How one company became successful through infomercials

Rachel Buckley


It’s amazing how Bare Escentuals was able to become a huge successful company from infomercials. Instead of going through department stores such as the conventional makeup product, Bare Escentuals focused its marketing plan through infomercials in an exclusive contract agreement with QVC. The first time Leslie Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals, went on air she sold $45,000 worth of product. The infomercials were really successful, but people couldn’t find the product so she then focused on distributing which led Bare Escentuals to be sold at Sephora, Nordstrom, and having it’s own boutiques. Because of the infomercials Bare Escentuals is a well known and extremely successful cosmetic company. Today they use direct marketing by sending out emails which feature new products, access to events at their boutiques, deals on their cosmetics, and to come in to get a gift on your birthday. This tool of direct marketing has worked for me. I am subscribed to receive emails from them and am always excited to pick up my free eye shadow on my birthday each year, and when I go into the store I always find something new that I like.

I remember when there wasn’t a Bare Escentuals boutique and only the infomercials.They were famous for their saying, “Swirl, tap, buff” which was used to apply their foundation. It’s interesting to look back at it and see how well they do now in their boutiques now. This video is part of a demonstration used in the infomercial for Bare Escentuals. I find that the demonstrations are really helpful that show how to use the product. I find that some infomercials can be very tacky, but I find this to be very professional:

What made Bare Escentuals so successful was differentiation and how they positioned themselves. They were the first company to offer a mineral based foundation. This was a great alternative to liquid foundation which was not as healthy for the skin. It’s also not a powder, its a creamy bare mineral that covers well. Here Leslie Blodgett explains how she made Bare Escentuals so successful from infomercials:

It’s all about the experience- Direct Marketing

Lindsey Anderson

Twitter: @LindseyJoyA


With a focus on direct marketing this week, it got me thinking of direct marketing techniques that influence myself. I can admit that I’m a sucker for marketing techniques that unconsciously make me build a relationship with certain companies. It’s as simple as the daily sample section at Trader Joe’s that motivates me to shop there over other stores to see what new foods or wines they’re testing. It really makes me think, why don’t other stores do this more often? It’s all about the experience from a consumer standpoint.

Lately, marketing on Facebook really seals the deal to whether or not I’m going to try out a new place/company or go back to a place I’ve already been. I love to see pictures of events places have hosted, new products they’re promoting, or simply pictures of the location. It allows me visualize what I would experience if I went there- regardless of what they sell or if their products are even good. If I want to try a new place for happy hour or test a new local restaurant, I always check their Facebook first- and that’s where what I’ve learned this week in MKTG 420 comes into play. Take Deschutes Brewery, for example:


The photos above are what they have posted on Facebook lately. I love their beer, but these photo updates on a daily/weekly basis that pop up on my news feed is a constant reminder to check in on what’s going on at their brewery in Bend and Portland. It also makes their company seem both personable and lively while making me feel like I’m missing out..

I can’t say that telemarketing, e-mails, or direct mail work for me. To telemarketers, I always say I’m not interested and I always dispose of mail I get. But, I can clearly say I’m guilty of good Facebook marketing. Lately, I’ve loved how companies directly involve their customers on Facebook. Deschutes Brewery motivates their customers to post crafty pictures of their experience while consuming their product. Customers have submitted the following photos in hopes of being named “Fan photo of the month”:

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How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

Deschutes gets their customers involved with the incentive being “Fan photo of the month”, promotes their products without much effort on their part, and makes myself want to submit a photo or buy their product all at the same time. It also makes me want to buy a pack of their product before hitting the slopes or heading to the river.

If your on Facebook, you’ve probably realized that they aren’t the only company to reach out this way to consumers. Companies are constantly telling Facebook users to “Tell us what you think!” or posting that “the 1000’th ‘like’ gets a 50$ gift card.” This type of social media marketing makes the consumer feel good about buying from the company, involved by sharing experiences or giving feedback, and makes them feel apart of a culture or group. I’m curious to know whether or not this type of marketing works on others as much as it does to me. What do you all think? Does any other companies come to mind that unconsciously get’s you in the door to buy their product?

If you’d like to know more about Deschutes Brewery and be even more compelled to go to their brewery and see what the hypes all about, check out this video below. The history and perspectives from customers is also something to take to heart!



Infamous Informercials


Kylie Ogata

twitter: @Kqlie


Discussing direct marketing in class and the different ways to accomplish this has brought informercials to my attention.  Informercials are long advertisements that looks like a talkshow or product demonstration. They can range from 2 to 60 minutes. A few elements to a successful informercial are same-day responses, frequent closes and testimonials.

I personally thought informercials were a weak tool of marketing because I believed people (including myself) never paid any attention to them. However, as I look more into it, they in fact, can be quite successful if done well. For instance, an informercial known for its success is Vince Offer who is the pitchman for demonstrating a product called the Slap Chop. The Slap Chop is a culinary device that makes chopping and mincing easy by simply pressing down a button on the top of the device. It makes chopping effortless and easy. Below is a Vince Offer Slap Chop infomercial.  Watching this informercial even made me want one.  I feel there are several reasons for this. First off Vince has charisma. He’s energetic, positive and engaging. He is a very likeable guy and is interesting to listen to. Secondly, he demonstrates the product well because he puts the product in a lot of various scenarios.  He uses it for fruits, veggies, nuts…breakfast, desert, lunch etc. No doubt he demonstrates some sort of scenario that will catch the interest of any viewers. He says phrases “stop having your tuna look boring!” when studies have proven that tuna sandwiches are the source of boredom in peoples lives. Also he says cheesy but effective lines such as “slap your troubles away!”. As cheesy as it sounds, people like the thought of of just slapping their troubles or problems away. He makes it sound like an asset that’s going to make your life easier; people want that. Not only does he show the ease of use but the ease of cleaning and maintaining the product.




Catalogs: Style Guides not Direct Mail



By: Meghana Deodhar

The only mail that I truly enjoy receiving is personalized letters from friends and family and the beloved J.Crew catalogs that come in the mail every month.  I enjoy browsing through the pages and examining the beautiful color schemes and styles for the next season. Even though receiving these catalogs can be somewhat financially frustrating, I realize that J.Crew is doing their job correctly. They are making me want to purchase their entire store!

Catalogs are my personal favorite example of direct marketing. The textbook definition of direct marketing is “an interactive system of marketing, which uses one or more advertising media to affect a measureable response and/or transaction at any location”. Catalogs fall into this definition as they are considered direct mail and have a measurable response of the number of orders. Another aspect about catalogs that I found interesting was that consumers usually not automatically added to catalog mailing lists but rather subscribe to these lists. This is genius! Similar to Superbowl commercials, consumers want to see these catalogs to keep up with the changing trends resulting in purchases or in the worst-case scenario, brand awareness.

If you want to check out some of the archives of J.Crew catalogs, enjoy this blog!

Although catalogs are enjoyable for many consumers, direct mail has some notable faults. The biggest drawback of direct mail is the sheer expense of it. Reaching a person via direct-mail can cost up to 15-20 times more than a tv or newspaper advertisement. Additionally, in a society where moving is frequent is life is fast-paced direct mailing becomes tricky. To overcome this difficulty however, catalog culture is slowly adapting and bringing this catalog feel to apps.  Check out this article from the New York Times about how retailers have started making i-Pad applications that attempt to mimic the feel of browsing a catalog.  I know I am not speaking for everyone but, I think I would still prefer a print catalog. What do you think?

If you are particularly interested in J.Crew’s promotional efforts take a look at this video, called “Behind the Scenes of the J.Crew Catalog”



Follow me on Twitter: @meghanameow