The Future of Direct-To-Consumer Advertising & AI

Ok, I’ll admit it – I’ve always been a bit of a technology geek.  Back in 1989, I used interactive facsimile technology to send computer generated reports daily to hundreds of television stations.  We didn’t have the internet back then, nor email, and AI (artificial intelligence) was a distant dream.

Stations were airing direct response TV commercials and my fledgling company was paying them based on sales generated.  It may seem basic, by today’s standards, but writing software to import orders from telemarketing companies, determine which station generated each sale, and creating hundreds of custom reports to deliver overnight, via computer-fax, was the secret sauce that helped grow my first multi-million-dollar business.

The ability for computers to fax reports pales in comparison to AI, one of the most exciting and disruptive modern innovations.  I thought it would be fun to start blogging about AI breakthroughs that are poised to disrupt the modern advertising industry.

For my first installment, I didn’t have to look very far since one of DRMetrix’s very own customers is using AI in exciting ways.  I spoke with Eileen Fraser of Intelligent Handshake (IH) at the recent PDMI East event to learn more about their technology and how it is making a positive impact on direct-to-consumer campaigns by increasing revenue, conversion rates, and AOV (Average Order Value).

Intelligent Handshake utilizes a combination of AI, machine learning and human touch, to render and personalize a consumer’s online or phone offer. Remarkably, in the blink of an eye (as soon as a consumer clicks a link or their 800 # call is answered), Intelligent Handshake instantly crafts an offer that fits a consumer’s purchasing propensity.

In our industry, just a few single-digit percentage points can make a huge difference and Eileen shared a case study with me that illustrates the significant impact Intelligent Handshake’s AI can produce.

The following case study is from a nationally recognized brand in the Housewares Sector

Given these results, it appears that Intelligent Handshake is really onto something.  What an exciting first AI case study to kick things off!  If you’d like to learn more about Intelligent Handshake’s AI enabled business, please visit them at    There’s a nice video of Eileen describing how and why she developed what she’s calling Advanced Instantaneous Artificial Intelligence.

Thanks for reading my first blog post in this new series.  Please don’t forget to subscribe by providing your email and clicking the blue follow button on this page.

If you would like me to cover your AI enabled company, please email me at [email protected]


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7th Annual AdSphere™ Award Winners Announced

7th Annual AdSphere™ Awards

 Recognize Top Direct-to-Consumer Advertisers in 2022

AbbVie, Geico, Adaptive Health, CarShield, E. Mishan & Sons, SharkNinja, Luminess Direct, Ideavillage, among those taking top honors.

SAN DIEGO- (March 6, 2023) – Direct-to-consumer advertisers spent over 22 billion on national cable and broadcast networks in 2022 according to DRMetrix, an iSpot company.  To celebrate the industry’s accomplishments, the AdSphere™ Awards will honor the direct-to-consumer industry’s top advertisers and brands.

Awards will be presented to the winners at PDMI EAST 2023, where the leaders in Performance-Driven Marketing will come together in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20-22nd, 2023.  The AdSphere™ Awards is the first awards program to be inclusive of the entire direct-to-consumer industry with advertisers such as T-Mobile, Universal Pictures, Chime, Golo,, Southern New Hampshire University, Sheex, ZipRecruiter, NortonLifeLock, Consumer Cellular, Sleep Number, and many others being honored.

“The AdSphere awards recognize best-of-class advertisers and brands across four industry classifications including brand/direct, lead generation, short-form products, and 28.5-minute infomercials,” said Joseph Gray, founder of the AdSphere Awards and DRMetrix.  “Direct-to-consumer campaigns achieving this level of scale demonstrate consumer popularity and best-in-class creative and media execution.  The AdSphere Awards are the most inclusive award program for the entire direct-to-consumer industry recognizing nearly 60 honorees including all of our best-of-category award recipients.”

AdSphere monitors a universe of 140+ national networks on a 24/7/365 basis.  In just over nine years, AdSphere has identified over 16,000 direct-to-consumer brands.  In addition to detecting over 800,000 infomercial (28.5 minute) airings, AdSphere has detected over 110 million spots of varying creative lengths up to five minutes in duration.  The awards recognize top brands across a wide range of industry categories representing all facets of the industry.  AdSphere segments campaigns across over 190 major categories and sub-categories. The complete list of AdSphere Award winners is online at

About DRMetrix

DRMetrix, an company, monitors over 140 national TV networks 24/7/365, tracking direct-to-consumer ads using all creative lengths including spot, 5-min, and long-form which include web addresses, mobile app response, SMS, or toll free numbers.  For more information, please visit and be sure and download our latest direct-to-consumer industry study!

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2023 kicks off with a bang for DTC and DR television advertisers!

It’s been two years since we last encountered a national TV scatter marketplace favorable to direct-to-consumer (DTC) & direct response television (DR) advertisers.  Back in 2020, during the depths of the Covid lock down, DRMetrix an Company, measured the largest ever year-over-year growth for DTC and DR.  Media rates were at their lowest at a time when more people were watching TV than ever before.  In contrast, traditional TV ratings couldn’t keep up leaving brand advertisers at a disadvantage.  For more information, please download DRMetrix’s 2020 industry study.

Following 2020, the media pendulum swung the other direction.  In 2021, traditional brand advertisers flooded back onto the airwaves.  On top of a tighter scatter market, DTC and DR advertisers also began to feel the impact of global supply chain issues.  But that same pendulum may once again be swinging back to the favor of DTC and DR advertisers.  According to Standard Media Index (SMI), by the 2nd Quarter of 2022, scatter market investment declined 17% year-over-year.  By Q3, things got even worse with SMI reporting that scatter spend on traditional TV was down 38% year-over-year.  Marketing Brew wrote a story about this which you can read by clicking here.  How will these trends bode for DTC and DR advertisers?

It’s now January 2023, and Bank of America just released their Consumer Checkpoint data reporting that 2022 was a solid year for consumer spending.  Total card spending per household finished 2022 up 2.2% year-over-year boosted by services spending.  If consumer spending holds up in Q1 2023, while the scatter market remains soft, it will definitely benefit DTC and DR advertisers.  In fact, during the first 3 media weeks of 2023, DRMetrix is already measuring a significant +25% increase in ad units for DTC and DR advertisers year-over-year.

What we witnessed in 2022, during the Covid lockdowns, was the inability of brand advertisers to navigate the rapidly changing media and economic environment.  Traditional ratings don’t provide a read on consumer sentiment leaving many traditional TV brands little choice but to be conservative and pull back on media expenditures.  Quite often , these are years of great opportunity for DTC and DR brands who enjoy the unique ability to measure consumer response and sentiment in real time.  As long as consumers continue to respond and purchase, these brands will aggressively expand their media buys even during the most worrisome of economic times.  Since media commitments in scatter can be made week-to-week, DTC and DR advertisers are able to optimize and change their media strategies on the fly.

If you’re interested in learning more about the DTC and DR television industry, click here to learn more about DRMetrix and our competitive media insight offerings.  Also, be sure to subscribe to this blog to be informed when we release our upcoming 2022 industry study (estimated to be in February of 2023) and when we announce the top DTC and DR advertisers in 2022 through our annual AdSphere Awards program.










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