them to plan and buy media but also track your performance and budget clearance. Direct response experts evaluate your campaign performance every day and review performance of every commercial airing. Therefore, it is critical for optimization and performance evaluation to have the proper tools.

3. What type of reporting do you provide?

Your agency should be able to give you daily performance on exactly which commercial airings delivered what. This should include the full funnel from response to sale and the ultimate return on investment. Even if there is a long tail on the sale (6-months to a year) a direct response pro will be able to track that sale back to the specific television airing. Direct response television experts track everything – creative, unit length, networks, times, programming. You want it Direct Response Television experts track it. Even if you are driving viewers to your branded URL their analytics team will still be able to give detailed reporting. Your media buy will then be optimized based on this data to deliver the highest return on investment.

Don’t be fooled. It could be costly.
If you have additional questions on buying DRTV or are interested in launching a DRTV campaign, contact Modus Direct, We are Direct Response.


The Modus Direct media team were recently discussing making optimizations & testing for a campaign and a bunch of questions flew around the room, some could be answered and some couldn’t. It was then that we decided the next blog post should be written on good CRM.

Clients need a good CRM to fully understand the funnel that their customers follow when converting, but CRM are just as important for agency partners making media decisions on their clients’ behalf.

The beauty of DR campaigns is the trackability, but only if it is done properly. This is where CRM programs come into play. These tools can track not only the customer that respond to the desired call to action, i.e. calling a tracked phone number or visiting a specific URL, but will also help track and define those “halo” customers. These are customers that will call a local number instead of the toll-free number displayed on the TV commercial or searching the business on Google instead of visiting the unique URL on the ad. Customers are influenced by the campaign, but did not go through the designated call to action the campaign was promoting. These instances are the halo effect of the campaign and can be challenging to account for in traditional media. The proper tracking helps validate media vehicles or network selection.

A good CRM tool will also provide insights on which network, daypart, creative, etc., is delivering the most calls verses conversions. This allows your agency to make informed decisions on where the most qualified audiences are for your brand.
Another way to get the most from your CRM tool is to export data and create lookalike modeling on customers that have converted. These data sets can be used across many platforms including traditional media.
The proper tool can increase ROI by eliminating waste in your media schedule, assist with tracking, engaging and converting customers in a more efficient manner. Here at Modus we form true partnerships with our clients and assist in evaluating the current CRM program will allow you to achieve your advertising goals.

Integrity and Success

Integrity means being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

This cannot be truer because if you have lied and cheated to climb a ladder of success you did not earn it you have stolen it. There can be a tendency in our industry to “fake it until you make it”.  Sadly, that behavior goes on all the time.  I’m not saying there aren’t good people with integrity that work in advertising, because there are, but what people can sometimes do in our business is try to convince people to spend their money, sometimes money they don’t even have, on the goods and services that you are marketing.  In a ‘sell yourself world’ sometime the lines get blurred between truth and over-embellishment.   The mentality that you constantly have to ‘one-up’ the next person or agency is so pervasive that it can lead to promises which just cannot be kept.

The ad biz is constantly changing. What could very well be the correct answer one day is outdated the next. What people fail to accept is that it is acceptable not to have all the answers all the time.  Should you be well rehearsed in your area of expertise, stay on top of trends and industry news? Absolutely! But it is ok to say, “I’m not 100% sure, but I will find out.”  I think most people would rather hear that than be lied to, because then, before you know it, you have to tell more lies just to cover up your first one.  It’s a dead-end street.

You also have to own up to your mistakes. That can be tough, but everyone makes mistakes. It is how you handle those mistakes that can make all the difference. As a mentor of mine once said, “We are not performing heart surgery.” The faster a mistake can be handled the better the outcome.

The longer you’ve been in any business the more you will see, encounter, and learn. The best part of experience, good or bad, is what you take away from it.  When you go about your daily business with honesty and integrity your clients will know and trust you. If there is anything that will follow you from job to job it is your reputation; it follows you everywhere. So always treat your reputation with care. Your integrity and success depend on it.

At Modus Direct we believe – “GOOD KARMA IS GOOD BUSINESS.”

DRTV Must Haves

For a successful launch of a DRTV (or any advertising campaign), there are 3 crucial ingredients: Creative, Media and Back-end Operations. Some people in the industry may say one of these is more important than others, however, if all three of these are not properly done, you will be left with a recipe for failure.

It is very important for your creative to do a few simple things:
1. Address the problem
2. Show how your product or service solves the problem
3. Have a strong call to action to make the consumer react immediately by calling a phone number or going to a website.
You must speak to the customer that may be in the market for your product, and then ask them for the sale with a strong call to action.

An expertly thought out media plan is equally critical for a successful DRTV campaign. The media plan for your DRTV campaign should be developed using every tool available to your media agency: ratings, rates, research, competition, as well as DRTV experience. While running a commercial for a home improvement product on HGTV sounds like a no-brainer, the cost for spots on the station may be too high for it to be profitable. Also, some stations or programs have a very high engagement levels like live sports, so customers may be less likely to respond out of fear of missing out what happens when the commercial break is over. It is important to not only identify what your potential customer is watching, but hit that at the right time when they are ready to buy.

Having the back-end operations set up correctly can easily be an overlooked aspect of a DRTV campaign, but is just as important as creative and media. If you have a rock-star creative and media in the perfect places at the right prices, but have no way to order the product, then ultimately your campaign will fail. Seamless setup of a call center, landing pages and fulfillment are all needed to make sure that when customers do respond, they can quickly and easily buy your product and/or sign up for your service.

The experts at Modus Direct can help you with all three aspects of a successful DRTV campaign. We can help write and shoot your next creative, buy your media efficiently, and help with all aspects of back-end operations to make sure that your campaign is set up for success before it launches. Contact us today to learn more!

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