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Volume 6, Issue 1                                                January/February 2005


Go to the Extreme
by Tara Taffera

With the growing popularity of Tivo, through which individuals can fast forward through the commercials, advertisers are looking at other ways to reach their audience. So many companies are letting other organizations, or television shows in some cases, do the work for them. And sometimes the company doesn’t even have to do any work to get their products featured.

During the season premiere of my favorite program, ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, I noticed Jeld-Wen’s name on the windows in the background. Maybe it’s because I’m the publisher of a publication that focuses on window and door manufacturers, but my bet is that many homeowners noticed it too. 

“I don’t have call volume figures,” said Jeld-Wen’s corporate communications manager Teri Cline, “But I can tell you that the big J label on our windows was noticed by viewers across the nation because employees are getting comments from friends, family and even their hair dressers that they noticed Jeld-Wen on the show.” 

For consumers in the market for a window, they probably went to Jeld-Wen’s website for more information on its products. For those who didn’t, maybe they were considering these windows and those from another company. So perhaps a few weeks after the show they went on both websites to do a little more research and found out that Jeld-Wen’s windows were featured on the popular TV show. It could have swayed them in Jeld-Wen’s direction. 

Then in episode three, the show gave a plug to Pella Windows and Doors, which according to show host Ty Pennington, “Pella makes a product that is UV-protected.” The company donated nearly 30 products to the shown, which Pella says were chosen by the show’s designers due to the company “reputation for quality and innovation.” 

This is just one example of the hundreds of non-conventional ways you can garner attention for your business. And, don’t just wait for producers or newspaper editors to come to you. According to Cline, a dealer recommended the company’s windows and doors to a producer and then ABC contacted Jeld-Wen directly for another upcoming episode of Extreme Makeover. 

Those who read my column regularly know that I rarely end a column without asking for feedback. What unconventional or innovative types of promotion are you using in today’s changing environment? How are you working to make sure your company is at the top of builder’s radar screens? 

And, by the way, if you haven’t seen Extreme Makeover, you should tune in. But get the tissues ready—this top-rated new show is a tear-jerker. 

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